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					                                                                      90th Anniversary
 Botanical Society of South Africa
 KwaZulu-Natal Coastal Branch




                                                                            Year
 Newsletter Summer 2006
 www.botanicalsociety.org.za

A generous boost for the study of SA flora
Charles and Julia Botha have made another valuable contribu-
tion to indigenous South African flora by launching a trust fund,
the Botanical Education Trust, to be administered through the
KZN Coastal Branch of the Botanical Society. The Trust will
support education, research, publications and other promotion-
al work focused on the flora of our country. All royalties from
Charles and Julia’s new book – a follow-up to Bring Nature Back
to your Garden that will be published early this year – will be
paid into the trust, and they will donate R100 000 to kickstart it.
                                                                   Julia and Charles Botha.
“Basically, we want to advance education and research into
indigenous flora and factors that impact on them, such as natural environmental factors
and alien plants,” said Charles. “Also, we hope to help fund relevant publications.

“The Trust’s main thrust will be through bursaries for post-graduates to study indigenous
plants and for publishing on related subjects. However such activities must focus exclu-
sively on indigenous SA flora. Also, the Trust won’t provide for expenses such as confer-
ences, seminars and meetings, travel, living out expenses, subsistence and entertain-
ment.“

The Botanical Education Trust will have up to seven trustees, including botanists. It will
receive applications and advise the KZN Coastal Botanical Society Branch committee,
who will be empowered to vet recommended candidates and will administer the bursaries.

At the Branch’s November meeting the committee agreed to the formation of the BotSoc-
linked trust with acclaim, thanks, and congratulations to Charles.

Earn a blister for biodiversity
                                             “Blisters! But it was great fun,” proclaimed
                                             Coastal Branch chairperson Di Higginson
                                             Keath after the first BotSoc alien-bashing
                                             work-party at Section C (also known as
                                             ‘Geoff’s Jungle’) in the Durban Botanic
                                             Gardens on Friday 2 December 2005. Nine
                                             volunteers under Barry Lang’s guidance made
                                             great progress digging out plant invaders.

                                             You are invited to join follow-up work-parties
                                             on Fridays 10 February, 3 March and 7 April
                                             from 9 am to 12 noon. If you can make it, bring
                                             gardening tools and wear your old clothes!
                                             (See page 4).

                                             On your next visit to the Botanic Gardens, do
    Some of the ‘noble nine’ at work in      take a look at Alien Alley, now improved
             Section C, DBG.                 through BotSoc funds. And watch this space
       Photo: Di Higginson Keath             for more news of these activities in the Autumn
                                             newsletter!
Meet the new KZN Coastal Branch Committee members                                                       Botanising at ‘Collywobbles’
Three new members will fill the gaps left by recent resignations and extend our committee’s             At the KZN Coastal Branch 2005 end of year function, Chris Dalzell shared highlights of his recent
capacity.                                                                                               plant-collecting trip to Transkei. Here is a taste for those who missed it:

                                                                                                        We visited Transkei mainly to find populations of
 Charles Botha (pictured on         Marilyn                        Blessing                             Orbea macloughlinii last seen around Umtata Falls
 page 1) is well-known as           Bodasing                       Sithembiso                           and Tsitsa Falls (see right), but also to explore the
 co- author - with his wife         is bringing                    Majoka joins                         poorly botanised areas around the Mbashe River
 Julia - of Bring Nature Back       a refresh-                     Hugh Glen as                         and the ‘Collywobbles’ area with its many gorges.
 to your Garden, that key           ing boost                      a link with SA                       The Mbashe Gorge houses several recently
 resource of indigenous             to our                         National                             described taxa and the largest breeding colony of
 gardeners, and for his             Outings                        Biodiversity                         Cape Vultures - around 200 breeding pairs.
 committed work for                 pro-                           Institute at
 publications and                   gramme                         the KZN                              The first day was spent around Tsitsa Falls and
 indigenous open                    (see page 4). Many know        Herbarium, where he works as a       Tina Falls. The family Crassulaceae is very domi-
 gardens at WESSA.                  her from WESSA circles and     data capturer whose excellent        nant there; in particular Crassula and Cotyledon.
                                    as a passionate indigenous     slide scans of plant material are    Other plants seen in the gorges were Gasteria
 He will shepherd                                                                                       excelsa, Greyia flanaganii, Ozorea mucronata and
 BotSoc publications                gardener. Her Master’s         attracting comment. Blessing is
                                    research focus was spiders,    also known for his informative       many Encephalartos altenstenii. Sadly, goats have
 and in particular                                                                                      decimated many plants.
                                    now back in her life in the    tours as a past Durban Botanic
 PlantLife, now
                                    form of a big fishing spider   Gardens guide.
 under BotSoc’s wing.               and spiderlings in her                                              An Eastern Cape endemic, Stapelia peglerae was
                                    garden pond…                                                        found in the Tsitsa Falls area. Although the Tina Falls area was very disappointing we did manage to
                                                                                                        collect cuttings of Cotyledon velutina with yellow flowers, and the recently described Adromischus
                                                                                                        cristatus var. umzimvubuensis. When we arrived at the Bashee Hydro Generation Station late that
                                                                                                        night we found Bauhinia bowkeri in full flower.
                              Botanical prints going for a song
                              Durban Botanic Gardens Trust is offering                                                                                 We had two days to botanise in the Mbashe Gorge. In the
                              prints of lovely paintings by KZN artists                                                                                dry forest Heywoodia lucens and very large specimens of
                              Elsa Pooley, Sibonela Chiliza, Tessa Dean                                                                                Commiphora harveyi dominated. Unusual plants were
                              and 10 others. Already mounted but light-                                                                                Bulbine erectipilosa and Plectranthus aliciae as well as
                              weight and easy to post, they make a per-                                                                                two undescribed endemics, Tetradenia and Drimia, earli-
                              fect gift. BotSoc members can buy them                                                                                   er reported by Ernst van Jaarsveld. The succulent flora
                              from Friends of the Gardens, 70 St Thomas                                                                                on the cliffs is particularly rich; Crassula perfoliata var.
                              Road, at the special price of R25 each.                                                                                  minor is common, and on the very steep slope we found
                              Please phone Coleen Dewar at 031-                                                                                        the most famous endemic, Aloe reynoldsii.
                              202-5819.                                                                                                                Hiking down to the river we saw two plants recently
   Xylotheca kraussiana:                                                   Siphonochilus aethiopicus:                                                  described by Ernst van Jaarsveld and Braam van Wyk,
       Sandy Slater                                                              Anne Maclean                                                          Cotyledon pendens and Adromischus liebenbergii subsp.
   Photo: Colleen Dewar                                                       Photo: Colleen Dewar                                                     Orientalis. The cotyledon pendens was in full flower and
                                                                                                                                                       in abundance.
                                                                                                                      Aloe reynoldsii
Visit Kloof Conservancy Open Gardens 25 & 26 March 2006                                                             Photo: Chris Dalzell             Other plants seen and collected in this wonderful area
                                                                                                                                                     were Schotia afra var. afra and Cussonia zuluensis. We
Seven exciting indigenous gardens are                                                                   covered only a small section - many more expeditions need to be undertaken. My thanks to David
on show for the Kloof Conservancy                                                                       Styles for organising the trip and to the Durban Botanic Gardens Trust for sponsoring it.
Open Gardens this year. In addition, the
tea garden will have a wealth of educa-
tional displays, a display of botanical art                                                               Why not join Plant-chat?
by BAASA members, books and plants
on sale, expert guest speakers and                                                                        The electronic forum Plant-chat was set up in 2000 to spread news and information
music.                                                                                                    about the plants of the summer-rainfall areas of southern Africa. It has more than 100
                                                                                                          members and postings cover topics such as indigenous horticulture; visits to particular
Tickets will be on sale at R30 in each                                                                    areas; distribution records; discoveries; particular species; plant conservation; botanical
garden as well as at sponsors: Servistar
Hillcrest, Kloof Village Mall Superspar,                                                                  events and activities (talks, outings etc); and information requests.
Richdens Hillcrest Superspar, Waterfall
Superspar and Robyndale Nature                                                                            Plant-chat members can post messages to other members and receive messages from
Centre. Children under 12 are free.                                                                       the same. Subscription is free. To join, e-mail tritonia@telkomsa.net with the line: “I
Proceeds will go to the alien control pro-                                                                would like to join Plant-chat”, followed by your name and the e-mail address you would
gramme of Krantzkloof Nature Reserve.                                                                     like to use for postings. Send any queries to the group moderator David Styles at the
For further information contact Helen on      An enticing view of Garden 1 at the home of Ed and          same e-mail address or at 082 555 8649.
031 763 4435 or 072 218 2857.                               Janet Weakley, Hillcrest.
 Coastal & Inland DIARY
Let 2006 be your year of enjoying our floral magnificence. Be inspired! Inspire others…

Do you hear about our trips and wish you had been there? Come along on our 2006 outings and be
inspired by the experts; increase your knowledge or pass on your own insights and wisdom. Enjoy an
atmosphere of fun and edutainment with the ‘regulars’ at: grassland rambles and picnics; forest walks;
informal talks and picture shows; formal lectures; garden visits; overnight stays; short trips; or a couple
of hours at the local park. And please email any suggestions you may have to Marilyn Bodasing (see
contact details in box below).

Unless otherwise stated the following events are free for Botanical Society members and, unless the
event is restricted to members only, non-members are welcome and are asked to pay R10/pp. Please
remember that attendance at any of our functions is at your own risk and neither the Botanical Society
nor this Branch can be held responsible for any injury or loss that may occur. Please confirm details of
outings in case of changes or cancellations.

Feb, March and April: Alien clearance work party: Section C, Durban Botanic Gardens: Fridays
      10 Feb, 3 March & 7 April (See page 1). Tel Barry Lang: 031 201 1303 or BotSoc: 031 201 5111.

Feb     Sat 25th at 9.00 am: Muthi plant walk. Meet at the entrance to Stainbank Nature Reserve for a
        2-3 hour walk led by Dehn von Ahleveldt. Entrance R10/adult. Contact Marilyn: 082 923 0151.

March Sat and Sun 4th-5th Weekend trip to Umtamvuna Nature Reserve: Walks to be led by Tony
      Abbott. We expect to see lots of fruiting plants at the end of summer. There is accommodation
      for maximum 12 people in timber chalets/huts or a dome tent on a platform at Clearwater Camp
      with private entrance to reserve. Cost: R110/pp sharing for one night or R95/pp sharing for 2 or
      more nights if you prefer to arrive on Friday. Four more can be accommodated at a cottage near-
      by. Please book early. Deposit required and space is limited. Confirm with Marilyn Bodasing:
      082 923 0151 or a/h 032 533 2787 by 10th February.

March Sat 18th: Dlinza forest walk. Meet in Eshowe at 9 am for a tree top walk in coastal scarp forest
      led by David Styles (2-3 hours). Medicinal plants labelled. Bring a picnic lunch. Confirm num-
      bers, lift sharing and details with Marilyn: 082 923 0151 or a/h 032 533 2787.

March Sat 25th & Sun 26th March: PMB Indigenous Plant Sale. The Inland BotSoc branch will have
      an information stall at this plant sale, which is taking a new format. The new venue is the Cattle
      Arena of Royal Show Ground in Pietermaritzburg.

March Sat 25th & Sun 26th: Indigenous Open Gardens organised by the Kloof Conservancy. See page
      2 of this newsletter.

April   1st at 2.00 pm: Pigeon Valley afternoon ramble to be led by Chris Reim. Meet at Princess Alice
        Drive entrance. Confirm attendance with Marilyn: 082 923 0151 or a/h 032 533 2787.

Apr     Sunday 23rd: First Pietermaritzburg Indigenous Open Gardens. Meet at 9.30 am at Garden No.
        1 (David and Sally Johnson, 156 Golf Road, Scottsville) to join a BotSoc group for touring the
        gardens. R25 for five gardens. Hospice to serve eats at one of the gardens. Contact Christina:
        033 260 5146 (W) or 342 6664 (H) or potgietercj@ukzn.ac.za for information.

June    Sat 10th Krantzkloof Nature Reserve: Morning walk led by David Styles to look at some of the
        320 tree species – an enormous number for the small size of the reserve. Entry R10/adult.

Note: The KZN Coastal Branch AGM will now be our main social as well as organisational function of
the year. This year it will be held in late July/early August and the 2006 speaker will be President of
BotSoc and top botanist Professor Eugene Moll. Watch this space!

  KZN Coastal Branch: PO Box 30544 Mayville 4058 " 031 201 5111 Office hours: 10:00 - 16:00
  Chair: Di Higginson Keath " 031 261 3961 cell 082 552 0441 # higgy@netactive.co.za
  Secretary, Membership: Sandra Dell " 031 465 6179 # botsoc-kzn@mweb.co.za
  EIAs, Plant Sale: Wally Menne " 082 444 2083 # plantnet@iafrica.com
  Newsletter: Jane Jackson " 031 464 6390 # mwjane2@mweb.co.za
  Outings Information: Marilyn Bodasing " 082 923 0151 or a/h 032 533 2787
  # Bodasin8@ukzn.ac,za

				
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