Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Summer Break

We went up to the plot for a week between Christmas and New Year, staying just long enough to greet 2014 in the peace and quiet of the countryside.

Things were looking pretty green, considering that it is summer. Some rains in November seem to have made a difference.

I had thought that we should consider cutting down the huge Black Wattle, firstly because it is an invasive alien and secondly, because a neighbour's tree like this fell over recently in a strong wind. 

But after sitting in it's shade for four hours on a very hot day, we decided to postpone that action until our other trees are much bigger and are able to offer similar relief.

On our return to Cape Town, our botanist neighbour identified some of the natural plants which are flourishing...some indigenous, some not.

 Three indigenous Athanasia (Daisy) species
 Athanasia Juncea
 Athanasia Quinquedentata

Athanasia trifurcata – kouterbos or klaaslouwsbos – unpalatable and thus often a pioneer in old lands; sands or shales; whereas the other two are mostly shale species

Hermannia species - doll’s rose; indigenous

Searsia (Rhus) pallens – indigenous taaibos

 Helichrysum patulum – indigenous; kooigoed

Selago sp - indigenous

  Pteronia ovalifolia??

Otholobium arborescens?

Melinis repens in foreground (Natal red top; indigenous but invasive from summer rainfall areas); and the tall one is Hyparrhenia hirta (thatching grass; ditto re origins, and very invasive in Renosterveld and along roads)

This dry spiky one is Trifolium angustifolium and it is extremely prickly and a nuisance in the dogs coat. 

This prolific plant with its  little gooseberry type casings is an unknown alien...somewhere else on the planet, someone is struggling to get it to grow in their garden!!

Apparently Conyzas are alien but there is an  indigenous Conyza Scabrida...
we are not sure about this one..

I am told that botanists need flowers and even fruit in order to make a complete identification.