Urban Legend Lily

Nerine sarniensis (Amaryllidaceae)

One of our most beautiful plants at Phillipskop and indeed in the Cape flora itself is Nerine sarniensis. But both the scientific name and the common name, Guernsey Lily (Sarnia is the Latin for the English Channel island of Guernsey), are decidely inappropriate for a species confined to the Western…

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A monograph on the genus Cliffortia

A monograph on the genus Cliffortia cover

We are pleased to announce the publication by SANBI of Chris Whitehouse’s “Monograph on the genus Cliffortia”. This publication has been over 22 years in the making. It stems out of Chris’s PhD work on Cliffortia done between 1999-2003 at the University of Cape Town, but much work has continued…

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Holding Heads Up High

Serruria elongata (Proteaceae)

Members of the Protea family are some of the most photogenic plants in the fynbos. However, Serruria elongata is one species that proves an exception. It is not that it is an unattractive plant. It is just that it is extremely hard to get a good photo that captures its…

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Flask Heath

Erica ampullacea (Ericaceae)

With over 800 species of Erica in the Cape, it is not surprising that inventiveness is needed in describing the names of the species. In fact it is even harder than that as many species have inadvertently been described more than once. In total, over 2,000 different names have been…

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Winter Seasoning

Flowering branch of Erica imbricata (Ericaceae)

In colder climates, heath gardens are often created to provide winter colour, but in South Africa most heathers flower in spring or summer. However, there is a common heath, Erica imbricata, that flowers here at Phillipskop from June onwards. The flowers are white but they have contrasting dark brown exserted…

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