27 September 2010

Lion's Head in Springtime



Date: 25 September 2010

Location: Lion's Head

Walkers: Michele & Helen

I've walked here before! Have a look at the Lion's Head archive, here.



Our plan was to walk up Lion's Head, but take it really slow and look for spring flowers. And we were not disappointed.... there was an astonishing number of plants in flower. So exciting!

Near the start we saw Muraltia heisteria, Lobostemon (glaucophyllus, the common one, I think), Romulea rosea and Vicia benghalensis. This last one is a naturalised alien, not an indigenous plant, even though it looks a little like Lessertia. Research on the net helped me make an identification.




Pretty Pelargonium lobatum and tiny Hermannia (not sure which one).




It was a gorgeous afternoon and the views were fabulous!




The walk is a steady up, circling to the top. But we were looking down.



We saw masses of the delicate blue satinflower, Geissorhiza aspera.




And also beautiful star lily, Spiloxene. As far as I know the white one is Spiloxine aquatica and the one with the blue/black centre Spiloxene capensis, the peacock flower. Isn't it magnificent?




The common rose-scented Pelagonium capitatum was just coming into flower. We'll see these pink flowers well into the summer months.



We also saw another pelargonium, a variety that I hadn't seen before. I think I've correctly identified it as Pelargonium hirtum. It is only found on Lion's Head and above Camps Bay. What a sweet little flower.



Aspalanthus cordata, Europys pectinatus, Athanasia crithmifolia, and a little yellow Morea. There are so many different yellow varieties of Morea, I don't know how to begin telling them apart.




We followed the path along to the sunny west-facing slope. More flowers!



Wachendorfia paniculata.



Indigenous sages, both the brown one Salvia africana-lutea, and the blue one Salvia africana-caerulea.



Adenandra uniflora, Erica baccans, Sutherlandia frutescens and Crassula fascicularis. These four were the easiest to identify as they're so distinctive.




Ornithogalum flaccida, common name Soldier-in-the-box. Cute!




Oxalis obtusa, nestling amongst the rocks, enjoying the sunshine.



Lachenalia. Not sure if this one is fistulosa or orchioides; I think the latter.



For the first time we took a little path up to the right, to the higher paragliding launching place, just out of view from the main path.




From here there was a vertigo-inducing view down to Clifton below.



On this slope we saw lots of happy Trachyandra.



And also Dischisma ciliatum. Lots of it!



We didn't only see flowers... also grasses, dandelions and seed pods.




And then we saw the beautiful Babiana! It was everywhere. Love it.





As we looked closely at most flowers we saw lots of tiny insects.




After re-joining the main path we walked on, until back around to the east-facing slope, and continued up the ladders and rocks, and along the recommended route to the front of the mountain.




Zantedeschia aethiopica. More commonly known as the arum lily.



Chasmanthe floribunda, the cobra lily.



The creeper Cyphia volubilis. Love this one!



And another star lily, Spiloxene alba.Witsterretjie.



We also saw Ornitholgalum thyrsoides (commonly known as the Chink), Silene undulata, Oftia africana, and Coleonema album.




The sun was getting low as we climbed up to the plateau, so we didn't go all the way up. After a wee rest and snack, turned round and retraced our steps, down as darkness fell.



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3 comments:

Firefly said...

Oh my goodness, I can't believe all the flowers you saw. Other than climing Table Mountain via whatever route, this is the walk I would love to do most. Perhaps even going up and staying up for the full moon rising.

Helen said...

Highly recommended! Remember to take a headlamp to help you see your way (the moonlight illuminates one side of the mountain, but it is very dark on the other side).

Marie said...

Been reading through all your spring posts - breathtaking.