For the identification of insects and other fauna and flora of South Africa: please click on the following links:
Insects and related species: Antlions - Ants - Bees - Beetles - Bugs - Butterflies, Moths and Caterpillars - Centipedes and Millipedes - Cockroaches - Crickets - Dragonflies and Damselflies - Grasshoppers and Katydids - Mantis - Stick Insects - Ticks and Mites - Wasps - Woodlice
Plants, Trees, Flowers: (Note: Unless plants fall into a specific species such as Cacti, they have been classified by their flower colour to make them easier to find) Bonsai - Cacti, Succulents, Aloes, Euplorbia - Ferns and Cycads - Flowers - Fungi, Lichen and Moss - Grass - Trees
Animals, Birds, Reptiles etc.: Animals, Birds, Fish and Crabs - Frogs - Lizards - Scorpions - Snails and Slugs - Snakes - Spiders - Tortoise, Turtles and Terrapins - Whipscorpions
Other photography: Aeroplanes - Cars and Bikes - Travel - Sunrise - Water drops/falls - Sudwala and Sterkfontein Caves etc.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Lantana (Lantana rugosa)

Family Verbenaceae
Up to now I was not aware that there were various types of Lantana.
Lantana rugosa, commonly known as Bird's Brandy.
 This wild flower should not be confused with Lantana camara, which is a dangerous invader plant, and has been declared a Category 1 invader weed in South Africa.

The Lantana rugosa is harmless, much smaller, with few small light purple flowers and light purple fruits. It has a wide distribution in our region, but prefers shady areas and rocky ridges on the slopes of the Magaliesberg. Look for an untidy multi-branched shrub that has rough hairs covering the branches and leaves.
 The fruits are clusters of small berries, fleshy and purple in colour. It will grow to a height of about 1 metre.

The summer flowering brings small mauve flowers. It is known as Bird's Brandy because the berries are a favourite with birds. This herb is aromatic - sniff the leaves and you will be reminded of verbena.