In the garden – flowers of Southern Africa

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The Namaqualand Daisy, Dimorphotheca sinuata, is an annual, native to southwestern Africa. Fields of these daisies are a spectacular sight in the spring, well worth going to see, in places like the Skilpad Nature Reserve near Kamieskroon. These come up year after year in our front garden. They are typically at their peak January through March. (February 2004)

There are over 900 species of native iris in South Africa. These two come up freshly each year from bulbs, and are totally dormant in the summer. That is, the leaves die back totally in the dry months. I do not know the genus. (Photos March 2004)


It's unusual to find a brown and green flower! Salvia Africana-lutea is well established in the gardens of California, but is a ntaive of southwestern Africa. We have seen it, for example, near the West Coast National Park, a few hours drive north of Cape Town. (Photo February 2004)

Mary obtained our Protea eximia as a seedling (or maybe it was a cutting) during a trip to Hawaii in the late 1980s. At first we grew it in a large pot. It should have stayed there because after being planted out into the garden, it gradually deteriorated over several years until it was no more, presumably because of the clay soil. But this was not before we had many flowers like the one shown here. Protea eximia is native to the southern mountain ranges between Worcester and Port Elizabeth in South Africa. (April 1990)

Leucospermum cordifolium comes from a relatively small mountain area in the far south of South Africa. In its native state it grows on sandstone soils, and thus was not happy with our clay soils. But it did last quite a number of years, and produced many flowers for us. (Spring 1997)

Geramium incanum, or Cranesbill, is a South African native. It forms a mound that is covered in a mass of magnificent flowers in the spring and into summer. The mound is ever spreading, so it gets cut back at least every year. The flowers produce much seed that germinates readily, which means there is a need to continually remove seedlings that come up of their own accord throughout the front garden. (March 2004) )

Gazanias are popular in southern California, and they are all native to Africa. This spectacular variety, Gazania krebsiana, or Botterblom as it is called in Afrikaans, is widespread in the western parts of South Africa. This particular plant originated from a packet of assorted South African wildflower seeds. The flowers produce many seeds, and the plant is slowly replicating itself in that part of the garden.

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