Spring flowers from Rondebosch Common and Smitswinkel Bay
by Diana Studer
- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa
Hiking among wildflowers
and in the mountains
around Cape Town
A drizzly day as we walked on Rondebosch Common. Delighted to see the reintroduced Moraea aristata blooming. The last surviving population is at the Observatory among some unmown grass. Seeds were harvested and a suitable new home ... Rondebosch Common ... was found. In 2017 corms from the Observatory seeds were planted. In 2018 more from Kew's Millennium Seed Project. The flowers are being pollinated by monkey beetles, and setting seed. After 3 years of seed setting we can count the new population as established. Thanks to Alex Lansdowne plant conservation and restoration horticulture.
From bud to flower Moraea gawleri is an unusual coral amongst blue, yellow and white moraeas.
With help from iNaturalist these tiniest white stars are Dischisma capitatum.
Pelargonium triste range of colours enchanting me as they did last October.
Podalyria sericea fragrant sweetpea flowers, with silver pods to match its leaves. Satyrium odorum (orchid). Purple Babiana fragrans.
Lachenalia unifolia with zebra striped leaf base. Mocha stripes on Drimia filifolia. Up close gold and orange swirled on Hermannia multiflora.
In September we still had rain and waterfalls as he hiked the Kirstenbosch Contour Path.
Blackhill Koppies he won't forget! One woman slipped - she is recovering, walking wounded. In the centre of the wide view is the Glencairn Labyrinth.
His hiking companion, a tortoise.
From a cave on Table Mountain looking down to the City Centre.
We returned to Smitswinkel Bay making it all the way down to the beach this time.
Purple Senecio elegans with its petticoat at the base, Senecio arenarius no petticoat. Yellow Senecio hastatus. Tetragonia fruticosa succulent vygie which sprawls with yellow and red flower spikes.
Yellow berries on Maytenus acuminata (gently break a leaf and pull the halves apart - latex threads) Stream flowing down to the sea - 'It was called Patience after the tiny stream because mariners wanting to fill their water casks here had to be very patient because of the slow trickle of water'. Berzelia lanuginosa with friends to lunch. Swamp daisy Osmitopsis astericoides.
Violet-blue Geissorhiza aspera. Softest pink spikes of Cyphia bulbosa. Soft shrublet cherry buds to white daisy Arctotis aspera. Blue hearted annual Felicia heterophylla.
Thesium viridifolium furry white stars. Fumitory in the poppy family Cysticapnos vesicaria. Fresh anise smell from Agathosma ciliaris. Silene undulata (carnation family)
Leucadendron macowanii endemic only to this slope above Smitswinkel Bay. Yellow Moraea fugax, purple outlined yellow nectar guides Moraea tripetala, and white Moraea tricuspidata
Baeometra uniflora beetle lily for the spots. The beach all for us! Where I found an October reminder of breast cancer awareness, perfectly shaped pink stone of Graafwater Formation Malmesbury shale. Huge Pauridia capensis (my thumbnail for scale). Lemon Pterygodium catholicum (orchid).
Romulea hirsuta its golden cup etched with purple. Cream and wine Crassula fascicularis. Gladiolus cunonius with a spoon-shaped upper petal. Velvety red Hyobanche sanguinea.
Pink and red Lessertia capensis with pinnate leaves. Yellow Cineraria geifolia with kidney-shaped leaves.
We hike with U3A each week.
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