Surprise! the April Fool is coming into flower in the Biodiversity Garden.
Haemanthus coccineus is a member of the Amaryllis family. In winter it produces two big flat leaves and then goes completely dormant during summer, with nothing showing above the ground. In autumn a spectacular flower appears - like magic! After flowering, fleshy seeds are produced and the flower stalk eventually collapses, so the ripe seeds are released in early winter - just in time for the rains.
These bulbs were rescued by the City of Cape Town Biodiversity Management Branch from a development site on the Cape Flats. They spent some time at the old abatoir in Maitland (which is where the Biodiversity Dept is based), and the hundred-odd bulbs were then donated to the Biodiversity Garden.
Signs of creativity in the Khoikhoi fire hearth display: red and yellow ochre... looks like they had fun!