Flowering now in Steenbok Nature Reserve

Agapanthus praecox. These beautiful blue flowers can be seen at the entrance, in the indigenous garden and all along the pathways. The Rhizome are traditionally worn as a necklace by Xhosa brides to promotes child birth.

Bitterbossie (Afr.) sighted in the recently cleared area west of the tennis courts. Chironia baccifera L. Family: Gentianaceae, Common names: Christmas berry (Eng.); aambeibossie, bitterbossie (Afr.).This is a fast-growing, rounded suffrutex (shrub with woody stems only at the base), which grows to an average height of 450 mm but can reach 1 m. The leaves are small, narrow and dark green. It has starry, bright pink flowers, followed by red berries. It flowers from November to January. Walk along the paths in the rehabilitated area in Steenbok Nature Reserve and you will spot this small pretty flower.

Crassula perfoliata (Red treasure) is truly living up to its name at the moment. It can be seen as you approach the Indigenous Gardens and is, as the photos show, as bright red as can be. This oblong and sickled-shaped leaved succulent is easily propagated from cuttings or seeds (which are tiny). The greyish-green leaves are positioned in opposite rows. The small flowers are arranged in a rounded to flat-topped inflorescence on the end of a stalk which can reach 100mm in height. They tend to grow solitarily just like the one in Steenbok.

Salvia chamelaeagnea (Bloublomsalie), this easy to grow, dense evergreen shrub is a member of the sage family and can reach a height of 2m. It can be found in the Indigenous Gardens at Steenbok close to the main paved path. The light violet-blue flowers are cleverly created. The pale lower lips are ideal insects to land on for nectar collection. The top lip of the flower forms a protective cap over the anthers and stigma. This plant is well adapted to survive fires as it resprouts from its woody rootstock. Like many of the sage family, S. Chamelaeagnea can be used to treat many illnesses such as coughs or diarrhea.