Melville Koppies
Guiding Information

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table of Contents

 

Fact File  3

Early History of Melville Koppies  3

Plants of Melville Koppies  5

Flowers  5

Grasses  5

Trees  7

Glossary  10

Flora Glossary  10

Botanic derivations. 10

Name  10

Latin/Greek/Arabic derivation  11

Bibliography/Acknowledgements  14

 

 

Fact File

 

Info

East Koppies 10 ha

Central 50 ha

West 100ha

1933 Frans Geldenhuys donated 13 ha to the city

Jhb Council bought other parts in 1942

Proclaimed a nature reserve in 1959

1963 Iron Age furnace excavated 600 years old

1968 area proclaimed a National monument

2001 National Heritage site

2003 wheelchair trail

Birds- 200 species recorded

Snakes, lizards tortoises

Insects.

Flora-548 different species. 54 exotics

62 tree species

16 shrubs

59 grasses

411 herbs

2 red data plants

Nearly 100 research papers

School courses for grades 4 and 7 sponsored by Nedbank

Clubs and specialist groups

Sa Birdlife does ringing since 1956

African Independent churches use MK west on Sundays

Local walk MK East and West

Tourists

 

Early History of Melville Koppies

 

Date/ time

Event

3000 mya

Large inland lake

2600 mya

MK submerged in shallow sea

2025 mya

Meteor struck at Vredefort

2000 mya

Large granite dome intruded

1425 mya

Pilanesburg intrusion

700-500 mya

Volcanic activity

Last 500 my

4 ice ages

260 mya

Large deltas

200 mya

forerunners of crocodiles, birds and dinosaurs

183 mya

Gondwana crust cracked formed Drakensberg

123 mya

Gondwanaland split into continents

90 mya

First flowering plants

65 mya

Sea levels fall, dinosaurs die

26 mya

Climate became warm and wet

23 mya

Benguela current developed

4.5 mya

Increasing aridity first hominids grasslands

2.8 mya

Ice sheets spread loss of arboreal animals

2.5 mya

Early man appears

1.6 mya

Early stone age

1.4 mya

Bifacial tools

250 kya

Middle stone age

20 kya

Late stone age

2500 ya

Iron smelting furnaces

600-400 ya

Settlements on Klipriviersberg

 

Pre 1900

 

1827

Mzilikatzi settled in Magaliesberg

1836

Vegkop

1843

British annexations

1851

Gerrit Bezuidenhout applied for title of farm Braamfontein

1852

Gold found at Paardekraal

1858

Granted title transferred to brother F. J Bezuidenhout

1862

Farm subdivided into 3 parts about 500 morgen each. Southern portion returned to Gerrit Bezuidenhout

1871

Southern portion sold ending up with ZAR Government

1884

Fred Strubens prospect for gold

1886

Eastern part ended up with Dirk Geldenhuis

1887

Western portion bought by Frans and Louw Geldenhuis.

Louw Geldenhuis married Emmarentia Botha

1891

Further subdivision

1895

Frans elected to the Volksraad

1902

Louw Geldenhuis school & Langlaagte Kindertehuis

 

 

 

Plants of Melville Koppies

Flowers

Common Name

Scientific Name

Other info

Aloe davyana

Aloe davyana

o  Succulent

o  Leaves upper surface green dotted with whitish spots

o  Extensive stands in overgrazed areas

o  winter

Ipomoea sinensis

Ipomoea sinensis

o  Annual herb with trailing or twining stem

Milkweed

Asclepias fruticosa

o  African monarch butterfly larvae lives on leaves, absorbs poison through the latex.

o  Stems contain fibre used for sewing

o  Used in traditional medicine for chest and stomach problems

o  Latex used for removal of warts

o  Seed hairs used as tinder and to stuff pillows and mattresses

Walafrida densiflora

Walafrida densiflora

o  perennial rootstock

o  summer

Hairy star flower

Hypoxis hemerocallidea

o  African potato

o  Rhizome used in traditional medicine

Grasses

Common Name

Scientific Name

Other info

Bent Grass

Agrostis lachnantha

o   

Black Seed grass

Alleteropsis semialata

o   

Stab Grass

Andropogon schirensis

o   

Curly leafed three awn grass

Aristida aequiglumis

o   

Spreading three awn

Aristida congesta sp barbicollis

o  Low grazing value

o  Pioneer grass

o  Increaser 2

o  Good indicator of overgrazing

o  Penetrates the wool of sheep and angora decreasing their value

Ngongoni three awn grass

Aristida junciformis

o   

Mountain three awn grass

Aristida transvaalensis

o   

False love grass

Bewsia biflora

o   

Black footed signal grass

Brachiaria nigropedata

o   

Velvet signal grass

Brachiaria serrata

o   

Spider web grass

Chloris pyncnothrix

o   

Feather top grass

Chloris virgata

o   

Broad leafed turpentine grass

Cymbopogon excavatus

o  low grazing value

o  climax

o  increaser 1

o  used in Lesotho to line baskets to keep rodents away

Giant Turpentine Grass

Cymbopogon plurinodes

o   

Couch grass

Cynodon dactylon

o  High grazing value

o  pioneer

o  increaser 2

Brown finger Grass

Digitaria brazzae

o   

Finger grass

Digitaria eriantha

o   

One fingered grass

Digitaria monodactyla

o   

Purple finger grass

Digitaria tricholaenoides

o   

Broad leafed bluestem

Diheteropogon amplectens

o   

Thread leaved bluestem

Diheteropogon filifolius

o   

Shade ehrharta

Ehrharta erecta

o   

Wire grass

Elionurus muticus

o   

Heart-seed love grass

Eragrostis capensis

o   

Narrow leafed love grass

Eragrostis chloromelas

o   

Weeping love grass

Eragrostis curvula

o   

Gum grass

Eragrostis gummiflua

o   

Footpath grass

Eragrostis psuedosclerantha

o   

Narrow heart love grass

Eragrostis racemosa

o   

Branched love grass

Eragrostis stapfii

o   

Common thatching grass

Hyparrhenia hirta

o  Average grazing value

o  increaser 1

o  sub climax

o  climax

o  most popular thatching grass

Blue thatching grass

Hyparrhenia tamba

o  low grazing value

o  climax

o  increaser 1

Natal red top

Melinis repens

o  Low grazing value

o  Pioneer

o  Sub climax

o  Increaser 2

Boat grass

Monocymbium ceresiiforme

o  Relatively palatable

o  Indicative of sourveld

Guinea Grass

Panicum maximum

o  Palatable

o  Decreaser

o  Sub climax

o  Climax

Red autumn grass

Schizachyrium sanguineum

o  Low grazing value

o  Climax grass

o  Increaser 1

o  Can be used as thatching

Red Grass

Themeda triandra

o  High grazing value

o  Climax grass

o  Decreaser

o  Good indicator of veld in healthy condition

o  Is resistant to fire

Trees

Common Name

Scientific Name

Other info

Ankle Thorn Enkeldoring

Acacia robusta

o  Can be used for yokes

o  Wedges to split other wood

o  Under bark used to make twine

o  Bark used for tanning and treatment of skin ailments

o  Steam from boiled bark inhaled for chest complaints

Berg Karee

Rhus leptodictya

o  Beer brewed from fruit

o  Medicinal usage

o  Sensitive to severe frost

o  Fence posts

o  Pick handles and parts of wagons

o  Bowls for tobacco pipes

o  Khoisan made bows

Blue Bush

Diospyros lycioides

o  frayed roots used as toothbrushes

o  larval food plant for butterfly Poecilmitis lycegenes

Blue guarri

Euclea crispa

o  Branches used to beat out veld fires

o  Bark and leaves browsed by black rhino.

o  Twigs used as toothbrush

o  Bark and fruit used medicinally

o  Root yields dark brown dye- used in basket weaving

Buffalo thorn/ blinkblaarwag-‘n-bietjie

Ziziphus mucronata

o  Leaves browsed by stock and game

o  Magic and medicinal purposes

o  Juice used by San in poison

o  Fruit edible but not tasty

o  Wood hard heavy and fine textured. Suitable for tool handles, spoons and general purpose timber

Highveld Cabbage tree

Cussonia paniculata

o  Wood light and soft.

o  Once used as brake blocks of wagons

Common Hookthorn

Acacia caffra

o  Leaves and pods browsed by stock.

o  Some medicinal uses

o  Butterflies Deudorix vansoni and D. penningtoni breed in galls on the branches

Common resin tree

Ozoroa  paniculosa

o  Browsed by elephant and black rhino

o  Fruit used for dying leather

o  Resin used for mending pots

Drolpeer/ Wild pear

Dombeya rotundifolia

o  Implement handles, yokes and mine props

o  Bark used for fibre and rope

o  Bark root and wood used medicinally

o  Bride of the Bushveld?

o  Infusion of the bark is used to treat intestinal ulcers.

o  Decoction of the bark used to hasten labour

o  Flowers used in a love potion

Fire Thorn

Rhus pyroides

o  Roots used for medicinal purposes

o  Parasitised occasionally with galls

o  Fruit edible

o  No spines on MK

Jacket plum

Pappea capensis

o  Heavily browsed by game and stock

o  Fleshy cover of seeds edible- makes a jam

o  Seeds bear oil- edible, medicinal, soap making

Karee

Rhus lancea

o  Sexes on different trees

o  Bark used for tanning

o  Branchlets used to make bows

o  Fruit makes beer

Parsley tree

Heteromorpha trifoliata

o  Leaves and root used medicinally

o  Smoke from burning wood also medicinal

River bushwillow

Combretum erythrophyllum

o  Wood suitable for general purpose timber

o  Carved household utensils

o  Damaged stems yield a gum for varnish

o  Browsed by giraffe and elephant

o  Seeds poisonous?  Used to purge dogs of intestinal worms. Eaten by pied barbets

o  Shade tree

Sagewood

Buddlea salviifolia

o  Leaves browsed by game

o  Heartwood once used for shafts of assegais

o  Leaf and root used medicinally

o  Leaves make herbal tea

Sugarbush

Protea caffra

o  Bark used medicinally

o  Larval food for butterflies Capys disjunctus and C. penningtoni

Sweet Thorn

Acacia karroo

o  Browsed by game

o  Bark used in tanning

o  Bark yields a strong rope

o  Produces an edible gum used in traditional medicine

o  Seeds roasted as coffee substitute

Transvaal sumach

Osyris quadipartita

o  Probably a root parasite

Wild medlar

Vangueria infausta

o  Browsed by game

o  Fruit is edible

o  Roots used medicinally

o  Papillate galls on leaves

Wild Peach

Kiggelaria africana

o  Acraea horta butterfly larvae feeds on leaves

o  Fruit eaten by birds.

o  General purpose timber

o  Spokes for wagon wheels

Wit Stinkhout

Celtis africana

o  Larval food for Charaxes Cithaeron and Libythea labdaca

o  Shade tree

o  Can be confused with C. australis, and C. sinensis

 

Glossary

 

Flora Glossary

Term

Explanation

Anther

The part of the stamen containing the pollen

Appressed

Lying close to or pressed flat against the surface

Arcuate

Curved into an arch

Axil

The upper angle between the leaf and the stem on which it is carried

Axis

The main stem of a plant

Bilobed

Divided into 2 lobes

Bipinnate, bipinnately compound

When the first divisions (pinnae or leaflets) of a leaf are further divided (see pinnate)

Bract

A usually small, leaf like structure, in the axil from which rises a flower or branch of an inflorescence

 

Botanic derivations.

 

Name

 

Asclepias

Asklepius, god of medicine

berkheya

M. de Berkhey, Dutch botanists

bonatea

M. Bonat, professor of botany at Padua

castalis

Name of a nymph

chironia

Centuar, father of medicine and botany

commelina

Brothers Commelina, early Dutch botanists

cooperi

Thomas Cooper, collected Cape plants in 19thC

crabbea

George Crabbe, English poet

euphorbia

Euphorbus, physician to the king of Mauretania

galpinii

Dr E Galpin, collector of SA plants

gerbera

Franz Gerber, a German naturalist

harveyanus

W. Harvey, who wrote part of the standard work on SA plants, “flora capensis”

hebenstrei

J. Hebesteit, professor of medicine at Leipzig

hermania

Paul Herman, a botanist who collected in Ceylon

homeria

Named after the poet, Homer

katherinae

Mrs. Katherine Saunders of Tongaat

kniphofia

J.H. Kniphof, professor of medicine at Erfurt

kohautia

Francisci Kohaut, inventor and plant collector

krausii

Dr Ferdinand Krauss, an early plant collector in Natal

krebsiana

George Krebs, a German who farmed at the Cape during the 19thC

lapeirousia

Phillipe de la Peirouse,

lobelia

Mathias de Lobel,  a Flemish physician and botanists

monsonia

Lady Anne Monson corresponded with Linnaeus and helped Lee with his book on “Intro to Botany.”

moraea

R. More, English botanist, but adapted by Linnaeus to honour his wife, Mora

nelsonii

William Nelson, Jhb nurseryman and plant collector

Oldenlandea

H. Oldenland, a curator of the DEIC garden at Cape

ommaneyi

Capt Ommaney collected plants in the vicinity if Johannesburg during Anglo Boer War

Pavonia,

Don Jose Pavon, a Spanish botanist who collected in Peru

pearsonia

Prof Pearson, first director of Kirstenbosch

pollichia

J.A. Pollich, German doctor and botanical author

rehmanii

Joseph Rehman, a physician and botanist of Leningrad

rendalii

Dr Rendall of the British Museum

schinzianus

Prof Hans Schinz of Zurich

sebae

Albert Seba, Dutch apothecary , naturalist and writer

stainbankiae

Mrs. Stainbank of Natal

stapelia

J. van Stapel, Dutch physician

sutera

J.R. Suter, professor of botany at Berne

tulbaghia

Ryk Tulbagh, Cape governor

vellozia

J.M. Vellos, monk and naturalist of Rio de Janeiro

vernonia

William Vernon,  English botanists who collected plants in North America

vigna

Dominc Vigna, 17thC Italian scientist

wahlenbergia

Prof of botany at Upsala

Walafrida

Walafrida Strabo wrote a  medieval gardening book

welwitschii

Friedrich Welwitsch, German explorer

zaluzianskya

Adam Zaluziansky, Polish botanists

zeyheri

Karl Zeyher, a German who collected plants in SA

 

 

 

Latin/Greek/Arabic derivation

acalypha

Akalos = unpleasant, aphe = touch (Greek name for the nettle)

acaulis

A = without, caulis = stem

adoensis

Place in Ethiopia

affinis

Related

ajuga

A = without, jugum = yoke(calyx not two lipped)

albuca

Albus = white

Alliacea

Alliaceus = with the smell of garlic, onions

aloe

Alloch = Arabic name for this genus

amatymbica

Amatymbae = of the aba Thembu people of Kaffraria

andrus

Male stamens

antennifera

Antenna = sailyard, fero = I bear

anthericum

Greek name for stem of asphodel

argyrolobium

Argyros = silver, lobion = pod

babiana

Misspelling baboon

becium

Ancient name for sage plant

blepharis

Eyelash

bulbispermum

Bulb, seed, alludes to shape of seed

Callilepis

Kalos = beautiful, lepis = scale

capitatus

With a knob-like head

capitellata

Little heads

carnosa

Carnosus = fleshy, pulpy

cephalaria

Cephalus = head

cerophegia

Keros = wax, pege = fountain (waxy flowers)

clavarioides

Resembling clavaria, a fungus

clavata

Clavatus = club-shaped (inflorescence)

clavicornis

Clava = club, cornis = horned

clematopsis

Klema  = vine, opsis = like (certain features resemble clematis, a climber)

cleome

Klein = shut (flowers)

clerodendrum

Clero = chance, dendron = tree (implying of no significance)

columbaria

A dove. Refers to colour forms

costata

Ribbed (leaves)

cotyledon

Kotule = small cup(alludes to leaves)

crassifolius

Crassus = thick, folium = leaf

crassipes

Crassus = thick, pes = foot

crassula

Crassus = thick

crinum

Lily

cucumis

Cucumber

cyanotis

Cyanos = blue, otis = ear

cynoglossum

Kunos = dog, glossa = tongue (refers to rough texture )

cyperus

Kupeiros = Greek word for sedge

cyrtanthos

Kytos = curved, anthos = flower

decipiens

Deceptive

delosperma

Delos = exposed, sperma = seed

depressus

Sunken, as if flattened from above

dianthus

Dios = divine, anthos = flower

dicoma

Di = two, coma = tuft at summit

dipcadi

Oriental name for grape hyacinth

ensifolia

Ensis – sword

eragrostis

Era = love, agrostis = grass

eriospermum

Erion = wool, sperma = seed

eucomis

Eu = handsome, coma = tuft at top

eulophia

Eu = handsome, lohos = crest

foliosus

Very leafy

gazania

Gaza = riches, Alludes to the bright colours of the flowers

gladiolus

Sword

helichrysum

Elios = sun, chyrssos = gold

heliophila

Elios = sun, philos = loving

hemizygia

Hemi = half, zygos = yoke

herbaceae

Soft and green, not woody

herbeus

Grass coloured

hibiscus

Marsh mallow

hypoestes

Hypo = under, estia = house (bracts cover the calyx)

hypogea

Hypo = beneath, geos = earth

hypoxis

Hypo = beneath, oxys     = sharp (refers to base of capsule)

indigofera

Indigo = blue/violet dye, fero = I bear

inornatus

Unadorned, not showy

ipomoea

Ips = bindweed, homoios = similar

kalanchoe

Chinese name

lanatum

Lanatus = wooly

latifolia

Latus = broad, folium = leaf

leonotis

Leo  = lion, otis = ear

leptophylla

Leptod = thin, phyllon = leaf

luridum

Luridus = dingy, sallow, wan

Luteo-rubrum

Luteus = yellow, ruber = red (perianth)

marginata

Margined

menodora

Menos = force, vigour, courage

microcarpus

Micro = small, carpus = fruit

monophlla

Mono = one, phullon = leaf

mooiensis

Of the Mooi River

multifidus

Multi = many, fidus = divided

myriantha

Myrias = countless, anthos  = flower

nidorella

Nidor = strong smell

oboratum

Ob = inverted, ovatus = egg (egg-shaped leaves)

ophrydis

Resembling the orchid, ophrys

ornithogalum

Ornith = pertaining to birds, gala = milk

oxalis

Oxys = acid, als = salt (leaves acidic)

oxytropis

Oxys = sharp/acid, tropis = turning movement, keel

pachycarpus

Pachys = thick, carpus = fruit

pallida

Pallidus = pale

palustris

Paluster = growing in boggy patches

panduraeforme

Panduratus = fiddle, forma  = shape

patens

Spreading

pelargonium

Pelargos – stork (fruit shaped like a stork’s bill)

pentanisia

Penta = five, anisos = unequal (refers to calyx)

pentarrhinum

Penta = five, rhin = snout

peucadanum

Peuke = pine, danos = parched, has a strong resinous smell

plantagina

Plantagineus = plantain like

polygala

Poly = many, gala = milk (certain species are supposed to increase the flow of milk if grazed)

polygonum

Poly = many, gonu = knee (stem)

psammotropha

Psammo = sand, trophor = nurse, nourishment

pulchrum

Pulcher = beautiful

purpurascens

Turning purple

pychnostachys

Pycnos = dense, stachys = spike

racemosus

Spikelets in racemes

ranunculus

Rana = frog, i.e. grows in moist places

raphionacme

Raphis – needle, acme = point

reticulata

Like a network (veined leaves)

retinervis

Rete = network, nervus = vein (latticed leaf sheath)

rhynchelytrum

Rugchos = beak, elutron = sclae (beaked bracts)

scabiosa

Scabies = itch. Some species used as a cure for this itch.

scabiosifolia

Scaber = rough, folium = leaf

schizostylis

Schizo = to split, stylos = column, style

scilla

Skyllo = to injure, some are poisonous

selago

Sel = sight, jach = salutary, from the Celtic, in reference to the supposed medicinal properties of the genus

seminivea

Semi – half, niveus = showy

semitrifidus

Semi = half, tri = three, fidus = divided

senecio

Senex = old man (refers to the pappus)

sessilefolia

Sessilis = without a stalk

setifolium

Seta = bristle

setosa

Setosus = bristly

setulosa

Setulosus  = minutely bristly

solanum

Nightshade

speciosa

Speciosus = showy, splendid

sphenostylis

Spheno = wedge,, stylos = column (style)

stellifero

Stella = star, fero = I bear

stenophylla

Stenos = narrow, phyllon = leaf

striga

Swathe

subintegra

Sub = approaching the condition indicated, integer – not divided

tephrosia

Tephros = ashen (foliage of many species)

themeda

Arabic name for certain grass

trita

Tritus = bruised, rubbed (hackneyed and common)

tritonia

Variable directions taken by stamen

tuphos

Marsh

verecunda

Verecundus = modest, blushing

vexillatus

Bearing a standard

virens

Green

viride

Viridis = green

Bibliography/Acknowledgements

Title

Author

Field Guide to insects of South Africa

Mike Picker, Charles Griffiths and Alan Weaving

Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of the Highveld

Braam van Wyk and Sasa Malan

Field Guide to Trees of Southern Africa

Braam van Wyk and Piet van Wyk

Guide to grasses of Southern Africa

Fritz van Oudtshoorn

Melville Koppies Nature Reserve Guidebook

Johannesburg Council for Natural History 1962 Revised 1970

Sappi tree spotting Bushveld

Rina Grant and Val Thomas

Trees of Southern Africa

Keith Coates Palgrave

Southern African trees. A photographic guide

Piet van Wyk

A photographic guide to wild flowers of South Africa

Braam van Wyk

Grasses of the Melville Koppies

Norman Baines

Indigenous grasses on Melville Koppies Module 10

Richard Hall

The Story Of Melville Koppies. Module 12

Richard Hall

Pre History relating to Melville Koppies Module 13

Richard Hall

The People of Melville Koppies

Richard Hall

Iron Age Smelting at Melville Koppies

Wendy Carstens

Man in Africa before the iron age

Norman Baines

Modern History relating to Melville Koppies module 14

Richard Hall

 

 

 

Updated 2/26/2009