|The lush landscape north of Cape Town features farms isolated |
amidst hills covered with native fynbos (equivalent of our
|Visitors examine a display of local wildflowers at the 1998 |
Darling Wildflower show.
On my excursion with 1998 Botanical Garden Congress, our first stop was the spring wildflower show, held each September in the small town of Darling north of Cape Town. The show serves as an excellent introduction to the local native wild flowers. In the exhibit hall specimens were lined on tables and labeled - everything from ground orchids to the weird saprophytes in the genus Hyobanche.
|Labeled wild flowers create a living field guide.|
|Satyrium erectum is one of many native ground|
|Thoroughly labeled and interpreted displays make the Darling Wild Flower|
Show a truly educational experience.
|Wildflowers are not the only attraction in South Africa. North of Cape Town|
we encountered this massive colony of gannets, along with penguins and other
Please enjoy the pictures, which will explain themselves.
|Babiana angustifolia (Iridaceae) provides splashes |
of violet close to the ground.
|Bright red blossoms of Cotyledon orbiculata |
(Crassulaceae) form living, nectar-filled bird-feeders
|A multi-colored Sparaxis, either S. variegata or|
S. villosa (Iridaceae), at Clanwilliam.
|An attractive member of the genus Polygala|
|A yellow-flowered species of the genus Lampranthus (Aizoaceae), might|
be mistaken at first glance for a member of the sunflower family,
but these are true, single flowers.
|Cyanella hyacinthoides (Tecophilaeaceae)|
|Lapeirousia anceps (Iridaceae) appears to mimic some species|
|A red-flowered Lampranthus (Aizoaceae) joins forces with a piece of driftwood|
to form a natural work of art.
|The dainty blossoms of Nemesia ligulata (Scrophulariaceae) dance above red|
|Diascia longicornis (Scrophulariaceae) has|
long spurs that are filled, not with
nectar, but with a nutritious oil collected
by pollinating bees.
|An orange-flowered Cotyledon orbiculata|
|Monopsis simplex (Campanulaceae) straggles along the ground.|
|A Namaqualand landscape of drought-tolerant |
shrubs line the path to an ancient art gallery (entrance
in rocks ahead).
|An anonymous San artist depicted ancient archers on the hunt. The image appears to overlay an earlier work.|
|Another painting depicts a herd of giraffes.|
|Anisodontea triloba, a member of the Hibiscus Family (Malvaceae)|
|Herrea elongata is a member of the succulent family,|
|Hyobanche sanquinea (Orobanchaceae) does not photosynthesize.|
Instead, it draws its nutrition through a symbiotic fungus that
parasitizes tree roots.
|Romulea flava (Iridaceae) is a geophyte, emerging|
from a corm in the spring. It will disappear again
after producing seeds.
|Anchusa capensis (Boraginaceae) adds a swatch of|
bright blue to the Namaqualand landscape.
|A species of Lachenalia (Asparagaceae).|
|Salvia africana-coerulea (Lamiaceae) is related to mints,|
sage, and catnip.
|Asparagus lignosus (Asparagaceae).|
|Babiana curviscapa (Iridaceae) near Leliefontein.|
|A colony of Arctotis fastuosa (Asteraceae) drapes the edge of a ravine.|