Jonkershoek to Rondebosch Common
by Diana Studer
- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa
Sundew is unmistakable. Drosera cistiflora raises surprisingly loud and proud flowers in pink and white.
At Blackhill I was delighted to see Aizoon sarmentosum, a succulent which grew wild in our Camps Bay garden. My 'Edelweiss'! For Wildflower Wednesday.
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.
Jonkershoek was his longest hike, limping back after dark. On the journey out looking across to The Cathedral.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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