Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Karoo Desert National Botanical Garden

The Karoo Desert National Botanical Garden is just 1: 30 minutes’ drive from Cape Town. It is definitely a Botanical garden different from others. They specialise in succulents and bulbs growing around the country. Most of the bulbs and succulents flower in spring from July till late September. There is also a wide variety of other desert and semi- desert plants that flower throughout the year.

A display of Aloe dichotoma

The garden consists of 154 hectares of which 11 ha are cultivated and displayed with a huge diversity of plant species. There are 270 indigenous species recorded among them 83 are geophytes and 74 are succulents.

After walking around the garden’s show beds, there are two hiking trails for visitors who are keen on seeing the natural vegetation.
This trail is called the Grysbokkie trail it is the longest trail in the garden, and takes
approximately 2 - 3 hours to complete.

History of the garden:

The garden was established in 1921 near Matjiesfontein, but because there was a lack of water they decided to move the garden to Worcester. When the garden opened again in 1945 it was known as Karoo National Botanical garden. In 2001 the word “desert” was added to the name to put emphasis on the fact that plants cultivated and displayed are from desert and semi desert regions of the country.

Along some paths are rocks filled with plants like Crassula rupestris subsp. rupestris.

Annuals starting to open in the garden for a lively spring display.

The garden has a magnificent succulent collection, if the public would like to see the 
collection they have to pre-arrange a guided tour.

Faucaria tigrina commonly known as tiger jaws (I can see why they call it that!)

Haworthia truncata var. truncata

These are just some of the plants available to view in their succulent collection. Some of the plants in the collections are over 50 years old and are still going strong.

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