13 December 2010


Walking down from Rooikat Ravine in the early evening I spotted Zaluzianskya capensis. This annual, which is often found along paths, has flowers so delicate that it would seem more at home in a cottage garden than a rugged mountain slope.

The common name for Zaluzianskya is Drumsticks - on account of the buds which have tightly rolled petals at the end of a long slender corolla. An intriguing feature of this plant is that the flowers open only at dusk, releasing a sweet scent. It is one of a whole guild of plants which have white evening-scented flowers, and which are pollinated by moths. During the day when the flowers are closed, the red buds are barely noticeable.

Zaluzianskya - I love saying the word out loud - the name sounds so exotic! According to W.P.U.Jackson's Origins and meanings of names of South African plant genera "the name commerates Adam Zalusiansky von Zaluzian, 1558-1613, physician and botanist".


  1. I love these flowers! What a nice post. We found orange, nodding ones high up in Lesotho...

  2. Thanks Marie. Let's hope there will be a few 'late seasoners' left for when you come in dec.