I managed to finally capture the Malachite sunbird feeding .
The plant is used medicinally for the symptomatic treatment of coughs in acute bronchial disease, high blood preasure, headaches, asthma and viral hepatitis.
Tag Archives: flowers
Although not indigenous to Africa, I am fond of their flowers. they are only open for 1 day, but are quite the show when they appear.
Bird of paradise, Strelitzia is a close relative of the banana. The striking flowers of this species are evolved to attract bird pollinators.Birds also eat and disperse the seeds. The cut flowers are popular. This stemless perennial are native to South Africa and occurs in coastal areas in well drained soil along forest margins.
Seeds with their orange wooly arils.
This Babiana plant is a perennial corm bulb in the Iris family. Apparently favoured by baboons that eat it’s corms (hence babiana), it survives amongst rock crevices on sandstone slopes and flats where it flowers in early spring. Possibly B. ambigua, this one was found growing on the Swartberg mountains in the little Karoo.
A veld fire offers an opportunity to see what comes up !
Rafnia racemosa is a woody shrub that shoots up after fire. Leaves are simple, elliptic and greyish-green. Pea-like flowers are yellow, 1-2cm long with a pointed keel tip and triangular calyx lobes, equal in size.
This species occurs in arid protea fynbos, arid renosterveld, waboomveld and sandolienveld in the western cape of South Africa.
Tongue-leafed mesemb, Glottiphyllum longum with seed pods or fruit capsules. this species flowers in autumn in the western cape, little karoo region.
The highly succulent leaves are oblong and slightly flattened. Stems are not normally visible and the plant exhibits clump-forming growth as opposed to trailing.
Leonotus, also known as wild dagga, a reference to the mild psychoactive properties of the plant. This popular garden shrub is widepread in South Africa and in addition to it’s many medicinal properties attracts sunbirds to it’s bright orange inflorescences.
Calpurnia aurea being attended to by a pollinator. This small evergreen tree is indigenous to the eastern cape, natal and gauteng provinces of South Africa. It grows to 4m. It is fast growing and produces yellow pea-like flowers from 2yrs, making it the ideal ‘instant’ tree. It can be pruned into a compact shape and is frost tolerant.
Related to everlastings, this perrenial shrub volunteered on the allotment at Towerkop nursery. It grows to a metre high and flowers profusely from spring well into summer.
Occurs naturally on sandy slopes in damp places from the southwestern cape to Mpumalanga.
Sprawling succulent shrublet with a rosette of warty club shaped branches arising from a short thick stem (caudex). Endemic near Cape town, South Africa found in deep sand and on rocky outcrops.
“Euphorbias are characterized by their milky latex. Stipules are usually present, often modified into prickles and spines.
Many species produce peduncles (inflorescent stalks) which persist after the cyathia (cup-shaped structures) and capsules have withered.
In some species these persistent peduncles become sharpened at the tip and become true spines.
The individual flowers, set within a cyathium, which is the basic unit of the inflorescence of euphorbia, are surrounded by a number of bracts which form a unique floral envelope or involucre.
The flowers are unisexual with the male flower reduced to a single stamen on it’s own pedicel.
Curiously there is never more than one female flower in a cyathium, whereas the male flowers are always numerous.
Capsules usually consist of three cells. the cells seperate at maturity from a persistent axis, often freeing the seed with great force.”