23 March 2011

Biodiversity Garden Update

What's happening in the Biodiversity Garden these days? It's the end of summer, so not many local Cape species are in flower. But fynbos is all about foliage textures, so there is plenty to enjoy.

In the photo above there is Leucadendron 'Blush' - a selection of Leucadendron salignum with gorgeous wine-red involucral bracts - shown off against fine-leaved grey Slangbos (Stoebe plumosa) growing behind.

Wild Dagga (Leonotis leonurus) is in full flower in the Medicinal Plants display. Much to my delight we spotted a sunbird visiting the flowers last week, feasting on nectar.

Blombos (Metalasia muricata) is a wonderful texture plant - seen here in the Coastal thicket. The beaded creatures have taken on a slighty faded hue, and are now lurking among plants, instead of a stark new landscape...

In the Amazing Cape display we have an exciting addition: Aloe commixta, a rambling aloe which is endemic to the Cape Peninsula (bottom left, above). A member of the public kindly offered these plants from his garden. The story of this aloe gift and their planting has been documented by SABC Greenline, so look out for it on tv.

The Khoikhoi huts are looking more natural, surrounded by soft grasses and renosterveld. Below: Hyparrhenia hirta (left), Cymbopogon (? middle) and Eragrostis curvula (right)

In the water Bolboschoenus maritimus is in flower. I like it - one of my favourites.

The lake level is high - at its maximum - and the school of fish are happily frolicking in the water. Hopefully they will receive company some time soon: the Park Manager is busy organising the introduction of local Cape fish (Galaxia sp) - which involves Cape Nature, breeding permits etc. So please DON'T introduce any alien fish - rather wait for the locals!

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