Friday, February 22, 2008

Swartberg Pass flowers

Actually, on the road to Die Hel. In Hell we found only Acacia. Pretty in their own way, but not as arresting as the little things, which would cause us to skid to a gravelly halt every time I spotted something new.

But first: the Landcruiser, Vince, and a trashcan.

Then: the unidentifiables...this looked easy, but can I find it in any book? No! And, stupidly, no picture of the leaves, so no help there. At first glance scabiosa-like. Then Tulbaghia-like... Marijke? Jay? About an inch in diameter.

And then this familiar little thing...?

Unspectacular but nice in a spiny, spidery kind of way: Wahlenbergia subulata, but apparently a little out of its range?

This made me squeal just before the turnoff to Gamkaskloof, as I'd never seen it, and the veld (yes I say veld even though to a Free Stater veld means wide open grass spaces and some trees dotted about..still, it's another kind of veld, isn't it) was just littered with them, growing beneath the burned skeletons of proteas, and amongst the new bright grass that had sprung up.

Anapalina longituba

And then my old favourites, the pelargoniums. Clever Vince stopped the car (I drove him to Hell and he drove me out of it...titter) for a cloud picture, and right beside the road was this, never-before-seen (by me) pelargonium: Pelargonium ovale.

I think this is Pelargonium suburbanum but to my untrained eye it looks a lot like P. myrrhifolium...In fact the former is supposed to stick to dunes, so perhaps it is myrrhifolium?

These are P. myrrhifolium...see how small from my 5 feet and 11 inches...

OK. They're all the same. Forget it. Just because the one at the top was alone, it looked different. Context is everything. Always. Phew.


  1. You drove me to hell, I drove you out of it. Still laughing! :-) At your service...

  2. I HAD to say it. The way to Hell is paved with good intentions.....

  3. Jay! What is that supposed to mean? That I should've had bad intentions all the way? Well, between you and me, I did... ;-)


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