1/29/2008

Shipwrecks and Carrion Flowers

On Sunday Sila and I and Sandi went down to Cape Point and went for the WORLD'S WINDIEST HIKE. Sorry I didn't bring my camera because we did the Shipwreck Trail in the park. Have you seen Pirates of the Caribbean 3: At World's End? Because there's a scene where Johnny Depp is in this plain of white sand and just his ship sticking out like a big black hulk. That's what Shipwreck Beach looks like, except with lots of parts of ships everywhere. It is brutal. I didn't have my camera on me so here's somebody's picture from the series of tubes:
That's what it looks like (I guess) when it's not blowing 60+ km/hr across the beach, at which point it becomes a surreal stinging wasteland.

To avoid complete and total exfoliation, we walked back to Olifantsbos via the inland trail. We saw lots of droppings as big as moose pellets - but no eland or bontebok from which they must have originated. We picked up some ostrich feathers caught in a prickly bush. There were lots of cute little succulents.

We stopped on the way back at the Good Hope Nursery outside Scarborough which specializes in indigenous plants and picked out four more succulents to complete my box. I don't know what they all are yet! But yesterday I got it all planted up: This is an unknown. The guy at the nursery told me it was Crassula but he didn't know what kind. I looked at a billion on line today and although there are thousands of kinds of Crassula, I didn't see any with little pea leaves like this. More research is necessary. Here's the coolest/ weirdest one: Stapelia grandiflora. It's a dwarf species from the same genus as that giant carrion flower that is polinated by flies and smells like dead stuff and/or trash. Some of the specimens at the nursery had blooms so I smelled it and yah, it smells dead. But the scent is not too strong. So I bought one with two buds on it. The flowers are really weird looking, like a drunk starfish leaning up against the little trunks. So weird and cool.

The box is in my office window now, gets low sun until about 11 every day so I think that will satisfy all these guys. I need to find somebody who can tell me what each really is! Tempting to follow it up with a cactus box on my other window sill... but maybe I should just be patient since I already have 101 tomato plants to take care of.

6 comments:

mamagenerica said...

The nice folks in the glasshouse at Kirstenbosch should be able to identify them all for you -- I recognise most but I'm not so good at the names. The little grey-brown rough-leaved one at the front right of your box has a lovely Afrikaans vernacular name -- leopard's tongue? Something like that. Look out for the perdetande and the haaibekkies as well.

Julie said...

Hi! I found your blog through a Google Alert I have on succulents! I wanted to tell you that I think I may have I.D.'d your "crassula"...it is actually a sedum!!! I think its name may be sedum furfuraceum!!! Check out a google image search and see what you think! Good luck!
Julie

Ishmael said...

I know the tip of SA kinda sticks ou there like a sore thumb... but I looked the place up on the tubes and that's a LOT of wrecks. What up?

I also found out that off of SA is the largest concentration of rogue waves, over 100 feet. Something to do with converging currents, both wind-borne and sea-borne. Wild.

Term papers said...

I read your Post With Great Interest. On Sunday Sila and You and Sandi went down to Cape Point and went for the WORLD'S WINDIEST HIKE. You didn't bring Your camera because You Guy's did the Shipwreck Trail in the park. I have seen Pirates of the Caribbean 3: At World's End? Because there's a scene where Johnny Depp is in this plain of white sand and just his ship sticking out like a big black hulk.

roushannatom said...

Hi there,
The sedum suggestion sounds correct - they look very simmilar to crassulas - thanx Julie!
The brown "leopards tounge" is in fact a Gasteria (Prob a young croucherii).
The Stapelia is incorectly labelled (very embarrasing)and is in fact a hirsuta NOT a grandiflora (which - as the name suggests - has huge big stripy blossom not smaller purple hairy blossoms) ..They all smell foul!
The one in the back left hand corner of your box is Crassula perforata.
Haworthia attenuata is the Stripy spiky job in the front right of the box.
If anyone has any idea of the specific name for the grey Crassula behind the haworthia...We found it on a farm near Warmwaterburg Barrydale area.
Good luck with all your planting!
Tom & Roushanna at Good Hope Nursery.

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