About Umvoti Flower Reserve

The relatively unknown Umvoti Flower Reserve, also known as Lake Merthley Wildflower Reserve, lies on the shores of Lake Merthley just outside of Greytown in the Natal Midlands.

Did you know? The famous Hilton daisy, one of about 100 flowering plants that occur in the Wildflower Reserve, is visible during the flowering period from late January to March.

Except that the fences of the reserve have been stolen. Which means that although the reserve is contained within the Lake Merthley surrounds, it isn't designated or obvious. As a result, you might get the odd local to point it out to you. Or stay long enough, during flower season, to watch the local deer, who seem to know exactly where it is as they eat the flowers.

It is worth knowing that the famous Hilton daisy, one of about 100 flowering plants that occur in the Wildflower Reserve, is visible during the flowering period (January to March). But there are also ground orchids and late flowering Dieramas that those in the know head here to see.

The daisy is typically bright red but can also range in colour from yellow through orange to scarlet. It is rare because it typically grows only in the high rainfall mist-belt grasslands of KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga, both also ideal for growing trees for the timber industry. The plant typically spreads by means of underground stems and does not transplant easily.

Despite its elusiveness, the Hilton Daisy is only one of a total of 100 flowering plants that appear in the two hectare Umvoti Flower Reserve. Others include the blue scilla, red indigo, tinsel flower, asters, harebells, watsonia, at least four species of ground orchids and the dwarf sugarbush.

Experts advise mid-October because you may catch both the red Hilton daisy and the blue scilla in flower at the same time. But January to March are equally as good, with a chance to see ground orchids.

Unfortunately the reserve's custodian, Vic Schutte, recently retired and despite several avid flower experts in the area, no-one has yet taken responsibility for the reserve. It is a pity this wonderful asset to the area is not catered for.

Need to Know

WhereUmvoti Flower Reserve, Greytown, Natal Midlands, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

WhenDaylight hours.

OvernightStay in Greytown Accommodation, KwaZulu Natal

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