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.
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.
Senecio or Kleinia articularis is a succulent with blue-gray jointed stems resembling a string of sausages hence it’s name hotdog plant or ‘worsies’.
It has ivy shaped leaves that are seen seasonally, otherwise the stems are bare.
They spread and ramble under larger shrubs in the spekboomveld and gwarrieveld of the western cape and eastern cape of South Africa.
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.
Aloe tappers near Calitzdorp in the Little Karoo arrange the cut aloe leaves in a ring around a depression in the ground lined with plastic. Aloin sap flows from the aloe leaves and is collected in the plastic. It is then boiled and reduced to a resinous form taken as a laxative and for arthritis.
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.