Slangkop and Olifantsbos in September

 by Diana Studer

- gardening for biodiversity

 in Cape Town, South Africa

 

Hiking among wildflowers

in the mountains

around Cape Town

 

In September we began above Kommetjie at Slangkop, walked towards Ocean View this time. Yellow pea Aspalathus capensis. 'Sad' and subtle Lyperia tristis. Gladiolus carinatus.

Ghostly Metalasia compacta.

Protea nitida,  dwarf resprouter only seen here. Erica coccinea.  

 

Slangkop in September with Protea nitida
Slangkop in September with Protea nitida

Perfect bud, and flower Protea scolymocephala. Red velvet Hyobanche sanguinea.

Orange daisy Arctotis breviscapa. Tightly bunched seed Othonna filicaulis. Anise-scented buchu Agathosma lanceolata.

Pink pea Amphithalea ericifolia. Yellow Tetragonia portulacoides. Shimmery pink Bokbaai vygie Cleretum bellidiformis.

 

With Protea scolymocephala at Slangkop in September
With Protea scolymocephala at Slangkop in September

Olifantsbos at Cape Point. Back along the shore, winding thru dunes and this season's rain filling wetlands. We watched a troop of baboons intently foraging. Then followed a trail of discarded husks from Cullumia squarrosa blooms - the way we eat artichoke hearts. Daisies as primate food.

UPDATE - Prompted by Pam's interest from Pennsylvania. Distribution map at iNaturalist and Threatened Status for Cullumia squarrosa beach snakethistle. 

 

Baboons eating Cullumia squarrosa
Baboons eating Cullumia squarrosa

Cullumia squarrosa eaten by baboons in September
Cullumia squarrosa eaten by baboons in September

Those broad lush succulent leaves are, typical daisy not, Othonna bulbosa. Daisy bracts tease our  MANY species apart. Ursinia tenuifolia bracts are transparent.

Burgundy spots on Hemimeris sabulosa match its dark leaves.

Golden orange by the sea Manulea tomentosa. Oh my! Mimetes hirtus likes marshy.  

 

Olifantsbos coastal in September with Othonna bulbosa
Olifantsbos coastal in September with Othonna bulbosa 

Giant sedge Cyperus thunbergii. Intense blue Aristea africana gazes back. Tiny yellow Gymnodiscus capillaris.

Orange throat in Hebenstretia repens. 'Never seen water here before!' said our hike leader. Buttery yellow Roepera flexuosa.

Rich golden lichen Dufourea. Our species Salicornia littorea on the rocky shore. Roepera fruit.

 

Aristea africana gazing back from Olifantsbos coastal in September
Aristea africana gazing back from Olifantsbos coastal in September

Back to Kommetjie for the boardwalk along the coast. Hoping for Ferraria crispa (which has very crisped margins). Deepest purple Lycium afrum with THORNS. Echoed by Pittosporum crassifolium from New Zealand (invasive and spread by birds). We found only one early starfish lily.

Solanum linnaeanum purple flowers and 'tempting' fruit.

 

Ferraria crispa along Kommetjie boardwalk in September
Ferraria crispa along Kommetjie boardwalk in September

When we turned for home, out to sea was flat calm with the stacked white clouds mirrored on the sea. Pivot inland and the cold front was menacing black clouds bringing the next rain. Looking across the bay to Hout Bay and the next week at Suikerbossie.

 

Cold front at Kommetjie
Cold front at Kommetjie

Again manifold daisies. Those bracts ... Senecio littoreus. Discussion on iNat about this wetland Cotula vulgaris. Prickly leaves, African thistle, Berkheya rigida.

Terracotta flowers followed by bronze calyx Salvia aurea. Climbing Bokhoringtjie Cynanchum africanum.

Satyrium odorum orchid with 2 slender spurs. Golden Manulea tomentosa. Pteroclastus tricuspidatus each fruit has 3 horns.

 

with Cotula vulgaris along the Kommetjie boardwalk in September
with Cotula vulgaris along the Kommetjie boardwalk in September

Enfolding the little bay is a tiny headland, where we find a few more plants, and birds, and a new mosaic memorial to Group Areas forced removal. Today's trek fishermen are based from Fish Hoek beach.

 

Group Areas forcible removal memorial at Kommetjie
Group Areas forcible removal memorial at Kommetjie

Suikerbossie is on Constantia Neck above Hout Bay. We loop up past the restaurant (with childhood memories of Sunday drives for tea and scones). Slowly thru the very best bit as the path turns on the shoulder. Then inland across the base of the last Apostle, Judas Peak towards Myburghskloof. 'My Edelweiss' Aizoon sarmentosum. Orange and yellow sunshine Zaluzianskya divaricata.

Dusky pink Moraea gawleri.

Pauridia capensis midnight blue heart. Moraea tripetala. Gladiolus gracilis.

 

Midnight blue heart Pauridia capensis at Suikerbossie in September
Midnight blue heart Pauridia capensis at Suikerbossie in September

Climbing Cyphia volubilis. Pterygodium catholicum cowl bonnet orchid. Yellow pea Aspalathus chenopoda with spotted chafer beetle.

Struthiola dodecandra. Blue sequins Geissorhiza aspera. Shell pink bells Erica mauritanica.

Aristea spiralis flower and bud. Lobostemon glaucophyllus.

 

Suikerbossie in September with Pterygodium catholicum
Suikerbossie in September with Pterygodium catholicum

Then we turned down too soon and got a bit lost. Headed for Little Lion's Head and found our way back to our cars.

 

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Comments

  1. Fun to see the baboons foraging. As always, I appreciate your wonderfully diverse wildflowers and those spectacular vistas.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Every photo collage an exotic unfamiliar treasure box.

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  3. I read that Cullumia squarrosa is threatened by urban expansion. So sad. Your collages are stunning as always. P.x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hadn't realised that - thanks. Have added two links.

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    2. Beautiful plants and striking natural scenery in your part of the world!

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