First I burnt my hand pretty badly, then Kili became very ill and finally I lost someone very very dear to me. Things didn’t feel great, but as you can see both Kili & I are back on top (of Table Mountain) – and so is Meru!
We had a wonderful day ascending through the mist and descending back below the cloud. We saw three iconic plants – The South African National Flower (Protea cynaroides), the Western Cape Provincial Flower (Disa uniflora) as well as the SA National Tree (Podocarpus latifolius).
The mountain is festooned with flowering King Proteas at the moment. Here Ed & Liz familiarise themselves with the National Flower.
And here is a close up of South Africa’s magnificent national flower.
We were very fortunate to see this Red Disa, which appeared to be the last one of the season.
However, for me the botanical highlight of the day was seeing the Guernsey Lilies (Nerine sarniensis). Although these flowers have been cultivated in Guernsey for more than 300 years, they are in fact originally from the Western Cape.
You will notice that all of these flowers are red. In fact so is the red crassula (Crassula coccinea) and the Cluster Disa (Disa ferruginea) that we also saw today and which is pictured below.
The reason for this is that this is the time of year for the Pride of Table Mountain butterfly (Aeropetes tulbaghia) is doing the rounds . . . and in this area this butterfly is obsessed with the colour RED. So it is a good strategy for plants that flower on Table Mountain at this time of year and want to be pollinated to have RED flowers.