The Mimetus Arboreus is a very rare flower; is confined to the Kogelberg Range (including Fernkloof) and is usually encountered as a single plant, although small subpopulations are also known to exist, however they never exceed 100 individuals. The Arboreus prefers a wetter climate, being found mostly in heavily shaded and marshy areas. Its rarity is due to the Subpopulations declining because of frequent fires, to which the species is susceptible as it is a reseeder and takes eight years to reach maturity. The deliberate exclusion of fire for many years may not have had a totally beneficial effect because periodic fires are needed to ensure recruitment.
The Arboreus is recognised by its silvery broad leaves that grow in a circular pattern up the entirety of the plant’s stem, ending in a colourful bloom of roughly 15cm in diameter. The bloom itself is usually a pink-and-green flower, with fronds protruding from the spaces between “layers”.
This stunning flower can be found within the Fernkloof Nature Reserve and is a spectacle to behold, if you’re lucky enough to stumble upon it during your walks/hikes.
Hilton-Taylor, C. et al. 1998. Mimetes arboreus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 06 October 2014.