Gentian Pink

Chironia linoides subsp. nana (Gentianaceae)

Say the word “gentian” and immediately a deep blue colour is conjoured up. But members of the gentian family, Gentianaceae, in South Africa are anything but blue. Chironia linoides is one of these members of the Gentianaceae and flowers at Phillipskop through the summer from November to January. Its flowers…

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Tapping Toktokkies

Tok-tok beetles are one of those insects that form part of childhood memories. They are commonly seen during the day, walking boldly along paths. Their broad, almost bulbous abdomen makes them easily recognisable. But it is when they stop and use that overweight rear end to tap the ground with…

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Baffling Berzelias

Berzelia lanuginosa (Bruniaceae)

Members of the genus Berzelia are popular as indigenous cut-flowers. They are easily recognisable as they have clusters of numerous small ball-shaped flowerheads. But identifying the species within the genus is another matter. The commonest species in the south-western Cape is Berzelia lanuginosa, which grows and often dominates wet marshy…

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