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Diminutive Powderpuff - Sorocephalus tenuifolius

The Diminutive Powderpuff was thought to be extinct. The farmer ploughed up the only known stand during 1985 for an apple orchard, and that was it - gone! The stand was in an eroded piece of land. Unfortunately, the plant failed to capture the publics imagination - it is the ugliest member of a rather obscure genus of proteas. During the 1990s two new populations of the species have been discovered. Both are on erosion scars. Here we have a rare species that thrives on (natural) bad land management. The very features that are abhorrent to any reserve manager are essential for the conservation of this species. Unfortunately for the species, the populations are right in the middle of one of the proposed Kogelberg Dams. When built this dam will not even provide enough water for Cape Townians to keep their gardens green. Will we sacrifice a major Wilderness Area for a green city? The lesson is this. When you turn on a tap, flick a switch, eat your food, or buy a spade, the impacts of your action may extend thousands of miles away, into the very heart of the wilderness areas we hold dear. And your actions may impact on the existence of some diminutive, little-known plant or animal, that you don't even know exists.

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