Pictures of spring flowers in South Africa along the Western Cape
1 September 2012
The trip through the flowers of South Africa begins from Cape Town proceeding north to Namaqualand, along the Western Cape Province. Shortly before spring, when the rainy season is about to finish, the meadows are covered by carpets of flowers for a few weeks, offering opportunities for exciting botanical tours to all those who love the nature.
The journey through the desert in bloom in South Africa starts from Lamberts Bay, a village north of Cape Town, which is located in a bay on the west coast of the country. A strong storm that has hit the whole area a few hours before, caused the accumulation of a large amount of foam on the beach, represented by organic substances brought to the surface and pushed towards the beach by the wind.
The still stormy sea makes a backdrop to some seagulls who take advantage of the large number of live mussels accumulated by the violence of the waves on the beach.
While traveling from Lambert Bay to the north, along the western coast of South Africa, bound for Namaqualand, the quantity and the variety of flowers progressively increases, even just along the edges of the roads. The mottled purple in these pictures are created by a number of Drosanthemum hispidum, a succulent plant belonging to the family of Aizoaceae (called also Mesembryanthemaceae) whose flowers are fully open only during the central hours of the day, depending on the intensity of the sun.
In the meadows full of flowers is also possible to observe the first Euphorbias. On the left picture, the appearance of the whole plant. In the right picture, a close-up of the succulent stems.
In South Africa there is a huge variety of flowers and it is difficult to classify all of them (often the differences between two different species are minimal and a microscope may be needed to identify the correct name).
Some of the flowers that can be found in the meadows in South Africa. Flowering in South Africa only lasts a few weeks and takes place every year in late austral winter, when the drier areas (or even the deserts) are completely transformed, offering a spectacle of colors that make it hard to believe that just a few months later, with the arrival of drought, it will become completely brown and dusty.
The flower trip to South Africa continues to the north, where flowers increase contantly in variety and quantity.
A beautiful meadow of Drosanthemum hispidum, whose flowers are fully open thanks to the intensity of sunlight.
The color effect is especially nice when more species of flowers are in bloom simultaneously. In these photos there are several flowers, including Drosanthemum hispidum, some Asteraceae, as well as Grileum grandiflora (left picture).
Pictures of south african flowers.
A flowery meadow where you can see some flowers of Watsonia (the red flower in the photo on the left) belonging to the same family of Iris (Iridaceae). In the meadow there are more Grileum grandiflora and other unidentified species.
A very special sign warns about tortoises that could cross the road.
I get to Clanwilliam, where I visit a church temporarily used as an herbarium, where are collected and classified most of the flowers from South Africa.
In Clanwilliam I visit the reserve of Ramskop, a large garden where there are collected more than 350 different species of wild flowers, for study and conservation purposes. In the photos, a variety of flowers from Asteraceae family.
Picture of Protea flower. The Protea is a shrub rather widespread in South Africa, which produces large flowers.
With the approach of sunset, the flowers of Ramskop reserve light up with warm tones and begin to close before the night. Many flowers in South Africa are only open during the day if the sun is strong enough enough. The best time to see flowers and appreciate all possible colors, goes more or less from 10:30 to 15:30. In addition, it is always better to walk with the sun behind us, as many flowers usually turn towards the sun.
A little birdie from the very bright colors.
The journey continues from Clanwilliam north through the countryside of South Africa.
In the top-left picture, an irrigation system called "Pivot" (or mobile wing) used in the arid regions of the world for the best efficiency in water distribution. In the photo above, the vast vineyards of South Africa (the wine industry is one of the most important activity in South Africa)On the left picture, a windbreak made of eucalyptus trees protecting a vineyard from the prevailing winds.