Jamesbrittenia jurassica is another sprawling, mat-forming perennial of the higher reaches of Drakensberg grassland. It seems like an appropriate growth form for survival in an alpine habitat where snow covers are bestowed annually. The plant branches from a woody base above a sturdy taproot. The leaves have a covering of glistening, glandular hairs. Leaf shape is oblong to ovate and deeply lobed.
The pink or purple flowers grow axillary with corolla tubes up to 9 mm in length. The spreading corolla lobes are 1,5 cm in diameter. The throat of the corolla is cream, the stamens lurking inside. Short blue lines adorn the petal lobes at the base. Blooming comes in midsummer, lasting until early autumn; business better be finished well before winter!
The plants grow on gravelly rock sheets found on these mountain summits. This specimen was caught flowering in January in the Mkhomazi Wilderness Area, close to the Lesotho border.
There are 83 species of Jamesbrittenia in southern Africa (Manning, 2009).