06 March 2008


Some very exciting things are about to happen in my yard, which I will dutifully document for you in good time, but I wanted to alert everyone to this. Ellen Hornig of Seneca Hill Perennials just got back from two weeks in the eastern Cape and Lesotho, and wrote it up on her website, one of the best things I have read in a long time. Illustrated with spectacular pictures, including John Manning and Brunsvigia grandiflora in habitat. Still, I think her earlier shot of B. radulosa might be my favorite ever: stalking the wild Brunsvigia

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Blogger Fin De Fichier said...

Yes I liked that picture too when she posted it her website. It's amusing to me to see pictures of the Drakensberg ranges that look like a generic meadow in the high Rockies, or of the plains of KwaZulu-Natal that look like a patch of ungrazed land in Kansas after a wet spring. But buried in these scenes, invisible to a wide angle lens, is the incredibly exotic looking flora native to both areas. Said another way, my point is grass pretty much looks like grass anywhere in the world, but Brunsvigias definitely don't look like something you'd find in Kansas!

BTW Brunsvigia grandiflora is incredibly hardy, furthermore it is somewhat paradoxically winter growing...so you should try it (for the latter reason of course!) if you can get it.

3/06/2008 7:44 PM  
Blogger mmw said...

Exactly! I found this picture of some dogs nosing around a giant Encephalartos fredericki in the middle of an otherwise banal landscape particularly striking.

I love that B. radulosa picture because the poor plant is cornered by that paparazzi like Britney at Starbucks... or something. It looks like it's trying to figure out how to escape.

And I can't grow B. grandiflora because I'm trying to avoid pink.

3/07/2008 1:53 AM  
Blogger Fin De Fichier said...

I also was bemused by Ellen's warning that "Growing these to blooming size will require patience and skill." I can at least attest to the patience part, as I've been growing my oldest Brunsvigia since 2001 or so. I think it still has a couple years to go before it will be ready to bloom.
Supposedly the bulbs can get almost as big as a soccer ball. Your readers may also be interested to know, these plants are actually fancy-schmanzy tumbleweeds! After pollination the rounded bloom stalk breaks off and is blown away.

3/07/2008 10:39 AM  
Blogger Gardener of La Mancha said...

I enjoyed that. I'm not familiar with the plants she saw, but I've always thought of visiting South Africa for the succulent Euphorbias. I especially liked the Kniphofia thodei.

3/09/2008 10:38 PM  
Anonymous NatureShutterbug said...

South Africa has wonderfully exotic plants. I photographed some of them in Namaqualand in 1996, but unfortunately with film. Thus I have not loaded them onto Flickr - but they can be seen at this link:


with all of them together in the menu item "Flower Sheet".

3/17/2008 10:17 PM  
Blogger mmw said...

Oooh, thanks for that link natureshutterbug. I am so jealous of that trip. Let me know if you ever digitize those pics at higher res.

3/19/2008 12:50 AM  

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