Helena Joubert is based in Knysna, and have a deep connection with the local landscape. A horticulturist specialising in vegetation rehabilitation, she is acutely aware of the devastation exacted by humans on our fragile eco-systems and how near impossible it is to truly ameliorate damage done.  She is an active trustee/volunteer at Pledge Nature Reserve in Knysna. In 2017 she exhibited at Avo Pomme, Knysna, under the theme ‘Black to Green’ – inspired by the regrowth after the devastating fires in the area in the winter of 2017. Helena creates oil studies of scented indigenous flowers, of which she also captures the perfume.

Species Focus for VERGE

“Whilst clearing invasive alien vegetation during the volunteer initiative ‘Weeding Wednesday’ at Pledge Nature Reserve, Nanna Joubert discovered a rare plant which has been on the ‘be-on-the-lookout for’ list of CREW (Custodians of Rare and Endangered Wildflowers).

The species, SANBI Red Listed as ‘Vulnerable’, is Dioscorea burchellii, a member of the Yam family.

Better-known relatives are the ‘Elephant’s Foot’ and the yam, a sweet potato-like root vegetable. Its range of occurrence is from Humansdorp to George but has only been recorded at 10 sites.

The natural habitat of this delicate climber is threatened by development and encroachment by invasive alien vegetation.

Other rare plants in the reserve are the ‘Near threatened’ Dioscorea mundii and Oxalis pendulifolia.”  (source)