To Swartkop, Rondebosch Common and the Mule Track for August hikes
by Diana Studer
- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa
Hiking among wildflowers
in the mountains
around Cape Town
Our first August target was Serruria hirsuta, found only on Swartkop slope above Simon's Town. Buchus - Agathosma lanceolata and Agathosma ciliaris, with long red flowerstalks, anise scented leaves. Among those varied plants we seek out our flowers. Leucadendron spissifolium two lonely males. Serruria hirsuta bushes are about knee high.
|Swartkop in August for Serruria hirsuta|
Protea nitida, the waboom, resprouts from buds after a fire. The new leaves with a vibrant red edge! Tightly sculpted buds opening to huge creamy flowers.
|Protea nitida waboom in August|
In Scrophulariaceae, lime-mustard spidery Manulea cheiranthus, and Hebenstretia repens with orange throat. Lobostemon glaucophyllus changeant pink and blue flowers. Erica pulchella neat pink bells with shiny burgundy calyx. Shapely Pelargonium elongatum leaves. Camera caught fine detail on Pelargonium triste petal.
|August flowers on Swartkop|
For spring flowers to Rondebosch Common after the fire then good winter rain. Purple Muraltia macropetala (Polygala family). Ivory Metalasia densa. Osteospermum monstrosum seeds. Pelargonium triste crowning the Common. Great sheets of Cotula turbinata. Yellow pea Crotalaria excisa.
|Rondebosch Common with daisies in August|
Golden Leucadendron salignum in the rehab area. Little Protea scolymocephala. Yellow Moraea fugacissima. White Pauridia
|With proteas on Rondebosch Common in August|
Lachenalia quadricolor. Twirled candycane buds Oxalis versicolor. Salmon Oxalis obtusa. Standard pink and deeper salmony Oxalis purpurea. Romulea hirsuta with a dark ring around the yellow throat.
|Oxalis on Rondebosch Common in August|
This was a good winter for rain, with a few wide shallow ponds there. Thomisus crab / flower spider, large yellow lady with a tiny brown male on Cyphia bulbosa. Arctopus echinatus flat spiky female flowers, and male flowers on taller stems, are on separate plants.
|Pond and spiders on the Common in August|
The Mule Track above St. James for tall silver pea. Softly blue Lobostemon glaucophyllus. Nemesia affinis purple buds opening to blue above and white below. Pink Romulea rosea, petal stripes come thru on both surfaces. Adenandra villosa - porcelain flower. Orchid buds Satyrium odorum. Buttery yellow Romulea flava.
|On the Mule Track in August Nemesia|
Fruit on Olea capensis. Then daisies. Toothy leaves and pink buds Polyarrhena reflexa. Ferocious pink buds Metalasia divergens. Yellow daisy with a black heart Arctotis acaulis. Cotula pruinosa below for the bracts, above for the tiny petals.
|August daisies on the Mule Track|
Hermannia hyssopifolia creamy inflated calyx tiny twirled petals. Tall silver pea Xiphotheca fruticosa lurked out of reach below the path. In 2020 I could get close. Cape Lappet Moth with purple eyebrows. Butterfly wings for Bolusafra bituminosa buds.
|Pea flowers on the Mule Track in August|
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Pictures by Diana Studer
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