Frithia pulchra
in its habitat
 
photographs by Frank de Wilde
text edited by Philippe Faucon from a serie of emails from Frank de Wilde
 

FRITHIA PULCHRA are exceedingly rare as they only grow on a strip only about 200m wide and 150km long along the top of the Magaliesberg mountains, in the North West Province (was Transvaal) of South Africa.
 

The antelope on the next photograph is a water buck.

 

 


As they grow on the top the soil is very poor and well drained, the magaliesberg is made of quartzite (pure Si0) and there is therefore no clay at all in there growing medium and very little humus.

 

In the summer they will receive their water from thunder showers, so they get soaked about once a month and dry out completely in-between, with temperatures in the low 30's (around 90F) not uncommon. In the dry winters, temperatures go below zero Celsius at night, rising to 20-25C (68-76F) during the day.

This is a summer rain fall area and receives little or no rainfall for the 6 months around winter. Frithias are in bloom at the moment.
 
 
Locally they are known as fairy elephants foot.

Perhaps you have trouble in keeping Frithia pulchra alive if you water it in winter.
 
Frank de Wilde
South Africa

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