Some of the flowering plants that grow at the Elandsberg Nature Reserve can only be found here. They include species that belong to the Amaryllis, Iris, Geranium, Mollugo, and Pea families. In fact, some of these species endemic to Elandsberg have formally been named elandsmontana.
A recently discovered, cryptic species. Adenogramma species are generally very poorly collected, but being of insignificant character are easily overlooked, but they may also be truly rare. More surveys are needed to determine whether any other subpopulations exist.
Brunsvigias are perennial, deciduous, temperate, bulbous herbal plants. In southern Africa, the bulbs of Brunsvigia are traditionally used as decoctions to enhance the accuracy of the dice thrown by local diviners. Otherwise infusions of the bulbs are used for medicinal purposes. Like all Amaryllidaceae, however, Brunsvigias are rich in alkaloids that can be extremely toxic.
“A range restricted, but formerly very common species that has lost more than 75% of its habitat. It is now locally extinct on the Cape Peninsula, and except for the Perdeberg between Malmesbury and Paarl, where the species was found to occur all across this mountain after a recent fire, all subpopulations are confined to small, isolated fragments. It continues to decline due to ongoing habitat loss and fragmentation.” Source SANBI
When this plant was first discovered in 1997, it was obvious it was a Massonia but the species was initially a puzzle. Subsequent careful study revealed that this Massonia was in fact … a new species! Today, there may be as many as 100 at Elandsberg. Here is Dr John Manning’s final verdict: “Massonia elandsmontana is described for a population of plants from Elandsberg Nature Reserve at the western foot of the Elandskloof Mountains near Hermon in the Swartland of Western Cape, South Africa. . . . It is one of several geophytic taxa endemic to Swartland Alluvial Fynbos vegetation on Elandsberg Nature Reserve.” J.C. Manning © 2021 SAAB. Published by Elsevier B.V.
“This subspecies was once a common lowland endemic, but crop cultivation and urban expansion have reduced its range. Over 80% of its habitat has been lost. It is probably extant at 16 of the 62 historical locations. Large colonies still exist below Gydo Pass and on the Piketberg where hundreds of thousands of plants occur. All other extant subpopulations are severely fragmented, occurring between wheat fields that are seldom burnt, are small (typically fewer than 20 plants) and declining due to habitat degradation as a result of eutrophication and alien plant invasion” Source SANBI.
“The new species Pelargonium elandsmontanum is a local endemic from Elandsberg Nature Reserve near Malmesbury in the Western Cape Province, South Africa. One of six species of sect. Hoarea with just the posterior two petals developed, it resembles P. ternifolium in its trifoliolate leaves and pink petals but is distinguished from that species by the short, stout petioles, rhombic, acute leaflets with the upper surface glabrous or with spreading hairs (vs cuneate, apically incised leaflets with both surfaces adpressed-hairy), and five (vs four) fertile stamens.” J.C. Manning © 2010 SAAB. Published by Elsevier B.V..
“This species was discovered in 2011, after a controlled burn of a small fragment of lowland fynbos between crop fields. The majority of this private property is formally protected through a biodiversity stewardship contract, and although the population is within an agricultural production area outside the boundaries of the protected area, it is being managed for conservation. It is possible that other subpopulations exist within the area, which is extensively cultivated, but overlooked, because small fragments are seldom burnt and this species requires fire to flower. Due to its specific habitat requirements, rocky ridges, which are unsuitable to cultivation, it is unlikely to be declining due to habitat loss to agricultural expansion. It is however potentially threatened by habitat degradation due to a lack of fire, competition from alien invasive plants, loss of pollinators, and herbicide and pesticide drift from surrounding crop fields.” Source SANBI