November hikes to inkspot and lady's hand

 by Diana Studer

- gardening for biodiversity

 in Cape Town, South Africa

 

Hiking among wildflowers

in the mountains

around Cape Town

 

Our November hike was split in two. First to the Noordhoek wetland to admire Disa cornuta. Inkspot orchid sparkles in the sunlight, purple on the hood, golden below on a tipped over stem.

 

Disa cornuta inkspot orchid
Disa cornuta inkspot orchid

 

Aspalathus

- silky A. ericifolia

- A. cordata flowers and spiky leaves

- orange and yellow A. juniperina.

 

Pelargonium betulinum dark feathering on petals, chunky red-rimmed leaves.

 

Wahlenbergia capensis with a monkey beetle diving in. Vibrant blue in the sun Aristea africana. Fierce Berkheya rigida

 

Noordhoek wetland in November with Aspalathus
Noordhoek wetland in November with Aspalathus


Then to the Chapman's Peak Nature Sanctuary. Tucked among Noordhoek houses.

 

Chapman's Peak Nature Sanctuary
Chapman's Peak Nature Sanctuary

 

Signage is helpful and beautifully done! ('Picture' is the shadow of the named plant)

 

Beautiful signage at Chapman's Peak Nature Sanctuary

 

We didn't wander under milkwoods in a fragment of the Southern Coastal Forest, but stayed out among flowers. Hermannia pinnata absolutely covered in its twirled orange bells. Sebaea exacoides delicately echoing the orange. Greening to the muted yellow 'crocodile leather' Lyperia lychnidea.

 

Edible flowers (bit wary of eating milkweed) Microloma sagittatum. Climbing Dipogon lignosus, edible pea pods (WON'T grow in my garden). Purple pea Otholobium bracteolatum.

 

Milkwood Sideroxylon inerme. Colpoon compressum berry. Roepera spinosa fruits.

 

Chapman's Peak November flowers
Chapman's Peak November flowers

 

We headed up Wolwekop in Silvermine but got utterly lost in the mist! We found no orchids - and they were there. Water condensed on downy Erica bruniades. Leucadendron xanthoconus female cone - so much to see up close and personal.

 

Chiselled pink and white buds Edmondia sesamoides open yellow, not white, here. A nother yellow daisy Ursinea paleacea with membranous bracts below, followed by pink and white paraseeds.

 

Struthiola ciliata golden crown. Pink and cream Crassula fascicularis. Pink flowers among white bracts Staavia radiata. Purple and white pea Otholobium virgatum.

 

Misty Wolwekop in November
Misty Wolwekop in November

 

From his November hikes. Elsie's Peak Traverse.

 

Elsie's Peak Traverse
Elsie's Peak Traverse

 

As we drove in to Cape Point for Gifkommetjie Disa purpurascens. A brilliant blue sky and sea day! Blue and white echoed by Nemesia affinis, and Roella ciliata slate grey stardust.

 

Scabiosa africana. Purple tipped petals Dilatris pillansii. Barbie pink Chironia linoides. Shocking pink Aizoon paniculatum.

 

Pink and yellow on Zalusianskya villosa. Erica bruniades tiny furry soft pink balls. Pelargonium longifolium. Creeping Euphorbia erythrina.

 

Gifkommetjie in November with Disa purpurascens
Gifkommetjie in November with Disa purpurascens

 

Arctotis aspera is often the first flower I notice here, tall bright white daisies, with tightly furled leaves. Gazania pectinata and Helichrysum patulum.

 

Golden Crassula dichotoma. Furled back petals Roepera flexuosa. Scrophulariaceae yellow Manulea tomentosa lying at my feet at teatime and gloomy Lyperia triste with neatly folded bud.

 

Salvia aurea has a deep orange flower followed by dark bronzed calyx against grey leaves. New growth on Mimetes cucullatus. Adrift with soft leaved Brunia lanuginosa (which inspires the name of Erica bruniades).

 

Daisies at Gifkommetjie in November
Daisies at Gifkommetjie in November

 

To Elsie's Peak for Erica halicacaba which likes to grow on cliffs. New on the way down Erica capitata. Little pink protea Diastella divaricata.

 

On damp rocky slopes Osmitopsis dentata. Grey leaved daisies tiny Helichrysum tinctum and H. pandurifolium with basally eared leaves.

 

Still Asteraceae - despite the confusing flat strap shaped leaves and loose head of flowers Corymbium africanum. Festive in gold red and silver Syncarpha gnaphaloides. Strong pink Pelargonium cucculatum against a grey day. Maroon flashes on white Pelargonium longifolium.

 

Erica halicacaba on Elsie's Peak in November
Erica halicacaba on Elsie's Peak in November

 

New beside halicacaba was Teedia lucida (scroph petals again). Blue flax Heliophila africana. White Scabiosa columbaria. Holothrix villosa thread orchid.

 

Metallic beetle. Ants carrying away bundles of pollen. Dilatris corymbosa flower is a corymb, ghostly structure revealed when the seeds fall.

 

Struthiola ciliata. Lady's hand Cyanella hyacinthoides with French manicure (not mine!) Gladiolus carneus. Watsonia borbonica.

 

Teedia lucida in November on Elsie's Peak
Teedia lucida in November on Elsie's Peak

 

South Africa is in the second wave. May your quiet Christmas come with peace and some happiness. This year of January, February, COVID, brings us the Christmas Star!

 

Our hikes are listed on my page.

 

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Pictures by Diana and Jürg Studer

of Elephant's Eye on False Bay

 

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Comments

  1. So much beauty to enjoy love those spotted orchids. B x

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  2. Those ink spotted orchids are extraordinary. All of your South African wildflowers are extraordinary to someone from N. America, they’re so different from what we have here!

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  3. Your part of the world is a Wonderland even Lewis Carroll couldn't have imagined. Sorry to hear you're in a second wave. The virus is surging here too and hospitals are over-crowded and under-staffed, both things that experts and healthcare workers warned people about, only to be ignored by too many.

    ReplyDelete
  4. You had me with your first three words, Diana. I can think of nothing more gratifying than hiking among your beautiful wildflowers. Just the names: Inkspot, Lady's Hand, Misty Wolwekop, Noordhoek wetland, Gifkommetjie, and others -- all so exotic to me. And your collages highlight plants to die for. P.x

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  5. Wishing you happy healthy holidays Diana.

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  6. How wonderful! It's always a joy to come and see your photos and brighten up the day.

    I hope you had a lovely Christmas.

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  7. I spotted a hairy beetle in one of the flowers, looks like our good old cockchafer beetle.

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  8. I enjoyed my visit among your wild flowers and orchids so much , this darn COVID is surging everywhere it’s a troubled time for certain. Everytime I look at my amaryllis with its huge scarlet blossoms I think of your flowers . we are buried in snow, no blooms here, only inside, stay safe,

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  9. I read your country's Covid-19 cases are surging as they are here in California now. This is our third and worst. Here far too many people traveling or having parties. The Disa cornuta is quite amazing. It reminds me just a little of the flowers of Acanthus mollis. Always love seeing a Mimetes.

    Thank you once again for sharing the beauty of your plant kingdom.

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  10. So much beauty in your part of the world. We are now in the third day of our third lockdown and I really miss being in nature, so this was all the more special. Take good care!
    Amalia
    xo

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  11. How delightful, and what a treasure trove of wildflowers you saw!

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  12. Wow, I do not think I have read a blog from someone in your area. The flora is stunning. So much beauty there. Glad I found your blog.

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