The Queen of the Night

Visiting parts of the Eastern Cape's Karoo Heartland during the summer months you may just spot these clumps of white flowers in the veld or along fences. On closer inspection, you'll see that it's a cactus that is flowering so beautifully. Curious to learn more? The Golden Torch cactus (Echinopsis spachiana), sometimes also called Queen of the Night, blooms beautifully during the summer months. They normally flower at night and are still beautiful during the mornings. Not just do they…

Comments Off on The Queen of the Night

Moonlight cactus flowers in the Sundays River Valley

I recently attended the opening of the revamped Sir Percy FitzPatrick Lookout in Sunland hosted by Addo Tourism and was amazed by the beautiful flowers blooming all around it. I knew it wasn't indigenous but had no idea what it was, so I just took loads of photos of it anyway. A little research with the help of Google Lense later and I now know that this is the Moonlight Cactus, (Selenicereus grandiflorus), also called Moon Cactus. It is a…

Comments Off on Moonlight cactus flowers in the Sundays River Valley

Flowering Noors

One of my favorite things about driving through the Karoo Heartland during the winter is seeing the aloes in bloom. But there is another Karoo succulent that grows between the aloes that most people don't really notice called Noors. The Noors is a type of euphorbia and found especially around the town of Jansenville. They are smallish, thorny plants with milky sap and the reason that the region is called the Noorsveld.   The origin of the name noors is…

Comments Off on Flowering Noors

Vygies in the veld outside Matatiele

Vygies come in all shapes, sizes and colours.  These little ones I found on the mountain above Matatiele on a visit to the Matatiele Mountain Lake.  I have two types of vygies in my garden, both creeper type plants with tin green leaves.  This specific one has ticker and rounder leaves and look a more like a typical succulent.  A little search on the internet gave me the following: Stone plants - Aizoaceae or Ficoidaceae is a family of dicotyledonous flowering…

Comments Off on Vygies in the veld outside Matatiele

Succulent flowers

I have succulents like these in my rock garden but it was great to find this patch in Settlers Park a few week ago.  They make for a nice ground cover and is beautiful with their pink flowers.


Succulent flowers at Kuzuko

Succulents always surprise me with the beautiful flowers that they produce specially when they grow in dry and arid areas.  The flowering succulent in the picture was growing next to the path to our room at Kuzuko Lodge in the northern part of the Addo Elephant National Park.After reading the post, Alan Fogarty of Alan Tours helped me out a bit with the name:  Crassula ovata or Kerky bush, Beestebul, iPhewula also commonly known as the "Botterboom"


Walter Sesulu Botanical Garden

There is always something new to see even if one has been to a place many times.  This is even true of one's own home town, but this isn't a story on my home town.  There is so much I haven't seen around Johannesburg and Gauteng, but I don't always have a lot of free time when I am up there to go exploring.  My last trip to Jozi left me an open morning and I decided to go and visit…


Prickly flower

Quite a few of the succulents and cacti in my garden has been flowering lately being that time of the year.  This one doesn't have what I would call regulation thorns, but rather long spiny ones.  The little pink flower looked soft to the touch although I wasn't willing to venture a finger in between the spines to find out what it feels like.