May mountain flowers and the Noon Gun
by Diana Studer
- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa
Hiking among wildflowers
in the mountains
around Cape Town
Nine ericas from five hikes. The genus Erica includes [about] 770 species in the Western and Eastern Cape. The largest genus of the Cape Floral Kingdom.
On Elsie's Peak dangly Erica coccinea. Pink bells Erica viscaria. One sided Erica nudiflora. White Erica ericoides?
Grey fronds Syncarpha gnaphaloides. White Olea capensis. Cottonwool Tarchonanthus littoralis. Macrostylis villosa long styles.
No ID grass. Spiral of Oedera imbricata leaves. Leucadendron xanthoconus cone. Brunia noduliflora silver filigree buttons.
Yellow Euryops abrotanifolius. Yellow stars Gnidia juniperifolia. Pink and yellow sparkly stars Struthiola ciliata. Burgundy feathering Pelargonium myrrifolium.
At Redhill Othonna quinquedentata is growing on me. The flowers dance in a yellow haze above their neighbours (as Gaura does). The five toothed leaves make it gardenworthy out of flower too.
Again Redhill. Pink on white stars Trichocephalus stipularis. Understated euphorbia Clutia alaternoides. Anaxeton laeve pink bud 'strawberries" - and white flowers, a tiniest bunch of roses - bare stalks where Metalasia has leaves.
Eroded rock exposed by the empty Silvermine dam. Yellows. Osteospermum polygaloides. Russet bud Ursinia tenuifolia. Prickly Cullumia setosa.
Salt and pepper Erica imbricata. Dangly Erica plunkenetii. Pink cupped in burgundy Erica glabella. Little Lachenalia rubida.
Oxalis luteola yellow flower - bud and leaves. Oxalis punctata in pink - and white.
On Devil's Peak the Ungardener 'stands' on Table Mountain above Cape Town.
At Spitskop bunny ears grass. Yellow Senecio burchellii. Blue cup Roella ciliata.
Oxalis eckloniana with a long tube in puce.
Sky blue Salvia chamelaeagnea. Lime gold Leucadendron salignum.
Nectar thieves were at Erica mammosa. Pink and silver Indigofera cytisoides.
Eroded I see You rock. Creamy Phylica buxifolia. White fireworks Staavia radiata
Spider on her web. Black bearded Protea lepidocarpodendron. Wild Protea cynaroides. Protea repens in pink.
Along Silvermine River mauve Oftia africana flowers - toothed leaves. Yellow Microdon dubius and Bulbine praemorsa.
Purple and white Metalasia divergens. Milkweed architecture Gomphocarpus cancellatus. Silvermine in drizzle. White Maytenus oleiodes.
Lobelia pinifolia (caught in focus at last!) White feathers Searsia tomentosa.
Protea repens in white. Australian tea tree invading Silvermine!
Helichrysum cymosum growing along the river. A bit disconcerted to see the 'groundcover' I planted under the lemon tree, is less mat and more shrublet. Silver leaves and knots of golden flowers.
Despite being a born and bred Capetonian, I have never got used to the Noon Gun. I never worked in the City. I wonder how many tourists are startled in the midst of a busy day, to hear a cannon fired and see a cloud of smoke above Signal Hill. The Gun is the Signal. His hikers had to sprint to get there in time to be blown away!
From Redhill towards Scarborough Erica ericoides gone gloriously to baked terracotta seeds - across the valley and up the slope, not as I first thought burnt reminders of the previous fire. Against lime Leucadendron laureolum. First Mimetes fimbrifolius.
Asparagus capensis for bees. Scarlet Gladiolus merianellus
Good Hope). Agathosma lanceolata flowers
Silver and mauve Podalyria sericea. Mauve button Othonna digitata. Dark tipped Erica corifolia. Groundcover Euphorbia tuberosa.
We both saw Gladiolus maculata. He as he climbed up Wolfkop to the Fat Lady Shelter. Next day our fynbos ramble found each plant was a slightly different colour - chocolate, peach, lemon or raspberry!
We hike with two U3A groups.
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