|A seaside cliff, with and Mesembryanthemum|
A resident of California or the Mediterranean would feel quite at home driving up to a coastal cliff, for many of the cultivated plants in these regions come from South Africa, including the ubiquitous ice plant. Here though we face out to Anarctica, though safely removed from it enough to enjoy a pleasant subtropical climate.
|Storm clouds gather off of the south coast.|
|An unidentified white Erica.|
Another locally mind-boggling genus is Pelargonium, in the Geraniaceae. Of the 200 species in the genus, most are native to South Africa. The others are widely scattered in isolated corners of the old world. Aloes represent another major genus, with 500 species in southern and eastern Africa, Madagascar and the Arabic Peninsula. There are also an abundance of legumes, composites (Asteraceae), Mesembryanthaceae, and Oxalidaceae. We will see in future installments families that have diversified in drier parts of the country: the Iridaceae, Asclepiadaceae, and the Euphorbiaceae.
|A brilliant red Pelargonium, apparently a variant or close relative of P. fulgidum.|
|True Geraniums are quite different from Pelargonium, though in the same family. Here is |
|No, this picture is not in sideways. These are the|
massive branches of a giant Outeniqua yellowwood
tree (Podocarpus falcatus) in the Tsitsikamma
Forest. Hanging from the branches is a lichen
reminiscent of the Spanish moss in Florida.
As is my custom, I will forgo further words, and allow the photographs to continue with the story. I have not identified all of these, and some of my identifications may prove to be wrong. I welcome any corrections!
|Aloe ciliaris, the "climbing aloe," is unusual|
for its elongate, rambling stems.
|A calla lily (Zantedeschia) finds a moist niche at the base of a coastal cliff.|
|Dimorphotheca nudicaulis is one of many species of the Asteraceae found|
only in South Africa.
|An unidentified member of the Hibiscus Family|
|Cotyledon orbiculata (Crassulaceae) is a common sight in the fynbos.|
|This colorful member of the legume family|
(Fabaceae) appears to be a species of Indigofera.
|Muraltia heisteria resembles a legume but is in|
|Sutherlandia montana is a colorful legume of the fynbos.|
|The flowers of Drosera aliciae arise from typical sundew rosettes (above right).|
|Drosera cistiflora has long, upright stems.|
|Anisodonta cabrosis a showy member of the Hibiscus family (Malvaceae).|
|A white-flowered member of the genus|
Nemesia, in the Snapdragon family
|Tritoniopsis caffra pokes up above the|
fynbos vegetation. It is a member of the
Iridaceae, about which we'll hear
a great deal more in the next installment.
|A pink-flowered Nemesia|
|Berzelia abrotonoides (Bruniaceae) is a|
shrub with dense clusters of small
|An orange-flowered Oxalis, probably a|
form of O. massoniana
|The southern coast of South Africa is probably what much of coastal California looked like many years ago.|