23 September, 2011

Wildflower Wednesday in September

I was early for Gail's Wildflower-WednesdayLast week the flowers were foreign, today they are Proudly South African. Perhaps the spirit of WFW is more about the wildflowers that would grow in my garden, if nature decided. Yellow Oxalis. White rain daisies on otherwise bare earth. In the damp hollows Melianthus and arum lilies. Where the winter rain leaves a few inches of standing water, vlei lilies.

Most of my bulbs were grown from seed. Fairy bells of Melasphaerula. White Babiana inherited from the previous gardener. Vlei lilies, seed didn’t work, so I bought bulbs with delight, when I found them. Arum lily snuck in with a Strelitzia. Freesia alba once from seed, now self-sown. Dietes some inherited, some from seed, some as bulbs – but somehow, they are all the same species.

Melasphaerula, Babiana, vlei lily
arum, Freesia alba, Dietes

Chasmanthe should be yellow, but the orange bobs up. Oxalis to strike fear in the heart of Californian gardeners, this has seeded in the crook of the ash tree, and waves its flowers in my face! The orange Clivia sulks and dwindles; the yellow threatens to burst out of its pot. Ifafa lilies flower on.

Chasmanthe, Oxalis
Ifafa lily

The first of the scabious with masses of buds poised fatly. Plectranthus neochilus with architectural spires at ankle height. Melianthus up high, with birds bickering over nectar. Solitary Dianthus (sorry, that's what you get when you schedule posts ahead - Dianthus is NOT one of our wildflowers!)

Scabious, Plectranthus neochilus
Melianthus, Dianthus

On the Karoo Koppie, the winter aloes are stalks with seeds. Now the highest flowers are Euphorbia mauretanica a cushion of lime gold. Cotyledon orbiculata blooms on. We have tangerine and lemon Bulbinella. And the vygies begin, the taller shrubby Lampranthus and The Others (not good at IDing succulents).

Euphorbia mauretanica, Bulbinella, Cotyledon orbiculata, ?? vygie
twice, Bulbinella

I don’t do annuals, but I do do shrubs. One of the Podalyria calyptrata had a hidden label ‘white’ and so it is. The Buddleja sends out swoons of fragrance. Jasmine is fragrant if you get up close and personal. Knoffel buchu, with its garlic leaves.

Podalyria calyptrata, Buddleja
Jasmine, knoffel buchu

Podalyria calyptrata in the gentle sweetpea colours I expected. Pink bells of Dombeya hanging down, and needing to be uplifted for the camera. Hazy soft mauve wild sage. The only survivor of the fynbos garden I tried, Erica baccans, berry heath for the shape of the little flowers.

Podalyria calyptrata, Dombeya
sage, Erica baccans

Ribbon bush Hypoestes such delicate flowers. Clerodendron Oxford and Cambridge bush with blue butterfly flowers. Tiny blue Freylinia flowers. And you all recognise sky blue Plumbago?

Hypoestes, Clerodendron
Freylinia, Plumbago

Bruinsalie. Salvia africana-lutea. Once the burnt orange flowers fall, the sepals remain, as ornamental as the flowers, but in burnished burgundy. Yellow, orange and red Tecomaria.

Top right Salvia africana-lutea
Three colours of Tecomaria

Species Pelargoniums, some from seed, some passalong. And my favourite nutmeg pelargonium, kidney shaped spicy leaves and tiny white flowers. patientgardener a-new-passion-species-pelargoniums

Bottom right nutmeg pelargonium

These daisies are all Proudly South African. Kingfisher blue Felicia, this one with green and white leaves. Cream and yellow Gazania. Dimorphotheca in deepest purple and gentlest yellow (also pink and white).

White Dimorphotheca pluvialis, purple Dimorphotheca jucunda
cream and yellow Gazanias
blue Felicia, yellow Dimorphotheca jucunda

‘Now is the winter of our discontent’ NOT. Summer is forgotten, we have had some rain.

Pictures and words
by Diana of Elephant's Eye
- wildlife gardening in Porterville,
near Cape Town in South Africa

(If you mouse over brown text,
it turns shriek pink. Those are my links.)


  1. What beautiful flowers you have.

    Enjoy your time away ~ FlowerLady

  2. A wonderful display of our wild flowers, Diana you always make me feel very proudly South African!

    How about the pretty Babianas? They are my new, prettiest, favourite home-grown blommetjies :)

  3. Christine _ I have Babiana in pots, the white one was out. Waiting on purple and red.

  4. Fascinating pictures of some little known flowers - at least around here.
    Have a nice day!

  5. What an abundant display of native wildflowers! Some are very familiar, others I've never seen. Some quite beautiful, others unique. Very interesting.

  6. I've never grown bulbs from seeds. It must take great patience. (Excepting spring onions!)

  7. 'Mind boggling' selection of wonderful flower pictures... many of which are quite new to me...

  8. Wow, why would anybody in South Africa plant non-native plants? This is just too amazing to be true...

    Happy WFW. I keep thinking one day I'll participate, but I always miss it.

  9. Town Mouse et al - Wildflower Wednesday will be on the 28th. You still have time ...

  10. Diana, I have to echo Town Mouse. Why on earth would anyone bother to look beyond the meadow next door for the plants for their garden!

    I must say, I adore freesia. It was one of my wedding flowers! I love the fragrance of the freesia we get here, and my hubby used to buy me bouquets of it when we were engaged. It's too tender to grow here, other than as an annual, but every now and again, we do!

    Such a wonderfully informative post! Thanks so much for sharing so much about your native plants.

  11. I am just amazed at what your garden contains. The veriety ia absolutely astounding.

  12. Such lovely flowers Diana~I marvel at the beauty your part of the gardening world has for all of us to enjoy. Glad you joined WW, it's a delightful treat to see your post! gail

  13. You have some of the most stunning flowers, wild or domestic.

    I am sending a link to your blog to my Aunt and Uncle here in BC. They have been to South Africa, and are avid gardeners. They still rave about the beautiful flowers they saw there.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

  14. So many beautiful flowers to look at, eye candy for so many of us. thanks for the delightful tour.

  15. thanks for stopping by my blog too, your blog is very interesting, with such beautiful pics. I use to love planting when I was small, but haven't done so in a long time. I really want to pic it back sometime in the future.

  16. It's lovely to see so many familiar flower species in their native home. I often forget that many of the 'exotic' species we see here, are actually native to somewhere else!

  17. Diana, I can't believe I'm this far behind on reading your blog. I always enjoy seeing all the wonderful native plants in your garden. This time, I was smitten with Clerodendron,a plant I had never heard of before; it's blue butterfly flowers are wonderful. -Jean


Photographs and Copyright

Photographs are from Diana Studer or Jurg Studer.
My Canon PowerShot A490

If I use your images or information, it will be clearly acknowledged with either a link to the website, or details of the book. If you use my images or words, I expect you to acknowledge them in turn.

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