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I'm Principal Scientist for Botany at the RHS and work on the correct naming of plants and manage the RHS Herbarium. I am part of an expedition to South Africa this January to study Kniphofia and their natural hybrids.

Good day, bad day

Posted by Chris Whitehouse on 12 Feb 2012 at 02:23 PM

Good day - rain had stopped overnight and I was up by 6am ready to drive around the local area looking for Kniphofia with John Burrows, the manager of Buffelskloof Nature Reserve.

Bad day - Wallet was missing, spent next hour looking everywhere in my cottage and luggage to no avail.  To my relief, it was found on the patio having fallen out when I had been chatting the previous night.

Good day - first Kniphofia stop yielded K. galpinii, a short species very similar to K. triangularis but with shorter stiffer leaves.

Bad day - started to rain and wind picked up, which along with the dull weather made photography very difficult.

Good day - Found four more species: K. multiflora (below left), K. fluviatilis, K. rigidifolia (below right) and K. triangularis subsp. obtusiloba

Bad day - none of the four were flowering, we were too early for K. multiflora (buds were on the way) and too late for the other three.

Good day - electricity came back to Buffelskloof, including internet access.

Bad day - my afternoon plan to look for more K. triangularis, hopefully in flower, was scuppered by my car refusing to start due to the immobilizer.

Good day - despite my worst fears, the car hire company were able to get the car started again over the phone.  I needed to press the clutch down while turning the key - the fact that I have been driving the car for a week now without needing to do this baffles me.

Good day - John took me down to a viewpoint over Buffelskloof, an amazing gorge with sheer cliffs, splendid waterfalls and lush forest.  Just a shame I do not have more time to explore it

Plant of the day - Agapanthus inapertus, this is in my view the most beautiful of the Agapanthus species with dark blue flowers and narrow pendent tubular flowers.


Pollinator of the day - Here is one of those amazing flies with the long proboscis using it for its proper purpose rather than trying to put it into my leg.


Botany said:

Safely back home, it is now time to assess the expedition and write up the reports. A first assessment

on 19 Feb 2012 at 09:08 AM

Botany said:

This page is to act as a summary of my expedition to find Kniphofia , red hot pokers, with links through

on 24 Feb 2012 at 03:29 PM