Knersvlakte means the ‘gnashing plain’, and it is an extensive dry region, consisting of gently rolling hills covered with white quartz pebbles. This region is located just north west of the Bokkeveld Mountains near Nieuwouldville, and the vegetation is succulent karoo and dominated by small leaf succulents.
Many plants (especialy Aizoaceae) are growing only here due to the white quartz gravel, which reflects the sunlight, and is less hot during the extremely arid summers. The dwarf and compact plants, also have an ideal form to absorb thermal heat for the short cool winter growing season when rain occurs.
The Knarsvlekte is also the southern most distribution of the quiver tree, Aloe dichotoma. On a different day, after work at the Hantam Garden, I drove north to find the quiver tree forest. They are very slow growing and had just finished flowering. The San tribes (Bushman) used the tree stems as quivers, hence the name. The place is unreal and the Aloes something else - I have never seen anything even closely like this!