June hikes to Elsies Peak, Myburghkloof, Silvermine waterfall, Red Track at Cape Point, and Slangkop
by Diana Studer
- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa
Hiking among wildflowers
in the mountains
around Cape Town
June gave us 5 hikes. We begin at Elsies Peak. Looking down to Fish Hoek beach and across to Chapman's Peak on the left. Vivid pink stars set in ivory velvet Trichocephalus stipularis. White pompoms Brunia noduliflora. Erica viscaria in 3 tones of pink.
|Elsies Peak with Erica viscaria in June|
Gladiolus maculatus blinging on the spots. Crusty gold lichen. Gladiolus priorii with a golden heart. Leucospermum conocarpodendron viridum with nectaries around the leaf tips.
|Elsies Peak with Gladiolus maculatus in June|
To Myburgkloof above Hout Bay. On iNaturalist my Crassula became C. saxifraga, not the usual species I expected! It is midwinter and the sun almost, made it over the top of the mountain for midday. This disconcerting flower is an Oxalis purpurea, still wrapped in her elegant peignoir (NOT getting out of bed today!) Myburghkloof River was absolutely dry - in our winter rainy season! Many greys in this crusty lichen.
|Myburghkloof Oxalis in June|
Silvermine for the waterfall. Emerging from the ash many Moraea ochroleuca golden yellow with a bright orange throat. Tetratria sedge family - near the path little sister T. eximia - spread across the slope great clumps of T. thermalis.
|Silvermine Moraea and Tetraria in June|
Softly pink. Gomphocarpus cancellatus buds. Stilbe vestita veiled in white (endemic genus). Yes we has waterfall! Podalyria sericea sweetpea bush with velvety grey leaves. Can't resist Gladiolus maculatus with rain drops added to its pattern. Asparagus kraussianus with much broader leaves than garden asparagus fern.
|Silvermine pink flowers in June|
Red Track at Cape Point. 3 from the restio family with Staberoha tassel reed in the middle. 3 daisies white Metalasia densa wafts honey along the path. Spike of Seriphium cinereum. Strawberry buds for white Anaxeton laeve.
|Red Track in June restios and daisies|
We had 2 targets for our ericas. First endemic low white Erica capensis. Salt and pepper Erica imbricata. Wind pollinated Erica lasciva with golf tee stigma. THE target - corn on the cob - yellow mielie heath Erica patersonia. Few flowers say Erica obliqua. Keeping wary eyes on us a pair of zebra.
|Ericas on the Red Track in June|
Red Track runs across wide flat part of Cape Point, where you can see distant mountains and flowers at your feet, where heart, soul and mind can expand. Love golden Serruria villosa. And a natural hybrid with Serruria glomerata (giving the clusters of flowers) Gladiolus merianellus shapely silhouette from the side in diva red. Modestly bowed butter yellow cups Roepera spinosa has TINY hooks below the leaves.
|Red Track Serruria in June|
Ending at Slangkop. Targeting Audouinia capitata crisscrossing where we knew it was, we finally found TWO plants. Pink pea Indigofera angustifolia. Again looking for what takes the chance to emerge in the space opened by fire clearing the shrub layer. Pale blue Babiana villosula. Gnidia pinifolia flower is two overlaid four pointed stars. Singing and shiny yellow Oxalis luteola.
|Slangkop for Audouinia in June|
The Slangkop plant is little Ornithoglossum viride. Sharing the burgundy, cream and green combination Wurmbea hiemalis. Closing with ubiquitous yellow daisies. Tiny flowers on tall stalks, but still only ankle high Gymnodiscus capillaris. Arctotis breviscapa is Yellow Daisy!
|Slangkop bulbs and daisies in June|
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Pictures by Diana Studer
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