Not the Littlest Bulb

Bulbinella trinervis (Asphodelaceae)

Small white candles of Bulbinella trinervis have appeared scattered through the fynbos. Their slender columns of starry white flowers top a leafless flowering stem that is hard to detect. The flowers belie the genus’s close relationship to their bold bright cousin, the red-hot pokers, Kniphofia. However, the larger species do…

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Always Open but Covered Up

Flowers of Erepsia anceps (Aizoaceae) Altydvygie

The common name vygie is used for members of the Aizoaceae with showy daisy-like flowers. The name, prounounced “fay-gh-ee”, comes from the Afrikaans for “little fig”. The seedpods do look rather fig-like, especially those belonging to the genus Carpobrotus, which are fleshy and have numerous small seeds inside. Most vygies…

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Wind Heaths

Erica axillaris (Ericaceae), wind-pollinated heath

The beauty of the Cape heaths is one of the most notable attractions of the fynbos. Several species have large tubular flowers; many others produce numerous flowers that cover the plant. But not all Cape heaths produce such an eye-catching display. Brightly coloured flowers are usually adapted for animal pollinators,…

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