Mpati mountain and the gladsome Gladioli

Mpati mountain or “place of good waters” as it is also referred to, certainly has lived up to it’s name this Summer. The long awaited rains bringing much needed relief for all. Our beautiful mountain and surrounding grasslands have produced an abundance of floral treasures this season.

Over the last few years I have had the privilege of exploring the mountain. During this time I have not only been delighted, but also utterly astounded at times – by the beauty, diversity and abundance of flowering plants, shrubs and trees that grow on and around our Mpati mountain.

Summer rain has produced an abundance on the mountain

I have been documenting these floral treasures ( as many as I possibly and realistically can), by way of botanical illustration, as a dedication – A dedication to the mountain and to all who take pleasure in the peace and connection to nature that Mpati mountain offers.

Summer time is Gladioli time. We have at least three indigenous Gladioli species on the mountain that I know of. There are possibly more. ‘Gladioli Ecklonii’ is widespread through Southern Africa, growing in the Summer rainfall zone. This species is found in stony places and occasionally at the edge of vleis and streams.

Gladioli ecklonii peeking through the grass

Gladioli are important horticulturally. They are used as cut flowers and in cultivation many hybrids exist. Our indigenous Gladioli ecklonii flowers have whitish tepals covered in freckled spots. These range from pink through to red. Like other Gladioli species it closes it’s flowers as the sun goes down and opens them again as the sun comes up in the morning.

flowers spent but still beautiful a few days later

Possible pollinators are two long – tongued bees, namely ‘Amegilla capensis’ and ‘Amagilla fallax’.

‘Amegilla capensis’ a long tongued bee – graphite on board

This particular beauty was growing alongside a rocky path on the mountain. I managed to photograph it in it’s prime. A very special sighting indeed.

Gladioli ecklonii – Water colour, Acrylic and graphite on canvas board

9 thoughts on “Mpati mountain and the gladsome Gladioli

  1. Gladsome indeed. I love your drawing of the long-tongued bee and your photos and painting of Gladioli ecklonii. It must be tough not to be able to go out to the mountain or for a walk or a jog in these days of lockdown, but important to keep safe. Take care and best wishes.


      1. Even though you are missing going out to the mountain, I hope that the time painting and going through your photos is rewarding. We are working on staying safe and sane thank you, and wishing the same to you!

        Liked by 1 person

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