July flowers from Chapman's Peak to Elsie's Peak
by Diana Studer
- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa
Hiking among wildflowers
in the mountains
around Cape Town
From Kalk Bay Peak he looked across False Bay waves for Muizenberg surfers. Snow dusts the tops of the distant Du Toit's Kloof mountains.
Yellow Cullumia setosa. Othonna filicaulis has heart-shaped leaves. Polyarrhena stricta (or Felicia echinata??)
White Crassula capensis fragile flowers for a succulent. Knowltonia capensis (anemone family)
Fluffy seeds Tarchonanthus littoralis. White Aspalathus forbesii pea flower. Oxalis polyphylla with thread leaves. Glowing red new leaves Cassine peragua.
Pink Erica plukenetii dangly bits. Flared out Erica abietina atrorosea. Erica glabella softest pink with burgundy stamens. Beard of Protea lepidocarpodendron.
From Chapman's Peak his Atlantic Ocean view reaches from Slangkop lighthouse to Hout Bay with subsistence fisherman and affluent gated communities.
Softest blue Gladiolus gracilis. Red Babiana ringens has a built in perch for sunbirds (which don't hover like hummingbirds). Central white star distinguishes Babiana villosula. Ethereal Ornithoglossum viride is the plant for which Slangkop is named.
Second set of elaborate blue and white markings on Roella ciliata (bellflower family). Down to Wurmbea hiemalis in burgundy and cream (crocus family). Lobostemon glaucophyllus (forget-me-not family) has the pink and blue flowers I love. This time my camera caught the tiniest details within an orchid Disperis capensis.
Silver leaves and soft purple pea flowers on Podalyria sericea. Dianthus albens (more purple than white!) Dusky pink Protea repens bud will fill with nectar. Fluffy pink Stilbe ericoides (fynbos endemic family).
Dangling yellow Stylapterus fruticulosus (Penaea fynbos endemic family). Red and yellow furled Hermannia rudis (Hibiscus family). Hungry caterpillar enjoying fresh green leaves. Oxalis lanata named for its softly furred leaves (only 120 fynbos species to learn!)
Stemless Protea acaulos. One lonely plant bearing flowers from tight bud, to unfolding perfection then fading.
Up on Grootkop above Camps Bay he found Anemone tenuifolia.
Yellow Bolusafra bituminosa for the tarry scented leaves (pea family). Lime gold stars of Leucadendron laureolum. A haze of Euryops abrotanifolius (leaves like southernwood) against the sun. This one mystified me, but it is Aspalathus capitata (pea family) gone to seed with wisps of brown petals.
Salmon Watsonia tabularis confined to rocky sandstone slopes on the Cape Peninsula. Again silver leaves and purple pea flowers, but Podalyia calyptrata is a tree. Prickly Muraltia heisteria (Polygala family). Not Felicia, but Zyrphelis taxifolia (11 of the 13 species in the South-western Cape)
Pink pea Amphithalea ericifolia (42 species all fynbos). Microdon dubius (Scrophulariaceae) a dark form. Metalasia divergens. Osmitopsis astericoides grows in marshes.
Erica lutea with long cream tubes. Round pink 'berries' Erica baccans. Furled white petals and chocolate stamens Erica calycina. Fluffy pink Erica hirtiflora.
Anaxeton laeve has startling strawberry buds opening to plain white flowers borne high on long stalks.
Cape Mountains for Curious and Adventurous hiked UP Elsie's Peak, Fynbos Ramblers walked for wildflowers.
Third version of blue and white markings Lobelia coronopifolia. Pink and blue Lobostemon is fruticosus. Polygala myrtifolia with its white tassel. Nemesia affinis with inner and outer versions of delicate purple veins.
Staavia radiata (Brunia family) pink hearts and bright white petals. Cherry lines on Adenandra villosa (citrus! family) petals. Thesium viridifolium (sandalwood family) has toothed margins on white petals (an Edelweiss echo). Lemon and wine Pelargonium triste.
Down to turquoisy Euphorbia tuberosa. Burgundy feathering on an Oxalis luteola bud. Muted green lines outside Moraea collina petals. Serruria glomerata bud.
Capelio tabularis sturdy grey leaves rewarded us with tall and substantial yellow flowers. Protea lepidocarpodendron bearded protea. Leucadendron salignum male flowers.
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