Dierama luteoalbidum

Thank you to James Gaither (J.G. in S.F.@Flickr) for sharing today’s photograph of Dierama luteoalbidum via the Botany Photo of the Day Flickr Pool. Much appreciated!

Common names for species of Dierama include fairy fishing rods, fairy’s wand, and wandflower.

Endemic to the Midlands Mistbelt Grassland of Kwazulu-Natal province in South Africa, Dierama luteoalbidum would be considered Vulnerable according to IUCN Red List criteria. This is due in part to its limited range (somewhere between 1200 and 5500 km2 — not sure of why the wide range), fewer than a dozen population localities, and habitat degradation from forestry plantations and livestock grazing. It is not alone, however–the Midlands Mistbelt Grassland now occupies less than 1% of its former range, and less than 0.3% is protected. These numbers sound familiar to me, having grown up near the borders of the tallgrass prairies of North America, which were similarly reduced in size.

I’m not certain if this link is open-access, but JSTOR contains a number of images, scans of pressed specimens and illustrations of Dierama luteoalbidum. If not, additional photographs of the species are available from the Pacific Bulb Society Wiki on Dierama and Wikimedia Commons: Dierama luteoalbidum.

Concluding with a different topic, some of you (particularly Michiganders) may be interested to check out the Kickstarter project “Wildflowers of Detroit“. Kickstarter projects try to meet a fundraising goal by a certain date, and if successful, the project then proceeds (if unsuccessful, no donations occur). From the description of their project: “One pervasive vision of Detroit is its ruins – the monolithic hulks of an industrial era gone by, documented in striking photographs and tales of urban exploration. Missing from this narrative is the other side of the coin. In place of those decaying buildings grow plots of wildflowers and wildlife. After knowing these secret gardens and hidden blooms, we feel this crucial story needs to be told. That’s where you come in. Wildflowers of Detroit is a community technology project for cataloging wild plants growing in Detroit, an effort which can enable people’s appreciation of its open space. Through experiencing and appreciating the “empty” fields, we can discover together the emerging ecology of this area. “

Dierama luteoalbidum

4 responses to “Dierama luteoalbidum”

  1. elizabeth a airhart

    there are faries at the bottom of our gardens
    it”s not so very far away
    you pass the gardens shed and you keep stright ahed
    i do o hope they’ve really come to stay
    theres a little wood with moss in it and beetles
    and a little stream that quietly runs through
    you wouldn’t think they’d dare to come merry makeing there
    well they do
    rose fyleman
    thank you

  2. Carole Miller

    We can always count on you Miss Elizabeth. Thank you.

  3. Eric in SF

    Agreed – Elizabeth’s writings always bring a smile to my face.
    And some technical commentary – this is an incredibly hard genus of plants to photograph. These flowers dangle at the ends of long arching structures and they dance on the slightest wind. I have very few photos of them for that reason. The wind generally never stops in San Francisco and Berkeley. Good work, James!

  4. Elissa

    I love the poetry.

Leave a Reply