Flowers and Shrubs

Portrait of a Dandelion

The common dandelion comes from French ‘dent-de-lion’, meaning lion’s tooth. The flower comes from the genus Taraxacum which is a large genus of flowering plants in the family Asteraceae. Like other members of the Asteraceae family, they have very small flowers collected together into a composite flower head. Each single flower in a head is called a floret. Many Taraxacum species produce seeds asexually by apomixis, where the seeds are produced without pollination, resulting in offspring that are genetically identical to the parent plant. The plant can also be eaten.
The Dandelion has remarkable nutritional value, being very high in vitamins A and C, beta carotine, elements potassium, iron and copper. Medicinally, Dandelions are considered very safe and effective as a general tonic that helps strengthen the liver, gallbladder, pancreas, spleen, stomach, and intestines, improving bile flow and reducing inflammation in cases of hepatitis and cirrhosis. Dandelions also help to dissipate gallstones and are believed to improve kidney function, thereby improving overall health. dandelion tea can also be made from these plants.

Dandelion

Orange Vygie

The Orange Vygie or Lampranthus Aureus is a flower native to Southern Africa. The shiny orange flowers are borne singly or in clusters on short stalks, are 60 mm in diameter and appear from August. Yellow and purple forms also occur. Plants are all pollinated by insects at midday when flowers are fully open. In the past these plants were known as midday plants. They are also referred to as ‘municipal workers’ as the flowers open at 9 am and close at 5 pm.

Orange Vygie

White Hibiscus

Hibiscus is a genus of flowering plants in the mallow family, Malvaceae. It contains several hundred species that are native to warm-temperate, subtropical and tropical regions throughout the world. Member species are often noted for their showy flowers and are commonly known as hibiscus, sorrel, and flor de Jamaica, or less widely known as rosemallow. The genus includes both annual and perennial herbaceous plants, as well as woody shrubs and small trees.

White Hibiscus

White Torch Cactus

This cactus is otherwise known as Echinopsis spachiana. This cactus has a number of common names (Easter lily cactus, golden torch, white torch cactus), but derives its scientific name from the Greek for the hedgehog and the sea-urchin, because of the species’ spiny exteriors that they are thought to resemble. Once the plant has reached 1 metre in height, it is ready to show off its beautiful, hairy-tubed flowers, which can sprawl to a diameter of 15cm. An outer ring of multiple and apparently independent stamens are united at their base to form a ring known as an annulus or hymen, which serves as a nectar guide for visiting moths. These flowers only have a lifespanĀ of 24hrs.

White Torch Cactus

Protea

Sometimes also called sugarbushes, the Protea was named by Carl Linnaeus after the Greek god Proteus, who could change his form at will, because proteas have such different forms. Proteas belong to the Proteaceae family. 92% of the species occur only in the Cape Floristic Region, a narrow belt of mountainous coastal land from Clanwilliam to Grahamstown. I belive this particular Protea is Protea eximia.

Protea

Cape Edelweiss

The Lanaria lanata or Cape Edelweiss or Kapokblom is its name. I found this name in a very old book, but cannot find any real information on it. It is a perennial herb which grows in tussocks on sandy hills. An upright plant growing to 800 mm, with numerous stiff, narrow leaves at the base arising from a woody rootstock. The flowering stalk ends in a densely woolly, white head with hidden, small, mauve flowers. Honey bees are attracted by the light honey-like scent and nectar, and various monkey beetles are common visitors. Flowering is strongly stimulated by fire.

Cape Edelweiss