Mountainlands often leaves one in awe. Usually it is the majestic beauty of the landscape, but much smaller things can also give a unique expression of place. Take one mountain for example: it blends in with all the others but on closer inspection one sees it is home to a diverse array of interesting, endemic and threatened plants. And you wonder how one area can be so jaw-droppingly beautiful and offer the ideal conditions to express these floral triumphs of nature. The terrain varies considerably, but it is most likely that the geology protecting the plants against fire, shallow soils, altitude, environmental and atmospheric conditions all play a role to sustain the delicate balance. Below follow photos of some of the plants that are currently flowering on this mountain.
Aloe albida (albida pointing to the nearly white flowers) is the smallest aloe in the world and is only found in the Barberton area. It is an endangered species because of its small range.
Brachystelma swazicum occurs in the Barberton mountains and Swaziland. Not exactly your grandma’s showy garden plant, but pretty awesome up close.
Thorncroftia thorncroftii is the smallest of all the Thorncroftia species and grows mostly in crevices on exposed rock outcrops.
Kleinia galpinii (named after Ernest Galpin, an amateur but accomplished plant collector ) is a succulent that puts up a pretty display this time of the year.
Gladiolus varius is a Mpumalanga endemic plant that was first collected by Ernest Galpin in 1890 in the Barberton area.
Justicia linifolia occurs from the Barberton area to Eswatini.