Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Cat's Tail and More!

Just a short walk from our home reveals a variety of wildflowers and we keep finding new ones! Already some of them have flowered and gone. Sometimes I send photos to our friend Werner, the manager at Cape Town's National Botanical Garden, who classifies them for me. He never just gives us a flower's name. He always mentions interesting things about them too.

There are three flowers that I am featuring today. The first one is a tall one with a bushy white top. It's called Cat's Tail. Its Latin name is Bulbinella cauda-felis. "Cauda" meaning a "structure resembling a tail" and "felis" meaning "cat-like" or "feline." It's solitary and can form in clumps. I have an example of both. I even captured a bee in flight that landed on one!

The second one is a prickly shrub with purple and white flowers. Its Afrikaans name is Kastybossie, meaning "rebuke bush." The idea is that it could be used for rebuking a naughty child. Its Latin name is Muraltia heisteria.

The last two photos are of another plant with sharp spines and dainty purple flowers. In English, its common names are "little bush for tortoise" or "tortoise berry" and in Afrikaans "skilpadbessie." That's because the tortoise eats the little red berries. Its Latin name is Muraltia spinosa.

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Tina Morley

All original photographs
by Tina Morley
unless stated otherwise.

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