Great Southern Bioblitz October 2021 Cape Town
by Diana Studer
- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa
Imagine you are walking on the slopes of Cape Town's mountains with me. This is what you would see, and learn to recognise. The ten most observed Bioblitz species and all are plants. These are the widespread LOOK At Me species. But we have also found treasure - my blue favourite this year - Gnidia penicillata (Thymelaeaceae family)
Tall and flamboyant in magenta (sometimes white), with crisp folded leaves Pelargonium cucullatum
|Pelargonium cucullatum |
Slangkop October 2018
Low and spreading, quiet hard worker in gardens - gentle pink flowers, soft velvety fragrant leaves Pelargonium capitatum
Silvermine August 2017
Ice plant or sour fig. Vygie with edible figs (invasive in California, Australia and Mediterranean shore) Flowers yellow or mid-pink Carpobrotus edulis
Silvermine December 2018
Passerina corymbosa. My nemesis. Typical fynbos - shrubby with small leaves, and tiny pale flowers in pink, yellow or cream. Stamens extended for wind pollination. Thymelaeaceae family whose common name gonna is Khoisan - stringy bark was used for binding.
Brakkloofrant October 2019
Shrubby yellow daisy, almost a tree. But bietou is a daisy with edible black berries. Osteospermum moniliferum
Silvemine August 2018
A little orchid Disa bracteata has a purple hood
Rondebosch Common October 2017
Everyone knows our white arum lily Zantedeschia aethiopica (aethiopica means South of the known world, the Sahara Desert) Again embarrassingly invasive in many other countries. And it is neither an Arum nor a lily.
arum lily to us
our Porterville garden August 2009
Yellow pincushion protea. Woody shrub, the branches fork with each year's growth. Silver or green leaves depending on subspecies. Leucospermum conocarpodendron
Shrubby sage with limy leaves, deep terracotta flowers followed by persistent large bronze calyx Salvia aurea
strandsalie or beach sage
Kommetjie September 2021
Succulent with tall flower stems. Brick red buds opening to a rich cream Crassula fascicularis
Olifantsbos September 2020
All indigenous. Sneaking in next are Australian wattle Acacia saligna and cosmopolitan Trifolium angustifolium. Much further down the first animal is a honey bee, trailed by a tortoise, with sacred ibis and kelp gull.
Cape Town's Bioblitz October 2021 species
Zeekoevlei June 2017
Stepping across our border to cover Southern Africa with Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi and Kenya. Brings Wachendorfia paniculata and Mimetes cucullatus. First animal pairs honey bees and Egyptian geese. With that same Acacia and clover trailing as first aliens.
Southern Africa's Bioblitz October 2021 species
Mule Track October 2019
Even further to the whole Southern hemisphere. Reaching across the great Southern oceans to South America, Australia and New Zealand. Turns the focus to animals. The first two are honey bees (but I wouldn't include hived and managed bees as 'wild' animals) and Australian magpies, with a dove and Chilean lapwing in the first 10. First plant (elbowing Cape fynbos aside) is Australian milkmaids, their chocolate lily is fifth.
Great Southern Bioblitz October 2021 species
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You live in an incredible part of the world, Diana. I'm in love with both Crassula fascicularis and Wachendorfia paniculata, neither of which I can remember seeing before (certainly not here). I have grown a variety of Pelargonium cucullatum, though - it borders on invasive here but it's manageable if you keep on top of it. I also grow the bush sage, still most commonly know as Salvia africana-lutea here.ReplyDelete
I would love to have a walk with proteas in them Diana! I was involved in a bioblitz at Westonbirt arboretum and walked with a couple of moss and lichen experts. Their introduction to biodiversity through a hand lens was quite an eye opener.ReplyDelete
We have this lovely lady from Lithuania on iNat. She IDs lichens for usDelete
across the world.
How wonderful! Autumn is very much in full swing here in Mid Wales... The leaves are golden and falling, and there's not much flowering (apart from a rose) in the garden.ReplyDelete
Bioblitz, that's a lovely idea to get people more aware of the wonders of the natural world.ReplyDelete
Your Gnidia is a stunning blue! Several of the others are quite familiar to Southern California gardeners. I remember from childhood Zantedeschia to be very common--I rarely see it here now. Leucospermum once unheard of is more common--a treasure to be sure.
That is reassuring - I have seen nightmare pictures of Californian valleys SMOTHERed in our arum lilies - never see them like that here. It is - in damp hollows, or along streams, and popping up in gardens.Delete
For once there are a few plants that I am familiar with such as the Arum Lily which I had in my last garden. I think I remember you saying it grew beside streams, which explained why it always disappeared in a dry summer (and then again disappeared during cold winters). But it always came back again. I also know Briza maxima and saw that in the wild here in southern France for the first time - it's a garden plant further north. I love all your native plants and birds, they seem to be so colourful!ReplyDelete