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