It is amazing how quickly the desert sand comes to life after some rain. Thousands of beautiful white geophytes (“ desert lilies”) are blooming all over where there is normally golden grass and red sand. According to Ann Scott, warden at NamibRand Nature Reserve, the flowers belong to the species “Ornithogalum stapfii, which is a member of the Hyacinthaceae (hyacinth family). Apparently the bulb may remain inactive underground for many years until there is sufficient rain for the plant to grow. Ornithogalum species in general are known as chinkerinchees, Milchstern, Vogelmilch – something extremely precious. Desert lilies is a generalized term, which can be used to describe many of the geophytes, which are perennial plants having underground storage organs, such as bulbs, corms or tubers ”.
The fast transformation of the desert after the long dry period is definitely a miracle of nature and it shows once again that what is called a desert is not deserted at all. Guests walking the Tok Tokkie Trail early this year can look forward to an amazingly green and flowery landscape!