• Contact Person: Heilie Mostert
  • Contact Number: 082 392 1178
  • E-mail Address: heilie.mostert@gmail.com
  • Address: Church Street, Pearly Beach, 7210

The term “herbarium” means the collection of dried plants or parts of plants that are indexed and stored for scientific research information. The Pearly Beach Conservancy was started many years ago with a realisation that something must be done to conserve our precious environment, and also to develop a love and interest among the people staying in Pearly Beach. One of the projects begun by the Conservancy at that time was the development of a small herbarium , started with the permission of the local Municipality and Cape Nature Conservation. We were indebted to be able to seek advice from people and organisations in our area with prior knowledge of starting this type of project, e.g. Cape Nature and Grootbos, as well as the friendly ladies at the existing Fernkloof Herbarium in Hermanus. To house the plants, a small wooden “house” was bought and converted into the herbarium building. Heilie Mostert became the project leader and she managed the herbarium from its infancy, through to its new home in a purpose-built brick building on the village green.

So how does the herbarium work?
Every Friday, cuttings of fresh plants and seeds are gathered by four ladies for the exhibition room, done strictly under the conditions of the permit issued by Cape Nature. A GPS reading is taken of where each plant has been picked, and the plant is then identified by making use of research books. Any new specimens that are identified then go through the pressing process. The plant’s scientific name, and the book used to identify it, along with the date it was picked are recorded on the back of the specimen card. This card is then numbered and filed. Each December, a complete list of all the plants that have been picked in Pearly Beach are submitted to Cape Nature. They catalogue the information and, in return, provide us with a satellite photo of where each plant was picked. The reason for the conservation of plant specimens by pressing is so that they can be kept indefinitely and, in Pearly Beach alone, 316 indigenous plants have been identified to-date. The exciting prospect of discovering a plant that was thought to be extinct, along with preserving a snapshot of our unique floral environment is the reason we run this project. So, please come and visit us in our new home on the village green and see for yourself this fantastic and important work.

Visits to the Herbarium are only by appointment.