(Editors note: Pam Hart began posting outdoor photos from South Africa a few months ago on our Bombay Outdoors Facebook page. She posted a variety of stunning sunsets, coastal shots, flowers, birds, even wild ferrets. We were thrilled to find out later that she’s co-owner of Hart Nursery in Cape Town. At the southern tip of Africa, she’s in the Cape Floristic Region — one of the most diverse plant areas in the world. All the following photos are by Pam Hart!)
South Africa has been dubbed the Rainbow Nation for its variety of ethnic groups and cultures, but the Cape Floristic Region within the country is diverse too — a rainbow nation of plants!
There are thousands of plant species that have originated in South Africa, and some which exist nowhere else in the world.
We asked Pam Hart to show us some of the plants from Hart Nursery, which she co-owns in Cape Town, and also from her own garden.
Here’s a look at one part of Hart Nursery, with water features made of cement and fiber by a South African artist.
Here’s a peek inside Hart Nursery, showing some of the rich plant diversity.
And here’s a peek at some of the flower planters in the nursery…
South African Flowers
This first flower, Plectranthus ciliatus, commonly called Spur Flower, grows mainly on forest floors in the region around Cape Town. It HAS been taken abroad, to Sweden, to Australia and New Zealand, and to North America, where it can be a container plant. (You can buy it from Flowers By The Sea, in Mendocino, California).
Unlike Plectranthus, Camellia is not a South African plant, but an international “rock star” with origins in Asia. Called the “Japan Rose” by one botanist, there are hundreds of species (one of which, Camellia sinensis, is used to make a beverage called TEA!)
Cycads may also grow around the world, but there are over 60 species that grow only in Africa. They are OLD plants! They were growing 100 million years before dinosaurs, and a Cycad plant can live a thousand years!
Another flower thriving in the nursery is Odontonema strictum (or Firespike), a lovely shrub that is native to Central America, and wonderful for attracting hummingbirds.
A look at another species of Plectranthus — a plant genus with 350 species!
Pam is a gifted photographer, with an eye for gorgeous color, be it in a sunset or a flower. Here’s her look at the inner world of a red hibiscus…
Have a flower photo you’re proud of? Head over to our Facebook Page and post it on our wall! We’d LOVE it!