South Africa’s rich floral diversity never ceases to amaze its inhabitants and visitors. The Brunsvigia bosmaniae, also known locally as the March flower or ‘Maartlelie’, blooms only once a year in a very specific area in the Northern Cape.
According to SANBI, it is found mostly on open flats, coastal sand, rocky outcrops, loam, granite and clay soils, from Namaqualand and the Western Karoo, Tygerberg and the Bokkeveld Plateau to the Roggeveld.
Hendrik van Zijl, botanist and guesthouse owner in Nieuwoudtwille, shared his wealth of experience with us after seeing these flowers for over 20 years,
‘Two Genera of the family Amaryllidaceae, picture-perfect, growing together. Brunsvigia bosmaniae (Maartblom, Perdespook), and Crossyne flava (Geelsambreelblom),’ Van Zijl captioned his photos. ‘I have never before seen these two Bulbs grow in such profusion together.’
These flowers will only bloom if it rains during the month of March and if it doesn’t, you’re out of luck, according to Van Zijl. And there needs to be a minimum rainfall of 15mm. Then, as these beautiful pink flowers make their appearance, several insects like bees and butterflies are happily attracted to the bright colours and sweet nectar, and pollinate them.
Take a look at Van Zijl’s pictures of the flowers in bloom this year, taken in the Nieuwoudtville Nature Garden:
To plan a trip to this spectacular valley, contact Hendrik van Zijl at 08282 96 855 for information or accommodation options.
Take a look at other visitors who took stunning pictures:
Pictures: Hendrik van Zijl