Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Summer geophytes

This could also be called I Brake for Bulbs.

Cape Point. A white Volkswagen Kombi. Two people with cameras and eyes peeled for subjects to photograph. A flash of red in the middle of a field of fynbos.


The last time I saw this flower was at the top of the Swartberg Pass in February 2008.

I looked it up on my own blog because the books I'm using didn't seem to help. My blog said Anapalina longituba, but with no clue as to how it had arrived at that conclusion. Sloppy. I googled. I came up with Tritoniopsis antholyza, a revised name? Which made sense, since I am now more familiar with the Tritoniopsis brood. I now also have lingering questions about my questionable ID of T. parviflora (Table Mountain), though - more lingering due to this useful wiki produced by the Pacific Bulb Society. I had to go to the Pacific to identify Cape flora??? I think it is Tritoniopsis unguicularis - not in my at-hand fynbos books (is it in John Mannings?).

So I might bother a couple more knowledgeable people. I suppose there are worse things in life than having too many questions. Having no questions at all might signal The End.

This area had indeed 'been disturbed' as they say, by fire. A prerequisite for so much action in the fynbos world. And a miniature garden was growng up all around.

We saw a lot of other things on our half day, driving to and from the Point, and walking down the steep steps to deserted Dias Beach. With a little more time, I will get to them.


  1. T. antholyza seems to have broader unveined leaves, whilst T. triticea has veined leaves that appear before the flowers come out and then turn brown once the flowers appear.
    As there are no obvious leaves showing in your pic, I would go for T. triticea.
    (Maybe it would help with the ID if you noted leaves?)

    Perhaps you would like to borrow my Encyclopedia of Cape Bulbs for the rest of your stay? Its quite fun to see the differences between the species.

    As for T.parviflora (parviflora= small flowers) perhaps you are right - the one you saw on Table Mtn could have been T. unguicularis.

    Warning! Identifying plants can become addictive!!

  2. Lovely. Seen any Disas on your expedition?


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