Silvermine last December, Elsie's Peak and Rooihoogte in January

 

by Diana Studer

- gardening for biodiversity

 in Cape Town, South Africa

 

Hiking among wildflowers

in the mountains

around Cape Town


Our last and my only hike in December was Silvermine circular path above the river. A short walk, but we still found two interesting orchids to debate. Acrolophia lamellata has a narrow lip (whole plant also in the collage), while Acrolophia capensis is broader.

 

Acrolophia at Silvermine in December
Acrolophia at Silvermine in December

White stars are Thesium viridifolium. Micranthus alopecuroides  - comb flower lined up in two ranks. Cluster of yellow daisies Athanasia crithmifolia with trident leaves.

 

Pea family. Creeping yellow Rhynchosia capensis yellow. Mountain 'dahlia' Liparia splendens. Softly purple Psoralea aculeata.

 

Silvermine Circular Path above the river in December
Silvermine Circular Path above the river in December

In January at Elsie's Peak we explored the firebreak behind the houses,  where the little plants have a chance after the shrubs and herbaceous have been strimmed away. Tucked higher up among rocks salmon Watsonia tabularis has large bracts (to catch rain?) Little blue Agapanthus africanus is our local winter rainfall species. Aristea bakeri flowers in clusters on a tall spike. Aristea juncifolia is low with 'leaves like rushes'

 

Bulbs on Elsie's Peak in January
Bulbs on Elsie's Peak in January

Little carpenter bee Allodapini. Monopsis lutea showing its yellow name. Otholobium bracteolatum this particularly tall plant looked me in the eye. Pseudoselago spuria palest mauve flowers clustered around a deep purple heart with fine leaves - our usual species.

 

January on Elsie's Peak in yellow and purple
January on Elsie's Peak in yellow and purple

Yellow daisies in endless variations. Waving above everyone else clusters of small flowers with the leaves showing the 'five teeth' Othonna quinquedentata. Soft velvety grey leaves, large flowers on long stalks Capelio tabularis.

 

Yellow daisies Elsie's Peak January
Yellow daisies Elsie's Peak January

Papery white daisies also vary widely. Small flowers and we contemplate the leaves. Helichrysum pandurifolium - small leaves with crinkly margins. Helichrysum patulum lower and spreading with larger leaves.

 

Papery white daisies Elsie's Peak January
Papery white daisies Elsie's Peak January

White flowers. Low and fragrant buchus. Feathery petalled Agathosma imbricata smells of camphor. Five neat petals for Diosma oppositifolia. Shrubby trees with terminal flowers Olea capensis, while Cassine peragua flowers in the axils of leaves

 

Elsie's Peak January more white flowers
More white flowers at Elsie's Peak January

Pelargonium pinnatum such prettily marked petals (always check for leaves, faded and pinnate) Ubiquitous Pelargonium capitatum with soft rose scented leaves. One of the few easy Asparagus rubicundus has red stems.

 

Pelargoniums and asparagus fern Elsie's Peak January
Pelargoniums and asparagus fern Elsie's Peak January 

My second January hike was Rooihoogte at Cape Point. Up and over the rocky outcrop where we saw wary agamas.

 

Agama at Rooihoogte
Agama at Rooihoogte

Despite the many ericas we have seen this one was new! Erica monadelphia flowers in threes, has bent stamens. Familiar Erica pulchella. Pseudoselago serrata an even softer mauve, with broad curved and serrated leaves - the mountain species.

 

Ericas and Pseudoselago at Rooihoogte January
Ericas and Pseudoselago at Rooihoogte January

Our target was these marshmallows. Stoebe rosea with fluffy white buds then deep pink flowers - yet another daisy from the fynbos repertoire. Aristea glauca blooms in summer (africana in spring). Roella triflora (can count to 3, they say)

 

January with Stoebe at Rooihoogte
January with Stoebe at Rooihoogte

Our hikes are listed on my page.

 

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Comments

  1. There's no other blog I can think of that allows me to view so many species - and even genera - I've never heard of. Thanks for sharing your hide finds, Diana!

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  2. surely a slow hike with time for all the lovely details that you see, capture and bring back for your readers to admire. Wildflowers have such a special beauty that we have to bend knees to look at - quite rightly!

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  3. Wonderful hikes! Wildflowers are always so beautiful, nature is the best creator.

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  4. So pretty! With the nice weather and the drop in covid numbers we are out and about as well, I missed hiking.
    Amalia
    xo

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  5. Wonderful hikes. Amazed I know some of the genera, the Agapanthus of course, Aristea, Psorolea, Athanasia, Watsonia, Othonna, Erica, so many SA plants prized and admired in my region, and many new to me. So many. Your hikes are a treasure trove.

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  6. How wonderful to have orchids growing in the wild. I visited the orchid house at our botanical gardens yesterday, It is one of my favorite places. xo Laura

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  7. What a magnificent splendor of flowers, dear Diana! I'm sooooo much looking forward to see lots of colorful flowers again in Austria, too. At least there are a few early spring flowers here and I have already seen the first large carpenter bee... <3
    All the best and happy weekend
    Traude
    https://rostrose.blogspot.com/2022/02/italien-reisebericht-trasimenischer-see.html

    ReplyDelete
  8. Beautiful flowers, well done!
    Regards
    Elke

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  9. How lucky you are to live near all that natural beauty!

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