- Contreberg Farm Flower Reserve
Contreberg Farm Flower Reserve, Wes-Kaap
Contreberg Farm, situated approximately 10 km outside of Darling, directly next to the R307 on the way to Mamre, contains a seasonally wet, Swartland Granite Renosterveld vldi area of approximately 10 ha that contains one of the last populations of a critically endangered orchid species called Pteryogodium cruciform.
Referred to by some as the “Darling Ivory”, this highly endangered orchid was rediscovered on the property by Dr Anton Pauw in 2004 as part of his PhD on renosterveld fragmentation and pollination systems. It is only found on this farm and at two other lowland locations. This particular orchid is probably pollinated by a special renosterveld oil-collecting bee since it secretes oil instead of nectar.
The wetland on Contreberg is highly conservation worthy as these seasonally wet areas are largely transformed in the Cape lowlands and often support very unique, and rare species.
Besides the wetland, there is also a 5 ha area on the property which the owner, Alex Versfeld, set aside as a wildflower reserve a number of years ago. This private reserve has been open to the public since 1975 and has never been ploughed.
Despite its small size, and seemingly dull appearance during other times of the year, it transforms into a magnificent display of flowering bulbs including species such as Ixia Scillaris, Ixia Maculata, Geissorhiza Eurystigma, Geissorhiza Radians (Witring Kelkiewyn), Drosera Cistiflora (Snotrosie), Geissorhiza Aspera, Romulea Tabularis, Heliophila Africana (Sandflaks), Monsonia speciosa, Brunsvigia orientalis, Wurmbea marginata, Disperis villosa, Pterygodium alatum, Nemesia barbata, Diascia diffusa, Moraea gawleri and Sparaxis grandiflora.
The reserve is open to the public and is visited by many people every year during the spring flower season in Darling. Visitors need to park their car and enter on foot via a gate.
It is a continual effort for Alex to clear the alien Port Jackson trees that so easily invade the edges and water courses.
Contact detailsDarling Tourism
Cnr Pastorie & Hill St
Tel: +27 22 492 3361
Fax: +27 22 492 2935
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