The Cape Floral Kingdom must be the most exciting place to be in the spring. Once the flowering begins it seems as if wave after wave of flower displays role in to delight us. For me, the appearance of the first Chasmanthe blooms heralds the
start of spring but it is the ice plants (Aizoaceae) that make me aware that summer is almost upon us. Most of the thousands of species in this plant family (which was previously known as Mesembryanthemaceae) are adapted to living in extremely dry areas with unpredictable rainfall. They are adapted to the aridity by having juicy succulent leaves which store moisture. They also have seed capsules that are designed to only release seeds during rain, thereby ensuring that the seeds have the best chance of germinating.
And from a purely a
esthetic perspective . . . the flowers of most species in this family are outrageously bright and beautiful. Here are a few photographs taken recently: