Trappieskop Spitskop Slangkop hiking among flowers

- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa

Hiking among wildflowers
in the mountains
around Cape Town

Trappieskop view down to Fish Hoek beach from his last October hike. (Next year, I vow to get my flower photos sorted sooner) At the foot of the slope is the mouth of the Silvermine River, in theory a natural river from source to sea.

From Trappieskop looking down to Fish Hoek and the mouth of the Silvermine River
From Trappieskop looking down to Fish Hoek and the mouth of the Silvermine River

Liparia splendens in November was another first for me. Mountain or nodding dahlia (NOT related, it is pea family) but such an unexpectedly lush and full flower in our mediterranean landscape.

Liparia splendens in November
Liparia splendens in November

Middelmannetjie along the dirt track with deep blue Aristea africana and a low Aspalathus (rooibos or redbush tea sp.) For Gail at Clay and Limestone's Wildflower Wednesday.

Middelmannetjie in November with blue Aristea and yellow Aspalathus
Middelmannetjie in November
with blue Aristea and yellow Aspalathus

Spitskop flowers in Silvermine. Vivid blue Aristea africana. Roella ciliata with its collar of white, slate and navy. Blue and white Psoralea aphylla arching over the damp path. Blue African sky Salvia africana-caerulea. Bagworms on pelargonium. Lipstick pink bells of Erica amoena. Strawberries and cream Crassula fascicularis. Orchid with a frilled lip Acrolophia lamellate. Faded Protea acaulos (acaulos = no stem as it grows on the ground). Salmon Watsonia. Leucadendron female coneflower. Chunky white daisies Osmitopsis astericoides (camphor-scented leaves are used in traditional medicine) Yellow bunches of pea flowers for Aspalathus araneosa. Yellow Moraea fugax. Monkey beetles half buried in Cotula turbinata (spinning top). Orange bars on yellow Sebaea exacoides.

Spitskop flowers in November
Spitskop flowers in November

From De Villiers reservoir he looked at Little Lion's Head and Karbonkelberg. A perspective I have never seen which confuses my sense of direction, driving past, those mountains are not arranged like that from the road!

De Villiers reservoir looking across to Little Lion's Head and Karbonkelberg
De Villiers reservoir looking across
to Little Lion's Head and Karbonkelberg

Gold and russet opulence of Dilatris viscosa at Cecilia forest in November, as he hiked up Table Mountain, again. (And in mauve on the Groot Winterhoek mountain after fire flowers)

Dilatris viscosa at Cecilia Forest in November
Dilatris viscosa at Cecilia Forest in November

We walked at Slangkop above the lighthouse and Kommetjie. Gold candles of Leucospermum conocarpodendron with red and silver flares of Mimetes fimbrifolius. Look at those proteas!

Slangkop proteas in November
Slangkop proteas in November

I ducked down to try at catch delicate flowers NOT dancing in the breeze. Gladiolus carneus.

Gladiolus carneus in November
Gladiolus carneus in November

Slangkop flowers. Edible berries, I ate, I live, and I'm ashamed that I have forgotten what they are! Leucadendron salignum males with stamens and female cones. Quieter plain blue Roella amplexicaulis. Tussocks of white with silver leaves Syncarpha vestita. Woolly white seeds of wild rosemary Eriocephalus africanus. Orange spotted (blister?) beetle on Arctotis breviscapa. Salvia lanceolata dusky pink flowers followed by enduring colour in the bracts (add to garden list). Microdon (sounds like a drug for migraine) capitatus white head of orange-throated flowers. Microdon dubius spike of lemon yellow trumpets. Shimmering yellow Lampranthus (= bright flowers) stenus and mauve Lampranthus falciformis. Deepest purple spots on Pelargonium longifolium. Burgundy feathers on Pelargonium myrrifolium. Red eyes on Lapeirousia anceps. Moraea fugax (= fleeting) in blue.

Slangkop flowers in November
Slangkop flowers in November

Happy Christmas! 2017 in gold and straw and white and silver. With embroidered medallions from my sister (Chrismons and Liberty's I Didn't Do It Cat) and my niece's zoo biscuits. Choirs of angels too. In the twenty years since we returned from Switzerland for the third time, my fingers have forgotten how to tie straw stars. I did make one fresh 'pink daisy' star.

Christmas tree 2017
Christmas tree 2017

We hike with U3A False Bay. His Curious and Adventurous are undeterred by our mediterranean summer. My Fynbos Rambles will start again March when the plants sense autumn's coolth and hopefully rain! But I have pictures to blog to bridge that gap.

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Pictures by Diana and Jürg Studer

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Comments

  1. What a fantastic hike, such great views. Happy Holidays, Diana.
    Amalia
    xo

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  2. I'd always heard that South Africa was among the most diverse plant ecosystems in the world and, since I've begun reading your blog, I have no doubt about that! What splendors you have, Diana. The Proteas alone are enough to make me swoon.

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    Replies
    1. I find it hard to believe, that every week, I am sweating blood to learn new plants. It is such a rewarding challenge.

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  3. What a view in that first photo! Stunning! It's always refreshing to visit your blog--any time of year, but especially during our barren late fall through winter time. Thanks for sharing the beauty of your landscape and wildflowers. Those Proteas are amazing!

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    1. By the way, in my last post I noted that it was 45F (7C) here, but my dashes must have been confusing. Thankfully, we never get down to -45F (-43C). For me, +7C is OK with a coat, though I prefer +21C and warmer. ;-)

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    2. (You can have our 'and warmer' then we would both be comfortable)

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  4. I love your summer in my winter :)! It's so wonderful to have you around. I wish you a merry merry Christmas and all my best. Have a peaceful time with people you love!
    Elisabeth

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  5. Wonderful to see the wildflowers from the Cape, no wonder my mother talked about them all the time when we were in Zambia. The colours of nature in the wild cannot be beaten....the Gladiolus Carneus, the Liparia splendens, and the Dilatris viscosa are all new to me ...or maybe I saw the plants in seasons when they don't flower. The proteas are wonderful. Best wishes for Christmas and New Year with your lovely Christmas tree...hope the cats are not going to fiddle with the decorations!

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    Replies
    1. Zoe has been nibbling at the ears of wheat on the straw stars. I saw that!

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  6. Oh that must have been a fabulous hike Diana! What a wealth of flora. Wishing you a most Happy Christmas and I hope that the new year treats you and your garden kindly.

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  7. Beautiful walks you share with us! The range of wildflowers are stunning. I enjoyed the charming simplicity of your tree.

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    1. A township tree, so a little employment in our here and now.

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  8. Those views are amazing! Are there good trails up to the summit? I always enjoy seeing such a diverse selection of flowers it must have been such a treat to find Liparia splendens, it is stunning! Wishing you a very Happy Christmas.
    Sarah x

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    1. Many trails, from the slow gentle slog I prefer, to mountaineering up with challenges.
      Cape Town is deceptive for tourists as our mountains are IN the city, but need respect - good shoes, a hat, plenty of water, and something in case the clouds blow in. Volunteers at Mountain Rescue are on call.

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  9. That Fynbos can wait with those scenes and flowers. All the blues! Somewhere between our winter and your summer may be perfect (maybe not our summer), but our seasons are fine too.

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  10. I remember very well standing on a promontory at False Bay and looking out over the ocean and almost getting blown off my feet! My memories of the Fynbos are forever etched in my mind - such a spectacular array of unique flora.

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    1. When we lived in Camps Bay I sometimes thought I would FLY like Mary Poppins! False Bay is not quite as windy.

      Unless you are at Cape Point exposed to the full force of the gales off the Atlantic.

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  11. The flowers of South Africa are beautiful and so different from what we have in my part of the world (southeastern US). I find the first 2 collages to be especially stunning!

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  12. Thank you for sharing your amazing array of plants. I enjoy learning about so many beautiful new plants from your posts. The Mimetes is a favorite--maybe someday one will grow in this California garden.

    I hope you had a beautiful Christmas with loved ones. Happy (and rainy) 2018 to you.

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  13. The Liparia splendens is spectacular. It's a bit surprising to see it is from the pea family, but so many excellent arid-country plants are in the Fabaceae that I've given up being too shocked. If I had to pick a favorite native example, I suppose it would have to be the lovely Parkinsonias - beautiful any time of the year and supplying pods for wildlife (and humans, though I've not experimented with them!).
    I hope you and the Ungardener had a wonderful Christmas. Wishes for a very happy new year!

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  14. Such a stunning landscape! and the flowers are amazing. Straw stars are so pretty, but I forgot how to make them.
    Hope you had a Merry Christmas, and I wish you a happy and healthy 2018 :-)

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  15. Fantastic hike. It is amazing to see so many flowers in the wild. I'm not so crazy about Proteas usually, tame ones anyway - but the ones in your photos are superb, just right in their settings. Enjoy your rambling break Diana, and wishing you a happy 2018.

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    Replies
    1. My favourite is P. scolymocephala. Delicate and understated in size and subtle lime and cream colouring.

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