Tag Archive: van Stadens Flower Reserve

Limestone Sugarbush – Protea obtusifolia

The Protea obtusifolia or the Limestone Sugarbush belongs to the Proteaceae family. Other names for this include the Bredasdorp protea, limestone protea and limestone sugarbush. This is the white form of this Protea and they vary from white to vivid shades of red. The leaves on the rest of the plant are dark green, elongated and leathery. They grow upwards of two to four meters in height and usually takes the form of a large, roundish shrub.

Protea obtusifolia

Protea obtusifolia is a vigorous, robust species forming a rounded shrub and is easily raised from seeds. It  is a relatively long-lived, large bushy evergreen shrub and does well as a screening or informal hedge plant. It produces beautiful, long-lasting cut flowers during the winter months, still looking good after 20 years. Unlike most proteas it thrives in clay and alkaline soils. It is equally at home in acidic ‘fynbos’ soils. It is also tolerant of coastal conditions and withstands salt-laden winds. It is drought tolerant and requires little supplementary watering when established. It requires protection from frost.

Photo taken at the van Stadens Flower Reserve near Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape of South Africa.

References: http://www.plantzafrica.com



Bar-Throated Apalis

The Bar-throated Apalis is a small African passerine bird (relating to or denoting birds of a large order distinguished by having feet that are adapted for perching, including all songbirds) belonging to the genus Apalis of the family Cisticolidae.

The Bar-throated Apalis or Apalis thoracica inhabits forest and scrub in Southern and East Africa from southern and eastern parts of South Africa north as far as the Chyulu Hills in Kenya.
The Bar-throated Apalis is a slender bird with a long tail and is 11 to 13 cm in length. The plumage varies depending on the subspecies: the upperparts can be grey or green while the underparts are white or pale yellow. All forms have a narrow black band across the breast, white outer tail-feathers and a pale eye. The black bill is fairly long and slender and is slightly curved. Females have a narrower breastband than that of the males. Juveniles have buffer underparts and may have an incomplete breastband.
Pairs sing a duetting song with the female’s call being higher-pitched than that of the male.
The oval, purse-shaped nest is made mainly of plant material. Three eggs are laid, these are bluish-white with reddish-brown spots. The breeding season lasts from August to January.
This species forages for caterpillars and other insects amongst vegetation, often forming mixed-species flocks with other birds.
This photo was taken at van Stadens Flower Reserve, in the Eastern Cape of South Africa.
Information from Wikipedia

Bar-throated Apalis

Amazing Looking Caterpillar

On a trip to the van Stadens Flower Reserve just outside Port Elizabeth, we came across an area covered with Watsonia flowers. These watsonias were covered with these beautiful colorful caterpillars. The whole problem with caterpillars, is when it comes to identifying them. There are so many varieties of these, that identifying them is really quite a daunting task! Since the posting of this picture, the caterpillar has been identified as a Pine Tree Emperor Moth (Imbrasia cytheraea). The caterpillar was identified by Stephen Woodhall, author of the book “Field Guide to Butterflies of South Africa

Pine Tree Emperor Moth Caterpillar

The Treasure Flower Gazania

The Gazania, or Treasure Flower belongs to the family Asteraceae. It is a plant native to Southern Africa although one can find this plant species naturalised in Australia, New Zealand, and California. They are widely cultivated as ornamental garden plants. This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and birds and is also drought-tolerant. It needs; Water regularly; do not overwater. This picture was taken at van Stadens Flower Reserve, just outside Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape of South Africa.