Dr. Marguerite Getrud Anna Hendrici (1892-1971)The union government consulted Dr. MGH Hendrici on the planning and equipping of the laboratories and other buildings in this unique physiological research facility.  The emphasis of the facility was the research of  Karoo plants.

The research facility (known as the "Veld Reserve") was completed in 1929 and consisted of 75 morgen (mostly "koppieveld") municipal ground that was allocated in 1926 for the purpose of studying problems connected with the Karoo veld and to some extent, pasture problems in other parts of the country.  In 1930 a further 25 morgen was added.

As time progressed, 72 nursery plots, a large number of seedling-plots, and 15 half- and one morgen plots (for grazing) was established on the plain. The grazing plots were used to determine the grazing capacity of the shrubs, and for experiments to determine the recovery of the veld after being used for grazing or being cut.

Karoo plants as well as a few indigenous grass species were planted in the different plots. Detailed records were kept of the plants' resistance against drought and the times they bore fruit or flowers. Regular samples were taken for chemical analysis.

Dr Hendrici published approximately 50 titles, and the Mesembryanthemum (vygie) Neohendricia was named to honour her.

With her retirement in 1948 her work on Tribulus spp (the "Karoo dubbeltjie") was not yet completed. When the research facility closed down, no one else completed this research.

The Field Reserve still exists, and there was no development projects since the closing of the research facility. From the lookout point on the hill outside of town, one can truly appreciate and enjoy the beauty of the area. Dr Hendrici even treated the Prince van Oranje to a cup of tea at this location!

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Last modified: 28 February 2011

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