May 6

Today was wet and rainy,  so there was no walk, but there were many interesting plants on display at the Visitors’ Centre. These are a few flowers in bloom in Fernkloof this week.

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Kwaaiwater March 18

Here is a slideshow of the plants we saw on Friday, we walked along the path at the Kwaaiwater parking area for only about 100m  

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Others on the list are: Chironia baccifera berries, Polygala myrtifolia, Gnidia squarossa, Metalasia densa, Searsia laevigata, Senecio serpens (seed), Erica ericoides.

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Disa ferruginea hoodwinks butterfly

On 20 Feb 2011 Fran Jordaan spotted these beautiful Disas , Disa ferruginea on Maanskynkop: they were growing together with many Tritoniopsis triticea.

They look very similar to the Tritoniopsis shown below:

 The Disa ferruginea is part of the ORCHIDACEAE family. They bear crowded racemes of bright red to orange flowers: but they have no nectar, and need to attract pollinators.
They mimic the Tritoniopsis which does have nectar. “It is playing a dangerous game, for it produces no reward for the visiting Aeropetes butterfly, relying on the gullibility of the butterfly to continue its visits” (Anne Bean and Amida Johns).
Aeropetes tulbaghia = Table Mountain Beauty, is uniquely attracted to red, whether clothing or flowers.

There are many cases in nature where flowers rely on mimicry for pollination, for example the Disa atricapilla

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“Plant List” 23 Feb

Here is a slideshow of some of the plants from the Friday 23 Feb Plant List:

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Friday 24 Feb Walk

On Friday we went down to the Klein River Estuary, to look for a special Lobelia that Christine had seen. The vegetation is so different there, it even caused a puzzle or two for Belle.

This is the Lobelia anceps we came looking for:

At the estuary we also fine the quite unusual Leucodendron linifolium which Grant told us about:

 Two members of the GENTIANACEAE family: Orphium frutescens and Chironia decumbens

The Orphium frutescens  has the most beautiful anthers… they look like koeksusters.. and the amazing thing is that they are “Buzz-pollinated“.. when a carpenter bee flies near it the vibration of the wings detonates the koeksusters!!! and the pollen flies all over the show and particularly onto the bee… who merrily goes about doing his cross pollination:

Here is the other one and a white “sport’s model” of the same!

There is more to come so watch this space.

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4 Lobelias Feb 18


These are 4 lobelias blooming in February : Lobelia pinifolia, L. coronopifolia, L. chamaepitys and L setacea ….and they are sometimes a bit confusing. Hope this will help you.

Lobelia pinifolia

Dec to April. Erect shrublet to 50 cm, resprouting after fire. Leaves narrow, crowded, pointed, smooth. Flowers 3-10, blue, terminal or in leaf axils. Found on rocky slopes.

Lobelia pinifolia









Looking more closely at the other 3 :

Lobelia coronopifolia, L. chamaepitys, and L. setacea


Lobelia coronopifolia

  Oct-April: Tufted perennial, branching from base. Leaves narrow, toothed, bright green, smooth. Flower stems: strong green, (fading to pale brown). Flowers larger than L chamaepitys. Blue. Lower sandy flats. 




Notice the leaf detail in the L.coronopifolia


Lobelia chamaepitys

Sept- April. Tufted perennial branching from the base. Leaves narrow, toothed, dull green, hairy. Flower stems: very thin, brown, (green when young) Flowers 1 or 2 violet blue. Rocky slopes


 Lobelia setacea 

Nov – April. Sprawling perennial. Leaves scattered, very narrow on thin stems. Flowers blue, hairy ovary rounded below. Found on rocky slopes, and lower flats 






We hope that makes it clearer!

If you get a chance take your spy glass and look inside the flowers. These 4 lobelias all have 5 anthers with a  brush-like tuft with white hairs.  Very pretty!








Lobelia coronopifolia, L. chamaepitys, L.setacea


Lobelia coronopifolia  
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Diagram of a flower head. Note bracts surround...

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Corymbiums flower profusely after fire. Corymbium glabrum has smooth deeply veined leaves and smooth stems.




Commonly known as "pink tongues" because of the protruding pink ray floret.



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