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, November 28, 2014

Umzimbeet (Millettia grandis)

 Family Fabaceae
 A tall tree which can grow to 25m indigenous to the KwaZulu Natal region.
 Umzimbeet's hard wood with its attractive coloration is valued for the manufacture of furniture and small domestic implements. Today it is used for making tough, bicoloured walking sticks which are sold to tourists.
It can also be used as a windbreak and harvested at 10-15 years for planks in high rainfall areas. It also makes an attractive garden and street tree and it does not have an aggressive root system.
 It can be planted along pastures and fence lines to act as a windbreak and shelters for animals. The stems are easily cut into planks when fresh. The only animals to utilize the plants are baboons who strip and eat the bark, and some butterflies whose larvae feed on the pods.
 The powdered root can be used as a fish poison, but fish must be boiled before consumption. The ground seed soaked in milk is used as a remedy for roundworm, but with caution as consuming too many seeds is poisonous. It is reported that a mixture of roots with those of Croton species with one part of lion's fat and one part of python's fat is burnt in the house as a tranquilizer to dispel worries; other recipes exist for sleep-inducing cures based on the roots. Ground seed can be used as an arrow poison.

Info: http://www.plantzafrica.com

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Star Flower (Hypoxis colchicifolia)

Family Hypoxidaceae
There are various species of Hypoxis:



All are small plants growing to about 20-25cm in height and found in grasslands.
Hypoxis colchicifolia was found in the Wild Coast Sun, Eastern Cape region.


Monday, November 24, 2014

Lobelia coronopifolia

Family Lobeliaceae  
 Grows to about 30cm in height and has no common name.
 Found mostly in the Cape but also along the eastern coast.


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Scarlet Silver Oak (Grevillea banksii)

 Family Proteaceae
 A beautiful tree of about 5m in height. Alien from Australia.
 Found in the Ramsgate area,
Extract from Wikipedia:
Grevillea banksii, known by various common names including Red silky oak, Dwarf silky oak, Banks' grevillea, Byfield waratah and, in Hawaii, Kahili flower or Kahili tree is a plant of the large genus Grevillea in the diverse family Proteaceae. Native to Queensland, it has been a popular garden plant for many years though has been superseded somewhat horticulturally by smaller and more floriferous hybrids. A white-flowered form G. banksii fo. albiflora is known as white silky oak


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Ground Morning Glory (Convolvulus mauritanicus)

Family Convolvulaceae
 A small plant of only about 20cm in height and an alien. Comes from North Africa.



Tuesday, November 18, 2014

(Helichrysum zeyheri)

Family Asteraceae
A plant growing to about 60cm in height found mainly in the Cape regions.
The stem has very old-looking wood.



Sunday, November 16, 2014

(Euryops erectus)

Family Asteraceae
A small plant of about 40cm in height.
Found growing only in a small area of the Eastern Cape near Mountain Zebra NP.


Friday, November 14, 2014

Silver Wing-Pea (Wiborgia mucronata)

Family Fabaceae
A stunningly beautiful bush when in bloom.
About 1m in height and found in the regions of the Eastern Cape.




Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Fluted Abutilon (Abutilon angulatum macrophyllum)

Family Malvaceae 
A very tall plant about 1m in height with very attractive orange flowers. Found in Pundu Maria Camp, Kruger National Park.



Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Wooly Caper Bush (Capparis tomentosa)

Family Capparaceae
A small tree occurring only in the northern and eastern regions as far south as Durban. It is a protected plant in South Africa.
It has two sharp, hooked thorns flanking each leaf. The fruit is pink to bright orange when ripe.
Extract from Palgraves: “This is one of the best-known trees among African peoples for its supposed magico-medicinal properties and has the reputation for curing a variety of complaints ranging from coughs and cold to barrenness. Moreover, if a stick is coated with a paste made from the powered root and other ingredients and pointed towards storm clouds, it is believed to act as a safeguard against floods. The Venda make a ritual remedy for pneumonia by combining parts of this tree with dried hyaena and antelope blood and mixing the concoction together with ox fat.



Monday, November 10, 2014

Carnival Bush (Ochna serrulata)

Family Ochnaceae
A small tree 3-6m in height.
The Zulus use a decoction of the root to treat children suffering from bone disease or gangerenous rectitis.