by Diana Studer
- gardening for biodiversity
This September we did get to Postberg Flower Reserve in the West Coast National Park for the spring flowers. Free entry with our Wild Card. There are stern notices to Stay In Your Car, except at the picnic and parking spots. In 2010 we enjoyed walking the Bakoor Trail. Next year we will hike the trail again! Disconcertingly we are no longer allowed to walk into that view beyond the cars parked along the road to the right.
|Didelta at Plankiesbaai|
Didelta carnosa var. tomentosa leaves covered in white hairs, this daisy shrublet grows very close to the sea at Plankiesbaai.
|Saldanha ships, vygie|
From Postberg Flower Reserve you look across Langebaan Lagoon (nature conservation) to Saldanha Bay with ships taking iron ore brought from Sishen by train. Daisies, bulbs and succulents (electric pink vygie). An angulate tortoise kept me company. Since we couldn't walk down to the rocky bay, and didn't want the sandy one again, we climbed up the hill with the flowers.
|Pelargonium fulgidum, Moraea tripetala, Diogon lignosus|
Salvia africana-lutea, Sutherlandia frutescens
Scarlet Pelargonium fulgidum with lush silver fur on its green leaves, also grows at Cape Columbine. Blue and yellow Moraea tripetala an iris in tiny feathered perfection. Purple and pink pea flowers of Dipogon lignosus. Five distinctively forked petals, common name drumsticks, is Zaluzianskya sp. (can't ID a pink one?) Strandsalie here living up to its name; Salvia africana-lutea grows in my garden. Metallic pods and leaves on Sutherlandia frutescens.
|Gazania, Didelta carnosa var. tomentosa, ?|
Gazania, Dimorphotheca pluvialis
Gazania peacock marked with chocolate and cream at the base of its petals. Didelta carnosa var. tomentosa. Two nameless yellow daisies. Dimorphotheca pluvialis rain daisies are white with a purple heart.
|Tinie Versfeld Wildflower Reserve|
Since we went that way home, we stopped at Tinie Versfeld Wildflower Reserve outside Darling. Swartland Renosterveld grows on fertile clay soils, almost covered with wheat fields today. 4% survives; this reserve is part of 1.6% which is conserved.
|Romulea tabularis, Sparaxis bulbifera|
Romulea tabularis blue stars with a golden heart (now I have a name for one of my potted treasures!) Soft yellow Sparaxis bulbifera grows with wet feet.
|Pelargonium triste, Wachendorfia brachyandra|
Lachenalia pallida, Babiana angustifolia
Pelargonium triste clove scented at night. 'John Tradescant took Pelargonium triste to England in 1632. It was one of the first pelargoniums that was collected and grown from the Cape' - PlantZAfrica. Wachendorfia brachyandra has red roots and golden flowers. Lachenalia pallida cream with green tips like a snowdrop. Babiana angustifolia blue with violet details on the upper petals.
We have so many different flowers that at the end of the day, I slide into SEEN those, but what is THAT large lonely white flower whose petals were neatly edged with pinking shears? Monsonia speciosa is one of our few true geraniums to set against a wide spectrum of pelargoniums.
Late afternoon in Darling, setting out Geissorhiza darlingensis was open, but as we returned to our car half an hour later, the flowers were tucked up for a cool evening. In the iris family, yellow wine cup is only found at Tinie Versfeld, on damp granite soil. We did walk carefully, appreciating the boardwalks!
Pictures by Diana and Jurg Studer of Elephant's Eye
(in Porterville, near Cape Town in South Africa)
(If you mouse over brown text, it turns shriek pink. Those are my links.
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