Durbanville Nature Reserve – Mountain Watsonia – 2

Also known as, Suurkanol in Afrikaans


Watsonia fourcadei is found in the Eastern and Western Cape and has pretty salmon pink flowers. It grows +- 90 to 180cm tall.

All are perennial herbs growing from corms 30 to 40mm in diameter with grey-brown tunics; producing attractive upright lance shaped leaves and erect spikes of showy flowers. In the wild the plants flower particularly profusely in the first and second years following a fire; and in recently burnt areas provide a major source of food for nectar-feeding birds, insects and rodents.


Watsonia fourcadei is a genus of plants in the Iris family and endemic to South Africa; meaning originally, they could not be found growing wild anywhere else in the world. Having said this, watsonia species were introduced as garden ornamentals to Australia in the mid-19th century and were widely grown by the 1940s. Today, in the South-West of Western Australia, six species have escaped from garden cultivation and become naturalized along rivers, wetlands and seasonally wet ground. In places Watsonias have displaced native understory flora and high concentrations of them create a fire hazard in summer.

There are about 52 Watsonia species; most of which are concentrated in the south-western parts of the Western Cape, but also extending north into Namaqualand and east into the summer rainfall areas of southern KwaZulu-Natal, Lesotho, Mpumalanga and Swaziland. Most are deciduous fynbos plants which are adapted to a Mediterranean-type climate with hot, dry summers and wet winters; and the majority of the species occur in mountainous regions, with a couple occurring in sandy flats and marshy areas. Those which occur in the summer rainfall regions are evergreen. 

Mountain Watsonia, Watsonia fourcadei, Durbanville Nature Reserve, Durbanville, South Africa
  • Location: Durbanville Nature Reserve, Durbanville, South Africa
  • Date Taken: 2020-10-25
  • Camera: Canon EOS 7D Mark II
  • Lens: Canon Zoom Lens EF-S 18-200 mm 3-5.6 IS
  • Exposure Program: Manual
  • Image Quality: RAW
  • F-Stop: f/5.6
  • Exposure Time: 1/320 sec
  • ISO Speed: ISO-100
  • Focal Length: 200 mm
  • Metering Mode: Spot Metering
  • Handheld
  • Post Processing: Adobe Photoshop CS6
  • Photographer: Coreen Kuhn
  • Information:

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