Gomphostigma virgatum is here growing in a fast-flowing mountain stream. The photo was taken in the Drakensberg during January. Not only does this plant recover well from floods when growing on riverbanks, it may thrive in midstream where the water is shallow. The willowy branches bend under the force of the water, but don’t break easily. The plant will also grow in standing water.
The leaves are sometimes hairy. Flowers grow from leaf axils near stem tips. The four-petalled flower becomes 1,2 cm in diameter.
A mid-river station for life as seen here may protect the plant from being cut for making brooms or being browsed by livestock or game; misfortunes that tend to befall this plant where it is easily accessible. The birds that are wont to take pieces of the stems for building their nests won’t be deterred by this plant's positioning. That will not ruin the plant.
Biological diversity thrives on species interdependence. So do societies with the habit of sharing (Manning, 2009; Vlok and Schutte-Vlok, 2010; www.plantzafrica.com).