03 December 2011

Flowers in Newlands Forest

Date: 27 November 2011

Location: Newlands Forest

Walkers: Helen & Brenda

For all walks in Newlands Forest see the Newlands Forest archive.

Brenda and I went strolling up into Newlands Forest, no particular destination in mind. We followed the path alongside the stream...

.... and uphill through the trees...

... and up again, until we reached the Woodcutter's Trail.

As always, it was wonderful to be in the quiet green stillness.

The path brought us out near the stand of silver trees. They are growing so happily here, on this sunny north-facing slope.

We spotted some early summer flowers hereabouts too. Pink Watsonia borbonica, complete with bee.

A white Ixia, with colourful centre.

And the blue sceptre flower, Aristea capitata.

We also saw some flowering plants that are clearly not indigenous. Not sure what they are though... garden escapees of some sort I suppose?

This one had a delightfully fresh citrus/minty scent.

Instead of heading straight down we took several side paths through the pine trees, slowly zig-zagging down the slope, with an occasional glimpse of the mountain behind.

The last section of our walk was along the lower part of the Littlewort Trail. We found lots of flowers in this fairly open area.

Particularly pelargonium and lots more aristea.

And - my particular favourite - tall sprays of snow-white Ixia.



Marie said...

An ixia??? There? At that time? Wow. I've never seen one on the mountain.

Is the scented shrub perhaps plain old privet?

Helen said...

Privet! My knowledge about garden plants is sadly lacking. It's so pretty isn't it?

As for the white flower.... I *think* it is an ixia, but I could be wrong! My best guess is Ixia polystachya which 'Wild Flowers of TMNP' describes as follows: slender, 30-80cm tall (check, they were above knee-height), leaves 15-40cm long sword-shaped or grass like (I didn't look at the leaves), flowers up to 25 in a lax spike or compound (? I think this is a compound?), generally white (check), with or without a green, blue, purplish, pink or yellow central blotch (check), faintly scented (didn't sniff). Frequent in damp or shady areas (check) on sandstone or granite soils (?) on flats and mountain slopes (check) in the north, uncommon in the south (?). Flowers Oct to Dec (check).

I walked the same route today (18th Dec) and I didn't see a single one, so their flowing season must be very short.