Fynbos hikes among flowers and snow

- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa

Hiking among wildflowers
in the mountains
around Cape Town

August gave me five fynbos flower hikes. We walked from Kommetjie to Soetwater along the coast past Slangkop lighthouse. Unexpected Asparagus asparagoides. Dasispermum suffruticosum carrot family with leathery leaves. Men-in-a-boat Colchicum eucomoides.

Roepera flexuosa twinleaf spekbos. Othonna coronopifolia daisy with semi-succulent leaves. Osteospermum incanum daisy bush.

Rusty Salvia africana-lutea. Solanum linnaeanum fierce prickly leaves. Solanum africanum clusters of mauve flowers. Pink Pelargonium capitatum.

Groundcover milkweed Cynanchum africanum. White Dimorphotheca fruticosa sleeping. Olea exasperata coast olive. Pointed succulent leaves Cotyledon orbiculata.

Kommetjie to Soetwater August flowers
Kommetjie to Soetwater August flowers

He hiked above Kalk Bay. We have driven past these queuing trucks ... building site is horrifying!

Kalk Bay building site
Kalk Bay building site

We walked in Silvermine down to the Sunbird Centre. Struthiola ciliata - daphne family - creamy yellows and all the pinks - crowned with gold.

Struthiola ciliata in August
Struthiola ciliata in August

White stars Thesium viridifolium sandalwood family. Stachys aethiopica purple spotted lip and leaves. Tiny pink Metalasia divergens.

Pink bud to white Polyarrhena reflexa, or russet glory to yet a Nother yellow daisy Ursinia tenuifolia. Pink and blue Lobelia pinifolia.

Moederkappie Disperis capensis. Adenandra villosa China flower. White with red veins Roepera sessilifolia. Four dents at the base of the flower Erica mammosa.

Oxalis in salmon obtusa and yellow luteola. Pink Romulea rosea. Yellow pea standard sharply folded back Wiborgia obcordata.

Silvermine to Sunbird Centre August flowers
Silvermine to Sunbird Centre August flowers

Both our groups hiked Simonsberg to see Serruria (Swartkops spiderhead protea). Black and yellow beetle on yellow Moraea collina. Orange garnish on yellow Sebaea exacoides gentian family. Twirled Hermannia alnifolia. Yellow daisy Arctotis acaulis.

Yellow daisy Ursinia paleacea. White feathery Metalasia densa. Hebenstreitia repens white flower orange throat and furry beastlie. Pink Cyphia bulbosa lobelia family.

Mauve blushed white Felicia echinata (from the Eastern Cape). SUCH blue Roella ciliata. Pink and blue changeant Lobostemon fruticosus. Blue sage Salvia chamelaeagnea.

Absolutely tiniest red spider web flowers Cliffortia ruscifolia female. Crassula fascicularis pink and cream. Fierce pink everlasting Phaenocoma prolifera. After fire Protea nitida buds.

Simonsberg flowers in August
Simonsberg flowers in August

To see this Serruria hirsuta critically endangered, rare after fire, found only on the slope above Simon's Town.

Serruria hirsuta only above Simon's Town in August
Serruria hirsuta
only above Simon's Town
seen in August

We had invasive Himalayan mountain tahr on Table Mountain (thanks to the former Groote Schuur zoo they escaped from). Since they caused severe erosion they have been methodically eliminated. Allowing us to reintroduce the klipspringer, smaller and shyer. He saw the elusive klipspringer.

Klipspringer on Simonsberg
Klipspringer on Simonsberg

We walked from Olifantsbos to Menskop on a cold breezy day at Cape Point. Malachite jewel beetle on Agathosma ciliaris. Nasty weather daisy Arctotheca calendula. Yellow pea bushes Aspalathus carnosa. Yellow daisy with a mound of leathery leaves Othonna bulbosa.

Pelargonium myrrifolium. Mimetes hirtus (in peaty marshes on the road back). Cleretum bellidiforme Bok Bay vygie. Dark Babiana ambigua.

Dipogon lignosus edible pea (in our garden fending off snails). Flower and lichen in matching lime orange Manulea tomentosa. Purplish frill Muraltia spinosa tortoise berry.

Blue and white Nemesia affinis. Mahogany and cream Pharnaceum lineare. Cream globes Hermannia hyssopifolia. A Live Stream at Olifantsbos.

Olifantsbos to Menskop in Cape Point August flowers
Olifantsbos to Menskop in Cape Point August flowers

Typical Cape winter the two dams at Redhill was a bright sunny day. Salt and pepper Erica imbricata. Pink hearted Diosma hirsuta. Sundew Drosera cistiflora. Pink bud to cream flower Hesperantha falcata.

Stripy daisy bud Dimorphotheca nudicaulis. Robust sedge bergpalmiet on cool slopes Tetraria thermalis. Pincushion protea Leucospermum conocarpodendron and bee. Golden orchid Satyrium coriifolium.

Peachy Moraea flaccida. Mimetes fimbriifolius only on the South Peninsula. Kleinplaas Dam almost full. Sweetpea bush Podalyria sericea silvery leaves.

Selago luxurians tiny but densely crowded. Polygala bracteolata with white tassel. Senecio arenarius purple daisies are everywhere. Shrubby Pelargonium cucullatum.

Redhill August flowers between two dams
Redhill August flowers between two dams 

They hiked Perdekop above Franschhoek to reach the snow.

Snow at Perdekop above Franschhoek in August
Snow at Perdekop above Franschhoek in August

We hike with U3A.
Our hikes are listed on my page.

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Pictures by Diana and Jürg Studer

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Comments

  1. Diana, I love all those gorgeous wild flowers, spring looks beautiful over there!

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    1. Delighted that the first comment is from Buenos Aires. South American blogs are the ones I work harder to find.

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  2. Astounding beauty even in winter! How I wish I could see a similar range of wild blooms within driving distance of my own home. Your Serruria is one beauty among many this month and I hope South Africa is successful in saving it, allowing it to be enjoyed by future generations.

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    1. It is some kind of wonderful to be able to walk among an endless variety of wildflowers.

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  3. I always enjoy your spring flowers, so many of them are like ours in Australia, delicate and beautiful....even more so because they are growing wild. The houses in your photo look dangerously close to the sea!
    Enjoy your spring walks.

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    1. A couple of restaurants that have big windows opening onto the sea ... suffer damage with extreme high tides.

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  4. Hola Diana, he supuesto por tu comentario que tendrías algún blog y cual ha sido mi sorpresa que me encuentro con este fabuloso blog. Necesito entrar con tranquilidad sin prisas y explorar tus preciosas entradas y narraciones.
    Cordiales saludos y hasta pronto.

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  5. Some flower types are universal but you always blow my mind with the range in your area.

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    1. I tried, but can't comment on your blog.
      I miss the crape myrtle in our Porterville garden. Cinnamon bark, but my cutting didn't survive moving.

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    2. I'll have to remember to use collages for spring wildflowers here--yours are delightful! I'd never heard of Serruria hirsuta--what a beautiful, fluffy plant, and special for its rare occurrence. Happy spring!

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    3. Collage is the only way I can squeeze in the very best of the best.

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  6. Serruria hirsuta is so beautiful! I have never seen anything like it. How come it is critically endangered? Is it difficult to propagate? Or is it on the menu of the Himalayan mountain tahr?

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    1. We have a HUGE variety of plants in our fynbos. Many endemics. Like this one, which only grows just here. (The tahr are no longer a problem)

      I was at an interesting talk last week - Kew's Millenium Seed Project. We are steadily working our way thru at least having seed available. Some plants are conserved within botanical gardens. One plant was obliterated in the wild, when a farmer illegally cleared a new field.

      And I read about some of our proteas being nurtured in Welsh hills against future global warming.

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  7. As always, you see so many wonderful wildflowers on your hikes. I am fascinated by the Serruria hirsuta. I am sorry to hear it is endangered. I hope it is protected and can be saved.

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  8. This is one of your most beautiful blog postings, Diana. P.x

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  9. Hiking in the mountains through the Spring flowers, How good does it get, even a hint of snow. Glad I finally took the time to Google (Fynbos)

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  10. Wow wonderful to see the abundance of so many wild flowers and the elusive klipspringer. The snow was a surprising sight too. Just hope all those trucks don't assisting in destroying this beautiful wild space. Sarah x

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    1. It's disconcerting when a green space is revealed as 'just another plot cleared' and I realise that the urban edge, here Table Mountain National Park begins, isn't where I thought it was.

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  11. The Serruria hirsuta is magic. So many wonderful plants. Loved seeing them.

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  12. Wow! You have a wonderful assortment of lovely wildflowers! I love that Serruria hirsuta, and hope it makes a come back.

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  13. I have never seen anything even remotely resembling Serruria hirsuta. Amazing! I had to look it up to find out that it is a Protea, a genus apparently native only to South Africa and Australia.

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    1. Thanks to you - I have discovered that Macadamia nuts come from an Australian protea! And Grevillea proteas in South America from Gondwanaland.

      But we have 329 species in South Africa, mostly in my South-Western Cape fynbos.

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    2. even lotus, and plane and sycamore trees are distantly related.

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