Blushing Brides

The first Blushing Bride flowers, or Serruria, were collected in the Franschhoek Mountains by Swedish botanist Carl Thunberg in 1773. The flowers were recorded and described but not again seen or collected for another 110 years and were generally believed to be extinct. Authorities differ in their accounts of the history of this flower and many varying accounts exist, but is seems that cultivation and conservation of these flowers started somewhere between the late 1890 -1920s.    


The origin of the popular name ‘Blushing Bride’ is also uncertain. One story suggests that French Huguenot farmers would approach their girlfriends with a Serruria flower in their lapels when about to ask for their hand in marriage. The common name, Blushing Bride, apart from the obvious inference of the flower’s colour, derives from the fact that the suitor's intention was apparent to all who met him, much to the embarrassment of his bride to be.    


Today the flowers are critically endangered, mostly due to threat by invasive alien species such as pines and too frequent bush fires as immature plants are not given enough time to produce seeds that will rejuvenate the underground seed bank.    


At Anthonij Rupert we have named our Cape of Good Hope Chardonnay “Serruria” for these beautiful flowers. Our Elandskloof estate, high up in the Franschhoek Mountains on the Villiersdorp side, is ideally suited for these flowers to grow and thrive and it is no wonder that it can be found on the edges of our Chardonnay block. The peach- and citrus leaf aromas of this wine are underpinned by a toasty oak note which makes it an ideal white wine for winter time.  

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Author: Gerhard Olivier


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