PCU team heads to the Karoo Desert National Botanical Garden with Kimberlie and Michael McCue

25 Oct 2018 - 12:15

On 4 August 2018, Plant Conservation Unit (PCU) Director, Prof. Timm Hoffman, and PCU research assistant, Sally Mashele, took Dr Kimberlie McCue and her husband, Michael, to visit the Karoo Desert National Botanical Garden (KDNBG) in Worcester, Western Cape. Dr McCue is the Director of Research, Conservation and Collections at the Desert Botanical Garden (DBG) in Phoenix, United States of America and colleague of long-time friend of the PCU, Dr Joe McAuliffe. Kimberlie was in South Africa to attend the Global Partnership for Plant Conservation hosted by the South African National Biodiversity Institute. While in Cape Town, she visited the PCU to meet the team. The PCU team travelled with Dr McCue to the KDNBG where she met the curator, Werner Voigt and took a tour of the area.

From left to right:  Michael and Kimberlie McCue (Director DBG), Werner Voigt (KDNBG Curator) and Sally Mashele (PCU Research Assistant). Photo credit: Timm Hoffman

The KDNBG falls in the Succulent Karoo biome and has a range of arid and semi-arid plants. The area is divided into 143 hectares of natural vegetation and 11 hectares of cultivated land. The team spent time in the nursery of rare and endemic succulents and explored the Shale trail.  We also visited the Worcester Veld Reserve to give Kimberlie the opportunity to see, first-hand the large and impressive heuweltjies which dot the hillslope at this site.

Top: Dr Kimberlie McCue standing on a heuweltjie at the Worcester Veld Reserve. Bottom: Different views of the Karoo Desert National Botanical Garden in Worcester. Photo credit: Timm Hoffman and Sally Mashele.

~ Article and images supplied by Sally Mashele