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Gerbera Aurantiaca

Hilton Daisy


Scilla Natalensis

Blue Scilla


Take me straight to the list of flowers below

One of the least known natural jewels of the KZN Midlands is probably the Umvoti Flower Reserve, a mere 10km outside Greytown on the shores of Lake Merthley.  A vista combination of fresh green grass, dolorite outcrops, an abundance of wild flowers and the clear waters of the lake make for an unforgettable experience.

A botanist from the National Botanical Institute has described it as on a par with the West Coast of the Western Cape, adding that the Hilton daisies are the most prolific species in the area.

The Hilton daisy (Gerbera Aurantiaca) is a "Red Data" or highly endangered species and being the most spectacular of the Gerberas in the country certainly justifies a day trip to see it in flower.

However, the Hilton daisy is only one of a total of about 100 flowering plants that occur in the Reserve of under 2ha.  Most spectacular of these are the blue scilla (scilla natalensis), red indigo (Indigofera hirsuta), tinsel flower (alipedea natalensis), asters (aster bakeranus and perfoliatus), harebells (dierama spp), Vernonia hirsuta, watsonia canaliculata and at least 4 species of ground orchids.

During the height of the season from October to early December one can find up to 70 different plants in flower on any one day and if you visit the reserve more-or-less in mid-October there is a good chance that you will witness the overlapping flowering periods of the orange to red Hilton daisy and the blue scilla, which are also abundant, an experience to treasure for the rest of your life.

During the rest of the flowering period from January to March the main attractions are ground orchids (mainly Satyrium and Euloplia spp), Kniphofia, Pachycarpus and the late flowering Dieramas. 

A visit to the Reserve is sure to leave a lasting impression and hopefully inspire each and everyone to preserve the less than 1 % of the remaining Midlands mist belt grasslands and its accompanying flowers by protecting them from further forestation and invasion by alien species.

Plans are afoot to make the Reserve accessible to the disabled giving them the rare opportunity to experience nature's wonders of the beaten track.

The Reserve is amply signposted from the turnoff to Lake Merthley 5km outside Greytown on the Muden road.  Patrons are requested not to move off the marked trail so as to ensure that the area will be preserved in its present state for future generations. 

Take me straight to the list of flowers below

The following article appeared in the Greytown Gazette during August 2002

There have a number of positive developments in the year since the official opening of the Umvoti Flower Reserve at Lake Merthley.

A much appreciated donation of R5 000 was received from the Botanical Society of S.A. to cover the costs of employing labour for the purpose of conservation work and the removal of alien species from the Reserve. 

In addition about a ton of building rubble was removed and bags and bags of rubbish left by picnickers and fishermen who appear to ignore the rubbish bins provided.

Results of all this clearing having been very visible and quite striking and will enhance considerably the enjoyment of the floral wonderland.

Considerable publicity has been given to the Reserve in the press and  glossy national magazines which will hopefully lead to an increase in the number of visitors to the town with the accompanying economic spin offs.

A trail will be marked out for the flowering season and visitors will be requested to keep to the trail so as to minimise damage to the fantastic range of plants. To enable the disabled to enjoy the colorful and spectacular display an unobtrusive track for vehicles is to be set up for the exclusive use of the disabled.

Unfortunately bugweed, brambles and wattles have an unpleasant habit of bouncing back - the hard physically demanding work to rid thearea of these aliens has now been done but volunteers will be needed to pull out wattle and bugweed seedlings as well as destroy regrowth of brambles. This will need to be done three or four times during the growing season after rain.

Volunteers for this are asked to contact Vic Schutte on 413 1825 at any reasonable hour!


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Common Name



Acalypha Peduncularis Brooms and brushes Coughs & chest complaints, tonic .
Acalypha Punctata Sticky brooms and brushes Diarrhea & chest complaints .
Acalypha Punctata . . .
Adenocline Pauciflora . . .
Ajuga ophrydis Bugle Plant Female sterility, painful menstruation .
Albuca  Setosa Small white Albuca . Ritual cleansing, protect from lightning.
Alepidea natalensis Tinsel Flower . .
Alepidea sp. . . .
Anthericum cooperi . . .
Anthericum cooperi Coopers Anthericum . Good gardening plant
Argyrolobium rupestre . . .
Aster bakeranus Aster Urinary & eye infections, syphillis, snake bite etc. .
Aster perfoliatus Grey-leaved Aster . .
Aster sp. . . .
Berkheya setifera Buffalo tongue Berkheya . .
Commelina africana Yellow Commelina Fits, pain, heart complaints, bladder etc. .
Craterocapsa tarsdes . Carpet bell flower . .
Cucumis hirsutus . . .
Cyanotis speciosa Dolls powder puff Treat infertility Love & Protective charm
Cyphia elata . Emetic Root edible
Drosera  Natalensis . . Sundew
Dierama floriferum Hairbell . .
Eriosema cordatum Heart-leaved eriosema Impotence Stimulate bulls
Eriosema cordatum . . .
Eriosema kraussianum Pale yellow eriosema . .
Eulophia ovalis . . Ground orchid
Euryops laxus Resin bush . .
Gerbera aurantiaca Hilton daisy s . Hybrodises with G Kraussia
Graderia Scabra Wild penstemon Stomach, fevers, rashes, prevent miscarriage Love charm emetic.
Helichrysum acutatum Sticky everlasting . .
Helichrysum appendiculatum Sheeps-ear everlasing . .
Helichrysum appendiculatum . . .
Helichrysum aureonitens Golden everlasting . Invoke goodwill of ancestors & induce trances.
Hypoxis  Costata Star Flower . Protection against lightning
Hypoxis  Angustifolia Star Flower . .
Hypoxis  Hemerocallidea Star Flower Headaches, dizziness, mental disorders, cancer Incorrectly named african potato
Helichrysum ecklonis Everlasting . .
Indigofera hilaris Red indigo bush . .
Indigofera hirsuta Red Indigo . .
Kniphofia buchananii Small white poker . Snake deterrent
Kohautia amatymbica Tremble tops . Protect babies from evil, protection against snakes
Lichtenstania interrupta . . Member of carrot family
Lobelia Evinus Edging lobelia Colds Wash divining bones
Lotononis corymbosa Treat woman who have lost babies .
Monopsis decipiens Butterfly lobelia Colds, skin disease, rheumatism .
Moraea sp. . . .
Myosotis sylvatica Forget-me-not . .
Oxalis obliquifolia Oblique-leaved sorrel . .
Pentanisia prunelloides Broad-leaved pentanisia Haemarrhoids, stomach pains etc. .
Pelargonium  Luridum Storks bill pelagonium Dysentry, nausea, fever, vomiting, sick calves Love charm
Pelargonium Schleteri Two-tiered pelargonium Dysentry, nausea, fever, vomiting, sick calves Love charm
Peucedanum caffrum Wild parsley Diarrhoea .
Peucedanum caffrum . . .
Polygala rhinostigma . . .
Protea simplex Dwarf sugarbush . .
Psammatropha myriantha . . Perfumed ointments
Raphiunacme  Hirsuta False gentian Ulcers .
Rhynchosia  Villosa Giant hairy-leaved Rhyncosia . .
Satyrium Longicauda Blushing bride satyrium . Protective and love charm
Rhodohypoxis  Platypetala White star . .
Scilla Natalensis  Large Blue Scillag Internal tumours, boils, fractures Used to make soap
Senecio discodregeanus . Chest colds and madness .
Senecio polyodon . . .
Stachys nigricans . Tonic Love charm emetic
Trachyandra reflexipilosa . . Acrid smell when touched
Trochomeria  Sagittata . . .
Vernonia hirsuta Quilted-leaved Vernonia Colic, sore throat, cough, headache .
Vernonia hirsuta . . .
Wahlenbergia madagascariensi Bell flower . .
Wahlenbergia undulata Bell flower . .
Watsonia canaliculata . . .
Zornia Capensis Caterpillar-bean . Charm to protect unborn babies from disease.