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.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Peacock Flower (Dietes bicolour)

Family Iridaceae
Dietes bicolor forms clumps of erect sword-shaped leaves. The adult plant is approximately 1m wide and 1m tall. The leaves are 1 to 2cm wide, light green in colour and have a double central vein. They are arranged in flat fans similar to other members of the iris family. The plant spreads by means of its modified stems (rhizomes), which are located below the soil surface.
 With its unusual flowers, attractive shape and ease of cultivation, the yellow wild iris is a versatile garden plant.
 The flowers are about 60 mm in diameter, flat, light yellow with brown markings and are produced on the ends of much branched flower stalks. The flowers only last for one day, but because so many buds are produced the plant is almost always in flower from October until January (spring and summer). The fruit is a club-shaped capsule approximately 25mm in diameter which partially splits to release the seeds.
The insects, in turn, attract various insectivorous birds to the garden. Joffe (2001) reports that the roots of D.bicolor were traditionally used as a charm to protect the strengthen the wearer.

The genus Dietes is only found in South Africa and on Lord Howe island between Australia and New Zealand. D. bicolor is found naturally in the Bathurst region of the Eastern Cape in South Africa. An interesting fact about Dietes is that of the six species that are known, five of them occur in the eastern parts of South.