Playing with Plants in the Karoo
No, the Karoo is not dry and desolate, it just looks like that, from a distance. Take the time...
No, the Karoo is not dry and desolate, it just looks like that, from a distance. Take the time to stop along the side of the road, and you'll find the most incredible plants.
The Matchstick plant (Tapinanthus oleifolius)
This interesting shrub flowers in winter in the Karoo. It is half-parasitic so you will always find it growing inside another plant. This is not a plant that you will notice any other time of the year, it's very secretive, but once the flowers start showing, and the host plant loses some of the leaves in winter, you can't miss them. The flowers are characterized by red flowers, with yellow tops, resembling matches. The fun part is that when you twist the top of the "match" the flower petals curl open to release pollen.