How a dotty scientist proved evolution is happening on some west ...

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How a dotty scientist proved evolution is happening on some west coast sand

A new species of flower is evolving near Cape Town and scientists have a front-row seat

Cape Town bureau chief

At first glance – and probably at second and third, too – you wouldn’t think a sandy patch of scrub on the west coast near Cape Town had much to recommend it.

If you’re a long-tongued fly or a pienk koringblom, however, it’s heaven. And if you’re an evolutionary ecologist, it’s nirvana.

That’s because the combination of the fly and the flower – also called the long-tubed iris and the sandveld cabong (or Lapeirousia anceps, if it’s a Sunday) – has proved that a new species of flower is evolving and given scientists a front-row seat...

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