Jonkershoek to Rondebosch Common

- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa

Sundew is unmistakable. Drosera cistiflora raises surprisingly loud and proud flowers in pink and white.

Drosera cistiflora sundew
Drosera cistiflora sundew

At Blackhill I was delighted to see Aizoon sarmentosum, a succulent which grew wild in our Camps Bay garden. My 'Edelweiss'! For Wildflower Wednesday.

Aizoon sarmentosum
Aizoon sarmentosum

Pauridia capensis peacock flower is from his Jonkershoek hike. Albuca. Moraea ochroleuca. Babiana ambigua. Tiniest grasshopper for Halloween. Aristea spiralis. Apricot Oxalis obtusa. Romulea rosea growing with determination on the gravel track. Senecio arenarius. Button of yellow Cotula turbinata. Chocolate-hearted Ursinia anthemoides. Bokbaai vygie Cleretum bellidiforme on a dune far from the sea. Deep pink Diascia elongata with its twin spurs. Petalacte coronata very tiniest of white 'roses'. Hebenstreita repens delicately marked in yellow and orange. Zaluzianskya divaricata with orange marking on yellow.

Blackhill September flowers
Blackhill September flowers

Jonkershoek was his longest hike, limping back after dark. On the journey out looking across to The Cathedral.

The Cathedral (Third Ridge Peak)
The Cathedral (Third Ridge Peak)

Circling back with a long view to Simonsberg in the greyed out distance. Left is Botmaskop. Right is Square Tower Peak with The Cathedral right at the edge. 

Botmaskop, Simonsberg, Square Tower Peak and The Cathedral
Botmaskop, Simonsberg, Square Tower Peak and The Cathedral

At Redhill we walked around Brooklands - ruined houses. Tiny hamlets survive only as names on hiking maps. In England a New Zealand blogger saw parking strips with the centre planted in flowers. What South Africans call a middelmannetjie on a dirt track. Gazania pectinata petals tightly furled as we set out, braving the breeze to open at midday. My biological clock!

Middelmannetjie at Brooklands with Gazania pectinata
Middelmannetjie at Brooklands with Gazania pectinata

Watsonia and pink Erica from his Spitskop hike. Erica cerinthoides fire heath (which we saw at Kirstenbosch) Lime and burgundy Euphorbia erythrina. Satyrium in bicorne green, carneum pink and coriifolium gold. Tripteris clandestina burgundy-hearted gold. Liparia parva (the poor relation, I haven't yet seen the tall stately orange king) Blue and white Nemesia affinis. Pink stripes on cream Geissorhiza juncea. Yellow and copper Wachendorfia paniculata. Moraea fugax with a yellow crown. Tiniest blue Wahlenbergia capensis and cobalt blue Geissorhiza aspera. Carnival in Romulea hirsuta.

Redhill Brooklands September flowers
Redhill Brooklands September flowers

As he looked down from Spitskop in Silvermine, we see a very different view of our suburbs. (We live to the left beyond the picture in a middling house) On the mountain slopes are the large houses with a sea view off to the right. Upper middle class houses in a security estate with water frontage. Above the centre all the little red roofs are RDP houses - the very simplest formal housing with electricity and water. The grey band across the centre, above the reeds in the wetland (NO housing allowed because of winter flood risk) is squatter shacks. Scrap timber and corrugated iron sheets. Masiphumulele or Masi. 'We will succeed' in Xhosa.

Masiphumelele township
Masiphumelele township

We walked on Rondebosch Common in October. I was fascinated by the Pelargonium triste. The flowers stand tall above the grass, and each plant plays differently with white and cream, purple to black, and even pink.

Pelargonium triste Rondebosch Common
Pelargonium triste Rondebosch Common

A very tiny red-tipped Disa bracteata. Yellow Moraea fugax. Furled bells of Hermannia multiflora. Teeth and yellow pea flowers on Aspalathus cordata. One of my favourites Arctopus echinatus spreads its leaves wide and flat on the ground, female plants with alien flowers clustered at the centre. High on the slopes of Devil's Peak you can see the University of Cape Town. Tall blue Babiana fragrans. Unlikely combination of clear orange and lime green on Gladiolus alatus. Spotted shield bugs. Pelargonium myrrhifolium. Climbing Cyphia digitata.

Rondebosch Common October flowers
Rondebosch Common October flowers


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Pictures by Diana and Jürg Studer

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Comments

  1. I never cease to be amazed at the variety and splendor of the flowers you find on your walks. While a few of these have migrated to my part of the US, how I covert the rest! I've always heard that South Africa has an incredible diversity of flowering plants but each of your posts offers proof of that. Thanks for sharing your hikes!

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    1. What also amazes me is how long ago our plants went to new gardens. John Tradescant took Pelargonium triste to England WAY back in 1632!

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  2. The delicate, tiny flowers of Pelargonium triste Rondebosch Common are charming. All the native flowers are beautiful; it must be a joy to walk among them.

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    1. A delightful reward for the time spent walking from flower to flower!

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  3. Middelmannetje ... funny word. Never heard of it but now I will remember it. Amazing selection of flowers!

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  4. Your spring flowers are so beautiful. What a wonderful place to walk. xo Laura

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  5. SA has the most amazing flora on the planet. A privilege to see it. The long view to Simonsberg displays the staggering beauty of it all.

    So sad that the human population has the same troubles and creates the same blight upon the land world-wide.

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  6. oh my, you're hikes are stunning! We often com across beautiful ruined farms but never whole villages - how fascinating. Plus each of your collages is crying out for a frame and gallery space xxxx

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  7. I enjoyed seeing the different blooms, so pretty.
    Amalia
    xo

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  8. Such a wonderful variety of blooms amidst breathtaking scenery! I wonder how many locals take advantage of the scenic beauty by hiking as you do. Too often we take our natural wonders for granted. I also was fascinated by your photo of the township and your explanation of the neighborhoods there.

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    1. Our own group is 10 or 12, and we may see some others. A dedicated few!

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  9. Oh goodness, it's so refreshing to see you celebrating spring with new life, just as our growing season here is coming to an end. It gives me hope. Your wildflowers are so beautiful. I must scroll back up and study each one, in detail. :)

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  10. I can see becoming enamoured of Pelargonium triste - what little beauties! Looking at your middelmannetije and the linked post gave me an odd feeling. Out on two and a half desert acres, we have no driveway whatsoever and not really any need for one. I've begun taking it for granted, I suppose, as it all feels so normal after four years. I like to walk around checking what has grown wild, and am always surprised when the delicate Dichelostemma come up in the rock-hard soil. Just now I must clear a big batch of tumbleweed and begin planting something nice there instead! ;) (The area over the septic lines seem to attract the most obnoxious weeds!) Granted, we don't get nearly the amount of wildflower growth here, as the desert ecosystem won't support anything that lush on a permanent basis; seeing your wildflowers makes my mouth water...!

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    1. I wanted porous paving and a middelmannetjie on our parking place and driveway - but was outvoted. Gravel or paving does set off the seasonal flowers, that determination to survive and thrive is hopeful.

      I associate a true middelmannetjie with Namaqualand and annual spring daisies (like the Sonoran desert in bloom)

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  11. What a wonderful post it must be incredible to discover on your rambles so many wild flowers growing in their native surroundings. Those views were incredible too, it was interesting reading about the housing too. Sarah x

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  12. Spring in South Africa must encourge you to continue with these walks.

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    1. Today winter rolled back and we got SODDEN ;~))

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  13. Pretty flowers, and beautiful views across the hills and down the valleys!

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  14. I have got to visit your country and see these beauties in person. The flowers and the views...

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  15. Interesting view of the suburbs...very cool, sounds like a very diverse area. Funny how you get impressed ok I get impressed with mountains since what mountain ranges we have here are far north from us and not as interesting. Water no problem 5 miles to the Atlantic Ocean and a number of bays closer yet. Your summer is coming soon, should be fun to see again.

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    1. Desalination is in our immediate future, but we are concerned about the effect of increased salinity (and pollution) on sea life.

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  16. I wish I could get fit from going vicariously on these wonderful walks with you. Very interesting snapshot of the kinds of housing there. Does the government try to provide housing for the squatters? We have a homeless problem that seems to be getting worse all the time. Not enough social housing, and old rooming houses pulled down to make way for developers to make money.

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    1. We have appallingly long waiting lists for social housing. Added complication when they first have to clear squatters, so they can do the civil engineering (roads, water, electricity) then build the houses, finally tick a few names off the list.
      In my picture they sometimes have to remind people that the wetland may NOT be built on. And nature conservation, trying to protect the water quality.

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    2. so complicated, with all these competing interests ...

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    3. Our homeless are mostly urbanisation - coming from the rural areas in search of work and opportunities. Then the social welfare cases falling between the cracks of poverty, addiction, mental illness, dysfunctional families and abuse.

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