February Disa hikes to Silvermine, Kirstenbosch and Slangkop
by Diana Studer
- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa
Gentle hike with the Ungardener's repaired knee at Silvermine. I found a blue Disa graminifolia. He could already outpace me.
Hiking among wildflowers
in the mountains
around Cape Town
My Fynbos Rambles to Silvermine Crags for Aspalathus crenata with pale veined leaves. Phylica dioica ivory velvet buds and dull brownish star flowers. Ursinia dentata translucent bracts and a nother yellow daisy on the upper side.
|February flowers on Silvermine Crags|
Kirstenbosch for red Disa uniflora Pride of Table Mountain.
Erica nudiflora (not hairy flowers) with furry Erica hirtiflora. Mountain cypress Widdringtonia nodiflora has cones with four scales.
Black, white and buttery yellow delicately marked spider. Southern blackleg orbweaver. Trichonephila fenestrata fenestrata.
|Southern blackleg orbweaver|
Helichrysum nudifolium - daisy but with unexpected broad leaves. 'Culturally, medicinally, and historically, this species is one of the most important in South Africa. Leafy greens, incense and traditional medicine' - from that PZA link. Warning colours on poisonous caterpillar of Christmas butterfly eating blister bush Notobubon galbanum. Agathosma buchu.
caterpillar and buchu
Slangkop to find fresh flowers after a mid-December fire. Here a reminder of how fynbos bounces back after an earlier fire, the standing dead protea bushes above the new green. Blue mountains, starting left with Hout Bay's Sentinel and Klein Leeukoppie, a corner of Table Mountain, and Chapman's Peak.
|Slangkop after an earlier fire|
This we wanted to find. Haemanthus sanguineus April Fool (a little early). In all its stages from a soft coral ear emerging from white sand and dark ash, to opening flowers, and a gone to seed already. Munching caterpillar.
Second target was Erica ferrea. So hard to find that particular pink erica, just a few bushes. Some plants recover from fire with masses of seedlings. Woody ones like protea family are often resprouters. Burnt cone and fresh green leaves of Leucadendron salignum.
|Erica and Leucadendron|
Surprised to see Oftia africana covered in berries ripening to lush burgundy. The leopard graffiti has new seashore companions, a wading bird with a swimming fish.
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Pictures by Diana Studer
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