Bababaddens, basterkokerbome and skoenveterbossies might sound foreign but they are, in fact, locally grown. These are some of the plants found in the Richtersveld, in the Northern Cape, and now visitors can take a living souvenir home with them thanks to this ever expanding nursery
This diverse abundance off plants in the Richtersveld is, however, not always that easy to spot. You literally have to get out of your car and look closely, even get on your knees at times. Luckily the park now offers a much easier alternative right on its doorstep at Sendelingsdrift rest camp, in the park’s nursery.
The once run-down building has undergone a complete transformation and the bare pots and beds are now filled with hundreds of stems harvested from the park. Visitors can spend time investigating the budding rock garden, filled with mature plants removed from nearby areas before mining excavation started. “The Ceraria fruticulosa, a type of elephant bush (spekboom), could be over 200 years old,” says nursery curator Pieter van Wyk.
Some 111 species are available for sale from the nursery many of which you’ll find nowhere else on earth. The iconic halfmens (Pachypodium namaquanum), giant quiver tree (Aloe pillansii) and Aloe pearsonii found near Helskloof Pass, are but a few.
A five year development plan for the nursery includes a revamp of the buildings, the establishment of a research garden with an irrigation system to give the 800 or so plant species the best possible care says van Wyk.
The best part about the nursery is that next time you visit you don’t have to leave the Richtersveld empty handed. While the sale of some plant species is still dependant on attaining the correct permits, van Wyk says visitors are welcome to pop in and have a look.
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