Hiking on Paardeplaats Nature Retreat is a very popular hiking activity for the whole family. Lands’ End with its panoramic views and the easy trail has to be maintained during the rainy season. Brian made a beautiful discovery this week while cutting the Land’s End trail with a tractor. The dainty sugarbush was abundantly blooming like a ground cover in the veld.
Protea parvula Beard. Is a near threatened plant on the red data list from the. PROTEACEAE family. This commonly called Dainty Sugarbush was first found near Kaapsche Hoop in Mpumalanga in 1928 by Dr E.P. Phillips
The dainty sugarbush is one of the summer rainfall grassland proteas. It is a low-growing shrub of below 20 cm in height, which contributes to its demise during fires. The seeds of Protea parvula, fortunately, survive these fires typical of its habitat, however.
For the past 100 years, the population is has been decreasing and is estimated to have reduced 20-30% is estimated based on 28% habitat loss due to afforestation (pines), mining for soapstone and alien plant invasion.
It flowers in December through to March in the Mpumalanga, KZN and Swaziland habitats. Like many proteas, it grows in rocky terrain in acid soil.
The grassland at the high altitude of the habitat is characterised by short grass. Birds pollinate the plant and wind disperse the seed.
Lands’ End -A hiking trail that is definitely worth a visit!