PICS: Table Mountain blooms again after devastating fires
Following a devastating fire that raged across Table Mountain just before the national lockdown on Sunday, March 15, the mountain is slowly starting to show signs of rebirth.
This week, the first flowers have started to appear across the scorched landscape with hundreds of beautiful Parasol Lilies (Crossyne Guttata) blooming on top of the mountain.
Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company released some of the images.
According to a statement, the pale pink lilies are found on the slopes and flats of the South Western Cape and are usually the first to bloom after a fire.
"The flower head is about 20cm in diameter and can be as tall as 45cm. While the fire may have been seen to be completely destructive, fynbos must burn every 10 to 20 years, as the ash from the dead vegetation is returned to the soil for another cycle," said Wahida Parker, Managing Director of the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company (TMACC).
“Nature reminds us that there is hope when all seems lost. While times may seem dark, like the rebirth that the mountain is experiencing, we have to remain hopeful that better days are coming," she added.
Some major fires of the past include the Christmas Day fire on Devil’s Peak in 1935, another one on the northern slopes of Table Mountain in January 1950 and a big fire of January 2000 that started at Red Hill and Silvermine. Fires are by nature sensational news, even more so on the Cape Peninsula, where a national park protecting fynbos must burn every 10 to 20 years.
Marie Abraham, Environmental Control Officer at TMACC, said fire is the beginning of the life-cycle for many fynbos plants.
"Table Mountain is made out of ancient sandstone – millions of years of erosion have leached the nutrients out of the soil and through the fire the ash from the dead vegetation is returned to the soil for another cycle.
"Some plants (like some of the restios or reeds) have ants store their seeds underground to protect it from the hot fire. Again, giving us that extra bit of hope that flowers will bloom after a disaster," said Abraham.
Notable fynbos that has also started flowering, includes the beautiful pink and white sugar bushes (Protea repens).