Table Mountain cliffs and the Lady's Hand

by Diana Studer
- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa

Hiking among wildflowers
and in the mountains
around Cape Town

October began in Myburghskloof above Hout Bay. Tiny Disa bracteata, Satyrium odorum and Pterygodium catholicum are orchids. Red and yellow Pennea mucronata.

Lush pink Lessertia miniata, Otholobium virgatum in mauves, golden Aspalathus chenopodia and clear yellow Lotonotis involucrata are pea family.

Yellow Arctotis hirsuta. Dotted Moraea miniata. Pink Ixia scillaris. Burgundy striped Drimia filifolia.

Wurmbea spicata is Colchicum family. Pelargonium myrrifolium has very fine leaves. Zygophyllum sessilifolium (white unlike the yellow I expect for this genus). Pauridia capensis opening dark.

Myburghskloof above Hout Bay October flowers
Myburghskloof above Hout Bay October flowers

Redhill daisies. Bud of Syncarpha speciossisima. Spectacular Ursinia tenuifolia bud. Tiny Petalacte coronata.

Ursinia anthemoides seeds (also saw pink seeds!)

Gazania pectinata furled up at 10 AM, serving lunch to a monkey beetle at 1PM.

Daisies at Redhill in October
Daisies at Redhill in October

Crocodile jaws on Redhill. Tarucus thespis fynbos blue butterfly female. Blue Moraea tripetala and friend. Highly complex centre of Wahlenbergia capensis.

Vibrant blue Aristea africana. Taller white Aristea spiralis. Polygala garcinii. Crassula fascicularis bud opens to cream and brick red.

Electrifying pink Saltera sarcocolla with interesting four ranked leaves. Sparkly pink Lachnea densiflora. Carpenter bee on Pelargonium capitatum. Geissorhiza ovata salmon veined reverse of the petals.

Ivory Serruria glomerata. Agathosma hookeri buds mystified us and INaturalist named it. Lightly striped Moraea neglecta. Yellow Moraea.

Redhill October flowers
Redhill October flowers

Table Mountain Left Face B (with hands - no ropes needed). Climbing the sandstone cliffs, the crusty bits that form the actual tabletop. Looking across to Lion's Head where we walked.

Table Mountain Left Face  B with hands no ropes. (Watsonia leaves are now covered in pink flowers)
Table Mountain Left Face
B with hands no ropes.
(Watsonia leaves are now covered in pink flowers) 

Circling the flanks of Lion's Head. Lobostemon argenteus with silvery leaves. Affluent garden structure fashionably rusted - not sure what practical purpose it serves as you could post the garden bench thru the holes, protected from neither the sun nor the wind?!

Watsonia borbonica I remember an after fire year when this whole slope was PINK.

Our first home in Camps Bay centre left. We walked among silver trees in one of their four surviving homes. Water from the dams on Table Mountain goes to the city.

Lion's Head October flowers above the Atlantic
Lion's Head October flowers above the Atlantic

Lion's Head flowers are mostly on granite. Burnished terracotta Crassula dichotoma. Bronzed gold Ixia dubia. Berkheya armata large yellow flowers and fierce leaves.

Barbie pink Ixia ciliaris. Sweetie pink climbing Microloma. Peachy Indigofera. Getting a head start salmon Watsonia meriana makes cormlets as the flowers fade.

Butter yellow Commelina africana. Moraea bellendenii on the slope above the houses. Little white Selago. Purple spotted Stachys ethiopica.

Silver and white Acrosanthes teretifolia. Pelargonium lobatum has leaves like dinner plates, small lime and burgundy flowers. Cyanella hyacinthoides in the purely South African family Tecophilaceae is the Lady's Hand. If caught at the right moment and angle it is a perfect yellow kid gloved hand, fingers and thumb delicately proffered.

Lion's Head October flowers mostly on granite
Lion's Head October flowers mostly on granite

Elsie's Peak from Golconda Road. African blue skies caught in Salvia africana-caerulea. Blue Roella with a banded heart. Mauve Otholobium virgata.

White Gerbera linnaei has strange leaves 'cut into round twisted lobes'. Rust, cream and yellow Helichrysum teretifolia. Perfect little Protea scolymocephala.

Silver and flowers Syncarpha gnaphaloides. Chocolate and butter Wachendorfia. Green heart of Ixia dubia. Dense yellow heads of Helichrysum dasyanthemum.

Lemony Linum africanum. Cullumia setosa. Gladiolus carneus. Endangered Serruria cyanoides from one of 4 populations.

Elsie's Peak above Glencairn October flowers
Elsie's Peak above Glencairn October flowers

Trappieskop looking down to Fish Hoek beach and Silvermine River mouth, and across to Elsie's Peak.

Trappieskop to Fish Hoek beach and Silvermine River mouth to Elsie's Peak
Trappieskop to Fish Hoek beach and Silvermine River mouth
to Elsie's Peak

Pink Pelargonium cucullatum, Aizoon paniculatum and Chironia baccifera. Pink and white Metalasia compacta.

Terracotta spots on Lapeirousia anceps. Looking from Slangkop to Hout Bay with Table Mountain in the distance. Dusky pink Salvia lanceolata. Muraltia spinosa berries.

White Dischisma ciliata. Orange bells Hermannia pinnata. Leucospermum conocarpodendron. Chrysocoma coma-aurea.

Cape Snow Syncarpha vestita. Succulent Lampranthus amoenus. Adenandra villosa with ant. Seeds of Trachyandra revoluta.

Slangkop October flowers
Slangkop October flowers

Wild rosemary Eriocephalus africanus. Carpenter bee on Pseudoselago spuria. Sawbacked locust Hoplolopha (flightless female).

Wild rosemary and insects at Slangkop in October
Wild rosemary and insects at Slangkop in October

We hike with U3A each week.

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Pictures by Diana and Jürg Studer

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Thanks for comments that add value. Maybe start a new thread of discussion? BTW your comment won't appear until I've read it. No Google account? Just use Anonymous, but do leave a link to your own blog. I would return the visit, if I could...

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Comments

  1. Superb...were these pictures collected over several years? The diversity is superb, no wonder my father called your area the garden of Eden.

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    Replies
    1. Every picture is from last month. And it took me days to harvest them from hundreds of photos!

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    2. Holy moly!!! You did an amazing job!! That's a lot of plants. Fantastic collages of your work!

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  2. This post drove home the message that it's spring in your part of the world! It also underscored what I'd read about South Africa being home to the most diverse collection of flowering plants in the world. So many of the genera you reference are utterly unknown to me and even within the genera I'm familiar with are species I've never heard of. At times in the past I've idly wondered what more in the world there is for modern-day plant hunters to find but, after reading your posts, I know the answer to that is: PLENTY!

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    Replies
    1. New plants, or hunting for the ones known only as herbarium specimens. Each week we have a mystery or 3 that needs more research.

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  3. What an amazing selection of flowers and all so beautiful. And I enjoyed the photo of Table Mountain, it brought back memories, I loved my visit there.
    Amalia
    xo

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  4. You're killing me with so many blooms. I'm guessing this is not your drought season. Awesome view of Fish Hoek beach and Silvermine River mouth. Kudos to you for hiking !

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  5. So very uplifting, such beauty.

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  6. Lindas flores e lindas imagens. Boa semana. Cumprimentos.

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  7. Totally uplifting on this miserable early Winter day. Your presentation is a work of art.

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  8. Ixia is a favorite of mine, but oh my Ixia dubia's color is something else, I love the goldish color, not often seen in the common ixias you can buy in your local garden centre. Thank you for sharing, Diana.

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  9. The staggering number of gorgeous plants never fails to amaze me. And then there are those views! Thanks again for sharing the glorious landscape in which you live.

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  10. Beautiful! It looks like a very rich season - is it unusually so? But then your wildflowers are always a source of amazement and pure joy...

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    Replies
    1. Some extra gifts both from settling in after earlier fires, and a sigh of relief that after 3 years of drought ... we are cautiously grateful for enough rain.

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