20.10.09

Flowers in abundance

"Dit is die maand Oktober! Die mooiste, mooiste maand!" writes C. Louis Leipoldt, a famous Afrikaans poet. ("It is the month of October, the loveliest, loveliest month!" - my translation).  The poem continues to tell about the brightness of our days,  the blue skies and the clear skies by night.  It tells about the smell of many aromatic plants and concludes that no matter what beauty any month may hold, October is the loveliest month of all.


So I think it is just fair to C.L.L. and fitting to the season to show all my blog friends some of our most beautiful indigenous flowers.  Although South Africa is a very dry land with large stretches of desert and semi-desert, it's rich soil  brings forth 10% of all species of plant life in the world.  It is also the only country in the world with an entire plant kingdom inside its borders: the Cape Floristic Kingdom, which contains 8 600 species, 68% of them belonging exclusively and confined to the Western Cape.  More plant species grows in the Cape Peninsula alone, than in the whole of Great Britain.


So here are a couple of my own favourites.  Please enjoy!




Our National Flower, the King Protea, and can anybody wonder why it is called a King.  This particular Protea is indigenous to the Western Cape, as is most of our Protea species.


This Protea is called the "Suikerbossie" (Sugar Bush) and grows on the highveld about two thousand kilometres North of the King Protea.  For those who know Eve Boswell, this is the "Sugar Bush I love you so" that she sings about.

Clivia, growing in my own garden.  This was the very first Clivia blooms in my garden this year.


One of the many Aloe species that grow in all the dry areas of South Africa, like the Karoo, the Northern Cape and the Eastern Cape.

The Disa, especially known to grow on Table Mountain in Cape Town.  What can I say about it?  It's delicate beauty speaks for itself.


This is the now the emblem of Los Angeles in the USA, but it originated in South Africa.  What few people know about the Strelitzia is that it hides six more flowers in the stem.  If you know how, and work carefully,  you can actually pull them out one by one as the older flower die off.


Anybody who has ever travelled the roads of the Free State, and old Tranvaal during Autumn will know this sight.  Kosmos grows all along the roads during Autumn and make the most beautiful show with their many coloured blooms from pure white to the deepst purple.  Cut, and put in a vase, they brighten up the dreariest room.

No post about the flowers of South Africa would be complete without showing off the Namaqwaland Daisy.  Namaqwaland and the West Coast are arid parts of the country with only very hardy plants growing sparsely... and then comes the end of winter and the first spring rains!  Within days Namaqwaland and the West Coast transforms into a floral paradise.  These daisies and "Bokbaai Vygies" (Dorotheanthus bellidiformus) cover every inch of the landscape and tourists from all over the world come to South Africa specifically to experience this miracle of nature.  On the day that we left Saldanha for the birth of my eldest daughter, not a single flower was in sight all the way to Cape Town.  When we returned with our brand new baby girl seven days later, the veldt near Saldanha was covered in a carpet of yellow, orange, red and purple - what a wonderful welcome for a new life.


My daughter-in-law chose my alltime favourite South African flower for her wedding.



The Barberton Daisy or Gerbera Daisy.  The simple, yet exquisite beauty of the Gerbera, fitted one hundred percent in with their "Jeans and Tekkies" wedding theme.  On her wedding cake you can see more clearly just how beautiful they are.  (Just a pity it is also the emblem of my least favourite rugby team - lol).

Now that is what I call deliciously beautiful (both the cake and the couple).

PS:  Not all the photos are my own.  Some are from the internet and some were scanned from magazines.  In my research I did not come across anything that said they are copyrighted, so if they are, I apologise.

11 comments:

RNSANE said...

What a magnificent floral photo journey through South Africa...I wish I had a nice glass of pinotage to sip while I was traveling! Your South African wine is one of my favorite.

Of course, many of the flowers I know...I often see bird of paradise in my travels...it grows well in Hawaii and other tropical climes...and, occasionally, florists have that glorious proteus. Gerber daisies, we even grow here...they are so bright and cheery, aren't they..as are the wonderful sunny Shasta daisies.
Cosmas grow anywhere, I think! Your story about the Namaqwaland daisy was wonderful...amazing how quickly nature can make a change.

Glad you visited my blog...that was my last big journey...with the massive budget cuts to SF Dept of Publich Health, the loss of my job of 21 years, and my retirement, I am having to make major adjustments...$100,000 less per year in income is sad...and I never saved for a rainy day...just surviving in this area, raising three sons alone...and, okay, I did travel, left little in the bank. I did see a lot of the world so I won't complain much!!!

Ciao....Carmen

leilani said...

WOW!! NOt only do you have the animals , you guys got the Flowers! and your skies are also the most beautiful blue! What a beautiful country!

RNSANE said...

P. S. Love the wedding pictures of your daughter. My first wedding will take place May 7 - I have three boys! Can't wait to add a girl to the family!

RNSANE said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. I must admit, meiliepap had me stumped so I went searching...it sounds like my Southern grits which I love...or maybe, polenta, which is also tasty...though I had none of that on my recent travels.

A human kind of human said...

Hi Leilani, Lately I am fascinated with out sky, or rather our clouds. I love the way our sky changes before a thunderstorm, from bright blue with these huge, towering white clouds to the ominous, heavy laden dark storm clouds. Maybe I will post some of my pictures soon.

A human kind of human said...

RNSane, Mieliepap is a porridge made with cornmeal. It is the staple diet of I guess, about 80% of our people, especially the black people.

PhilipH said...

A glorious heavenly post which must have taken a lot of work to get right.

The names given to some of them, especially the first one (the king of flowers) with such a splendid crown! So apposite. Great post and thanks for all the effort you have put into it to get all the super pictures displayed so nicely.

willow said...

Your flowers look so exotic compared to the ones in my neck of the woods.

And congratulatios to the happy couple!!! I love weddings.

A human kind of human said...

Thank you for visiting Phillip and thank you for the "congratulations..." Willow. The "happy couple" is in the process of making me a "happy granny" as they will have their first baby in February next year.

smoke said...

aye crivens, what a handsome lad ye have there.

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!