botanic garden, botanical garden, Cape Floristic Region, Capetown, environment, Flowers, garden, Gardens, Kirstenbosch, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, protea, South African endemic plant, Table Mountain, world heritage site
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is acclaimed as one of the great botanic gardens of the world. Few gardens can match the sheer grandeur of the setting of Kirstenbosch, against the eastern slopes of Cape Town’s Table Mountain.
Kirstenbosch lies in the heart of the Cape Floristic Region, also known as the Cape Floral Kingdom. In 2004 the Cape Floristic Region, including Kirstenbosch, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site – another first for Kirstenbosch, it is the first botanic garden in the world to be included within a natural World Heritage Site.
“Respect Mother Earth for all that she is worth”
Parking at Muizenberg station yesterday was so uplifting. This beautiful mural jumped out at me. What a wonderful way to upgrade an environment.
This surfer is heading the correct way to Surfer’s Corner.
The Southern Right Whale is on the Rainbow.
The surf board is decorated with the Sugar-bird and Protea.
All these Natural Elements are endemic to Muizenberg.
Protea nitida (commonly called Wagon tree, Waboom or Blousuikerbos) is a large, slow-growing Protea endemic to South Africa. It is one of the few Proteas that grow into trees, and the only one that has usable timber.
Uses and cultural aspects
Protea nitida has various common names relating to its historical uses. Baboons would climb up the trees to feed on the nectar of the flowers, or baboon sentries would use trees as lookouts, and therefore the plant was given the name bobbejaansuikerbos. Brandhout, the Afrikaans word for firewood, indicates another use. The name waboom originates from the use of the wood for wheel rims and brake blocks of wagons. Interestingly, the name waboom was first recorded in 1720 and has thus been used for far longer than its scientific name. The wood was popular for the manufacture of ornamental furniture. It also made excellent charcoal. The bark was used for tanning leather. The tannin-rich bark was used to prepare an infusion for treating diarrhea. The leaves were used for making ink. Either dry or fresh leaves were boiled up with a rusty iron nail and a piece of sugar candy. The resulting fluid (a decoction) is a fine blue-black, ideal for dyeing. These days, however, the greatest use for P. nitida is as a garden specimen.
biodiversity, bitterbossie, Chirona, environment, Erica, floral, floral kingdoms, fynbos, fynbos biome, garden, Helichrysum, Metalasia, nature, organic, plants, protea, secret season, South African endemic plant, Table Mountain, vascular plant species, Western Cape, wild flowers, world heritage site
After the good rains we have had this past week, the Table mountain has started to come alive. This time of the year is always known as “The Secret Season” here in the Western Cape floral kingdom.
The Cape Floristic Region, the smallest of the six recognised floral kingdoms of the world, is an area of extraordinarily high diversity and endemism, and is home to more than 9 000 vascular plant species, of which 69 percent are endemic. Much of this diversity is associated with the fynbos biome, a Mediterranean-type, fire-prone shrubland. The economical worth of fynbos biodiversity, based on harvests of fynbos products (e.g.wildflowers) and eco-tourism, is estimated to be in the region of R77 million a year. Thus, it is clear that the Cape Floristic Region has both economic and intrinsic biological value as a biodiversity hotspot.
Table Mountain National Park is a World Heritage site since 2004.
A short stroll up the mountain confirmed that the “Secret Season” has begun.
Chirona baccifera or “Bitterbossie” (Afrikaans) full of medicinal berries.
Erica abietina starting to flower
Erica plukentii is a favourite with the Sunbirds
The Metalsia muricata full of honey smelling white flowers, making the mountain Silver in the late afternoon light.
The Tortoise Berry or Nylandtia Spinosa giving a beautiful purple guile to its thorns
The Black Bearded Sugar bush Protea (Protea lepiocarpodendron), so soft and velvety.
The oleander leaf protea (Protea neriifolia) often known as baardsuikerbos presumably because it looks as if it has a beard.
beautiful flowers, birds, cape gardens, flowering plants, Flowers, garden, gardening, God Proteus, greek god, nature, nectar, plants, protea, proteas, South African endemic plant, sugarbird, Sugarbush, sunbird, sweet nectar
Protea is both the botanical name and the English common name of a genus of South African flowering plants, sometimes also called sugarbushes (Afrikaans: suikerbos).
These beautiful flowers are budding at the moment on the mountain and in the Cape gardens, creating a long lasting cheery Winter display.
Proteas were named after the Greek God Proteus, whom Homer called “The Old Man of the Sea”
Sugar birds and Sunbirds feed off the sweet nectar, and considered significant pollinators of the genus.
Despite its name conjuring up images of an old cape road, Ou Kaapse Weg was only built in the 1970’s. It takes one over the Silvermine Mountain Range, through wilderness areas and into the Constantia Valley below.
Forming part of the Table Mountain National Park, it boasts some of the most unspoilt examples of Cape fynbos.
Take a stroll on the top of the mountain and enjoy the breathtaking views of the southern suburbs and False Bay.
The sight which greets the occupants of a car as one reaches the summit of the mountain is amazing. Stretching out below sights as diverse as the Constantia Wine valley, suburbia, and the white beaches of False Bay greet the traveller.
Heading out from Sun Valley or beyond depending on one’s source, one winds oneself up the back of the Silvermine mountain. Better still, on a warm summer’s day, cycle the route stopping to enjoy the fynbos and other flora along the way.
Leucospermum (Pincushion protea) starting to flower.
Podalyria calyptrata and Leucospermums. Yellow and Purple complimentary colors.
Leucospermums are also known as Sugar bushes. The Sugar birds love their sweet nectar.