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.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

White Ironwood (Vepris undulata)

Family Rutaceae
Traditionally the powdered roots are used for influenza and colic and the leaves are burnt to dispel evil spirits. The wood is used to produce wheel spokes, handles, roof beams, furniture, ornaments and turnery.
This lovely plant occurs in dune, riverine and low-lying forest along the coast from the Western Cape, through Eastern Cape to Kwazulu-Natal and the woodland and escarpment forests in Mpumalanga, Limpopo, the northern section of Gauteng and the northeastern section of the North-West Province.


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Common Guarri (Euclea undulata)

Family Ebenaceae
 The species is found widespread over southern Africa, especially in South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia. It favours open rocky slopes, low hills with valleys, open mopane/acacia woodland, watercourses and areas with frequent or scattered termite mounds commonly referred to as heuweltjies' (little hills).
Euclea undulata is undoubtedly pollinated by insects such as bees who visit the scented flowers in abundance. Ants and honeydew-producing scale have also been noticed on the trees but it is suspected that they interact with each other rather than with the flowers. Although not very palatable, the leaves are browsed by a number of wildlife species and the fruit are eaten by birds and other mammals who disperse the seeds over large areas quite successfully.
Almost all parts of Euclea undulata are used by people or animals in one way or the other. It yields excellent firewood that produces long lasting coals.The leaves are useful as fodder for stock, antelope and small herbivorous mammals while the fruits are eaten by birds, antelope and humans although not very tasty. The hard brown heartwood is heavy and close-grained which make it durable and strong and a suitable species for making fencing posts. The bark contains suitable quantities of tannin and is used to ease headaches, while the roots provide a remedy for toothache and heart-related ailments. Alternatively the roots, when used as a powder, can be a drastic purgative. In the Western Cape leaf preparations are taken orally to treat diarrhoea and disorders of the stomach, and as a gargle to relieve throat ailments such as tonsillitis.


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Monday, March 16, 2015

Transvaal Gardenia (Gardenia volkensii)

Family Rubiaceae
Small, multi-stemmed tree with a dense, rounded crown, 3–8 m high with arching branches, sometimes touching the ground The flowering season ranges from July to December (winter to summer) and the fruits ripen between December and April (summer to autumn), but may remain on the tree until August. The fruit is almost round, shallowly to strongly ribbed longitudinally, greyish green to white with white, slightly raised dots (lenticels). The fruit contains numerous seeds embedded in pulp.
Fruit are eaten by monkeys, baboons, elephants and large antelope. Leaves are browsed by game, e.g. giraffe, kudu and impala.
Used medicinally as a cure for intestinal worms. Infusions of the fruit and roots are used to induce vomiting. The ash of burnt roots is rubbed into the chest to treat pneumonia, while headaches are treated by dripping an extract into the eyes or by placing a cold compress on the forehead. For earache an extract is dripped into the ear.
The wood is very hard and suitable for carving ornaments, and plants are also believed to protect against lightning or evil spirits.


Friday, March 13, 2015

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Honey Thorn (Lycium ferocissimum)

Family Solanaceae
a large shrub which grows up to 5 metres (16 ft) high and is covered in spines.