Spring Flowers

We are up to our armpits in mud. Such a rainy Spring. The farm dam is overflowing already although it is usually only full at the end of December. In between the mist and mizzle, there are some lovely days, so Dizzy and I go walking about.

These are some of the beautiful things we have seen. Really just a collection of photos – not much story. Can you believe the colour of these Whalenbergia cuspidata? I have never seen such a dark purple before.

Close up of the Aspidonepsis diploglossa I spent ages photographing, while Dizzy sat patiently by, sniffing the breeze.

The little clumps of Hemizygia teucriifolia are fragrant when you brush past them, as all members of the sage family are.

and for the first time in ages (due to the super duper rain, or maybe the hot dry spell we had before that?) Cyrtanthus breviflorus in a wetland.flowers of spring are predominantly yellow and blue and mauve, I find. But in just a couple of weeks, it all changes to different blooms and different colours.

There are always masses of Hypoxis about –  but there are so many different species I don’t know one from the next. I was surprised at all the tiny shiny beetles on this one.

This small white one is Hypoxis parvula (I think) and is also sometimes yellow.

Rocky places are my favourite.  These Tubaghia leucanthra (wild garlic) were flowering in profusion.  Stems are purplish and leaves smell strongly of garlic. This is a close up shot of this pretty little thing.  Most of the local Tulbaghia species are moth pollinated and are particularly fragrant at night.

There Rhodohypoxis were all clustered on a damp, flat rocky area, tucked up in crevices or against bigger rocks.

Ledebouria flower for most of the year actually, but are very obvious at the moment where the grass is short.

I really find it hard to identify the different species.  Many have spotty leaves, or striped ones.

Ledebouria cooperi

Bright pink, low growing Oxalis are also easy to spot at the moment.

I didn’t even notice this green beetle on the Gerbera until I looked at the photo on my computer!

Lots and lots of Hesperantha in the wetland areas. 

Some things have already finished flowering!  Usually December has the best flowers – when the orchids are out. Will have to do more wandering about then.

I’ve also been walking in Karkloof on Gartmore farm and you can see all those fabulous flower pics here We  were caught in a storm, so the light was wonderful.

Also at Beacon Hill in Howick (my weekend retreat) flowers were delightful too – view that here – some of these are very unusual.

I recently signed up to iSpot. I call it “facebook for plants”. It is pretty cool.  All the plant fundi’s are registered, so if you don’t know exactly what you have spotted you can ask for advice.  It could get a bit addictive.  However, if you are interested in the very special biodiversity (not just plants) of South Africa, I really recommend you register on iSpot too.  The Graderia scabra (below), I photographed at the Bill Barnes Crane and Oribi Reserve last month. On 1 December we are having a BioBlitz there – an exciting morning where nature enthusiasts gather to seek and record all the biodiversity of an area.  Hope to see you there!

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