Cobra lilies (Chasmanthe) are amazing plants. There are four species that are found in the area.
Chasmanthe floribunda is indigenous to Peninsula Shale Renosterveld, and Chasmanthe aethiopica is indigenous to Cape Flats Dune Strandveld, Peninsula Shale Renosterveld. Chasmanthe bicolor is listed as vulnerable. Chasmanthe floribunda 'Duckittii' occurred traditionally further north of Cape Town, but it has beautiful yellow flowers.
There are a number of reasons why these plants are magnificent to grow:
For these reasons it is possible to find cobra lilies in many parts of the city. However, they tend to grow in dense clusters in private gardens or in affluent neighborhoods. When they seed they can produce hundreds of bright-orange seeds per plant. However, these seeds will often get lost within the dense cluster. Furthermore, bulbs will reproduce underground and further densify the cluster.
The goal of the Cobra Lily Bonanza project is to achieve the following goals:
This project will be meticuously documented, and as per Communitree standards detailed records will be kept of the number of seeds and bulbs harvested, of the origin and destination of each of them, and of the performance of the growers. Furthermore, timelapse photos will be made to record the changes over time and to show the visual impact of the cobra lilies. Finally, the impact on the birds will be studied by having our animal monitors document sightings of birds and other animals in a number of patches.
If the project proves successful then this work can continue to run, with more and more cobra lily seeds available each year.