Wet weather finds in the fynbos
The weather and our travel arrangements have played against the Fynbos Blog for the last couple of weeks. We are in Ireland for a short holiday visiting friends and family. The Cape may seem green in winter but nothing compares to the overwhelming lush greenness of the Irish countryside.
Meanwhile in the Cape everything flowering and especially the bulbs seems to thrive in the wet wet weather. At this time of year the Arum lilies line the roads whereever there is a bit of damp or water. I have never seen them more prolific than this year – the verges are shining with white trumpets set in the glossy greenness of their leaves. Extraordinary that this magnificent flower should be so very common here.
Before we left I did manage to go up to the top of the farm between the torrents of rain and of course were new and exciting flowers to photograph, even though we only had a few minutes. The Babinia fragrens is everwhere, like all the bulbs it is loving this wet spring and the blue flashes are everywhere.
I haven’t been able to identify this rather tatty yellow flower – it may not be looking its best after the rain but the honeybee doesn’t seem to mind. The leaf shape is very distinctive but I can’t make a certain identification in the books anything that looks similar seems to belong in sandy flats while we have sandstone and granite slopes so it is the wrong habitat.
Unidentified yellow flower
Meanwhile this lovely white flower is scattered all over the lower lands. This is a very common garden flower and I always thought it was Osteospermum but the book calls it Dimorphoteca nudicalus.
It’s exciting when we make a clear identification of an old and frequently seen friend and this one is Geissorhiza ovata – we see it all over the farm, it’s a stunning fynbos bulb that puts out this little white stars. There are 80 fynbos subspecies of Geissorhize so I hope we find more of these charming flowers.
Another very summer flower is this Cyphia volubilis, a twining perennial creeper which is very common all over the farm. The delicate pretty white flowers are everywhere at the moment, often woven in to the depths of shrubby fynbos, so although they are common, they are not so easy to photograph and this was a lucky shot in good light. The flowers themselves are quite small, about the size of my thumbnail, or just a little bigger.
We ran out of time and had to get back to pack for Ireland. The weather has been appalling since we left, so we wouldn’t have much to photograph and I’m hoping that some warmth and sunshine might arrive which will cause a profusion of flowering in perfect time for our return next week. Meanwhile I am hoping to put up some new pages with collections of some of the larger groups of subspecies.