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South Africa - Western Cape (6)


By AndrewR


Just behind the town of Hermanus is the Fernkloof Nature Reserve. According to its website, “there is no other place on earth where so many different species can be seen growing in such close proximity. In Fernkloof more than 1400 species have thus far been collected and identified.” These include protea scolymocephala which is on the list of threatened plant species

We also saw leucospermum cordifolium


And the spectacular protea compacta

Next on the list was a private garden in an area known as Elgin. There was a large nursery attached, but as it it not possible to bring plants back to the UK, it was like sending a child to a sweet shop without any money! The land here is very fertile and is renowned for its apple and pear orchards (over half of all the apples grown in South Africa come from this area), rose growing, and greenhouse cut flowers.

There were plants from many parts of the world including many from South Africa, such as veltheimia bracteata


And haemanthus coccineus

By now we were travelling back towards Cape Town. Helderberg Nature Reserve is just thirty miles from the city centre. Formerly farmland, it opened as a Reserve just over fifty years ago. We were little early to see the stands of watsonia borbonica

Sebaea aurea is an annual, related to gentians

Satyrium coriifolium is one of several native orchids we saw on the trip

Vergelegen Estate was settled in 1700 by an early Governor of the Cape who was later indited for illegal activities. It is now owned by a multi national company.

Although much of its laid out formally and planted with swathes of roses, camellias and agapanthus (not yet in flower), I did find a few natives tucked away in odd corners. This is dietes iridioides

Our final hotel was in the historic town of Stellenbosch. This area is now the centre of the country’s wine industry. Here is one of the many old houses along the main street. Unfortunately the road is often clogged with cars, spoiling the charm of the town

To be continued ….

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S. Africa does seem to be trying to conserve its indigenous plant. I do recognise the Watsonia and Dietes, having them in my own garden, but the others just wouldn't do. My Dietes is outside, quite a large clump, but never flowered, too cold probably. I have seen one flowering profusely inside a cool green house in Hants.

9 Feb, 2017


That to me... Now I need one!! Loving your blogs .

9 Feb, 2017


There seems to be no end to your amazing experiences. These are blogs to treasure. You surely have enough material there for a book about the region!

9 Feb, 2017


Great blog........what beautiful plants.

9 Feb, 2017

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