13 January 2017

Summer flowers on Meadowridge Common

The Branching Aristea (Aristea dichotoma) flowers on the Common from December till February, although recent thefts of this tough little bulb have reduced the population to virtually nothing. The flowers only last one day - opening in the morning and fading in the afternoon - the drying petals twisting into a spiral which you can see clearly in the photograph above.
Its leaves are tough, narrow and point upwards to avoid direct sunlight. Although the stems of this aristea are characteristically branching, the specimens on the common don't branch all that much. The flowers are about 15-20 cm high.  
Information from Fiona Watson, Cape Bulbs by John Manning and iSpot.

10 November 2016

Discover Namibia's Kaokoveld


The Friends of Meadowridge Common invite you on a photographic safari to the Kaokoveld of Namibia with Michael Borgstrรถm, architect, artist and experienced traveller to Africa's wild places. Michael's illustrated talk will take place in the Meadowridge Library, Howard Drive, Meadowridge (click here for a map) at 7h30 pm on Wednesday 23 November 2016. Entrance is free. Refreshments will be served afterwards, and there will be secure parking.

02 September 2016

Champion of the Common

Fiona Watson, the Friends of Meadowridge Common's Botanical Officer, was recently interviewed by Karen Watkins in the Constantiaberg Bulletin about her passion for recording the dwindling wildflowers on Cape Town's shrinking open spaces.
Her detailed records for Meadowridge Common, which include several Red Data Species, have been compiled into a DVD which is available for purchase at R100 each. Contact her at 021 712 0696. All profits go towards the Friends of Meadowridge Common. The DVD will be on sale at the Friends annual Spring Wildflower Walk on Saturday 17 September.
To read the interview with Fiona Watson, click here.

17 August 2016

Spring Wildflower Walk

The Friends of Meadowridge Common annual Spring Wildflower Walk will be taking place on Saturday 17 September 2016. The walk is free, and open to anyone. Meet at the gravel road off Faraday Way near the soccer fields at 11h30. A list of flowers that may be in bloom can be seen here.
Moraea tripetala blooming on the Common.

21 July 2016

Winter on the Common

Although all looks rather wintry and drab, some rain has fallen and things are starting to happen.
The Community Nest Spiders are hard at work building their nests - I counted four new ones in the vicinity of the Rehabilitation Area - this one in a Cluster Spiderhead (Serruria glomerata) bush.
Dog poop continues to be a problem with dog owners not taking any responsibility for their dogs faeces that are festering all over the common. In this photo I counted seven separate piles in amongst the Green Satyr Orchids (Satyrium odorum) that are starting to come up now.
A budding Green Satyr Orchid.

Commonly known as Yellow Soldiers, this little Lachenalia reflexa is classified as Vulnerable on the Red List of South African Plants as it is "restricted to seasonally wet lowland soils and known from less than 10 locations. There is a continuing decline as a result of urban expansion, crop cultivation, livestock trampling and alien plant invasion."
 
What you can expect to see flowering on the Common in July
Babiana villosula
Lachenalia reflexa
Leucadendron salignum
Metalasia densa
Muraltia spinosa
Osteospermum moniliferum
Othonna filicaulis
Oxalis obtusa
Oxalis pes-caprae
Oxalis purpurea
Oxalis versicolor
Pauridia capensis
(formerly Spiloxene)
Serrurua glomerata
Struthiola ciliata
Zantedeschia aethiopica

Tortoise Berry (Muraltia spinosa or Nylandtia spinosa - the experts don't seem to be too sure on which to choose!)

And keep a lookout for the Black Sparrowhawk chicks in the tree near the Soccer Club building. Photo above by Margaret Macivor.

04 May 2016

New DVD on the Flora of Meadowridge Common

Fiona Watson has compiled and created a dvd of the Flora of Meadowridge Common, which includes its history and many beautiful photographs of the indigenous flowers - and some of the animals - that occur on this small remnant of Cape Flats Sand Fynbos in the middle of suburbia. The dvd is for sale at R100 and all profits will go towards the Friends of Meadowridge Common. Contact Mrs Fiona Watson at 021 712 0696 if you would like to purchase a copy.

01 March 2016

March - the start of autumn

March lilies (Amaryllis belladonna) - the first sign that autumn in on its way. Read more about them in Trevor Adam's article in PlantZAfrica. Trevor writes, "There is still some mystery as to what pollinates the March lily. Rudolf Marloth, a famous amateur botanist, believed that the belladonna lily was being pollinated by a hawk moth. It was also noticed that large carpenter bees visited the flowers during the day. On the Cape Peninsula, at least, it seems that bees are the main pollinators of the March lily." Your observations and photos would be most welcome - please post them on our facebook page or on iSpot.