Friday, February 7, 2014

Caledonian Antipodal Botanics

Delosperma lavisiae
A picture taken at RBG Edinburgh last June. In an article a few decades ago, Bruce Hargreaves once proclaimed that there were only two or three species of Delosperma in all the Drakensberg. I don't think so. We grow a dozen or so magenta flowered Delosperma, several came labeled as lavisiae, and none quite match up with this.

Aciphylla subflabellata
A feisty Spaniard from New Zealand, looking quite at home in Scotland. I am featuring just the Southern Hemisphere plants here (hence "Antipodal") and should segregate the New Zealanders from the South Americans and South Africans. Only since we're reassembling Gondwanaland here, why bother?

Parahebe  catarractae
There were several wild patches of this Veronica cousin making showy masses at Botanics.

Celmisia ramulosa
One very good reason to visit Scotland and Ireland is to see Celmisia: I love these silver leaved daisies!
Bulbinella hookeri
I have admired this in California as well as Scotland. And I'm convinced it might do in Denver--if I can ever find plants or seed!

Parahebe  catarractae
MORE veronica cousin putting on a show...

Alchemilla sp.
An African lady's mantle I find quite fetching: I do love little things...

Ursinia montana and Zaluzianskya ovata
A medly of south Africans--the ursinia is charming (I grew it too once!) and the Zaluzianskya has passed through my hands as well...

Felicia uliginosa
This doesn't quite match up with what I have grown under this name. But all felicia are felicitous!

Delosperma nubigenum
What you cannot see is that this is still labeled "Mesembryanthemum sp. Basutoland"--as if the last three decades of my life had not transpired.
Moraea cf. spathulata
This looks like the real McCoy: in America we mostly have the similar M. huttonii.

Macowania sororis
We have grown a Macowania--probably the similar pulvinaris. There were spectacular specimens of this everywhere at Botanics.

Cotula cf lineariloba
This cotula has gone under the name "hispida" for some time now: I searched herbaria all over South Africa for verification--perhaps this name is closer to the truth?

Glekia krebsiana
I was amazed with this, that so resembles a Sutera or perhaps Jamesbrittenia...Glekia is a new one for me.

Eumorphia prostrata with Helichrysum trilineatum in the upper right.

Helichrysum sp. (possibly a prostrate form of Helichrysum trilineatum)
This may actually be Helichrysum montanum or a close cousin--which was also labeled elsewhere (see below)
Senecio candicans
What a treat to see this silky leaved Patagonian groundsel looking perfect on a slope!

Ignore the penstemon in the foreground: Tropaeolum speciosum is the real star here (above)

Calceolaria cavanillesii
I saw many calceolarias in the Andes, but never one quite like this.
Helichrysum montanum
We grew this for many years...suddenly notice it's missing.

This is labeled "Delosperma" but looks like Ruschia putterilii to me.

Leucogenes grandiceps
An enviable clump of the New Zealand Eidelweiss in the foreground, with a wonderful mass of Veronica (once Hebe) 'Carl Teschner' behind [unless I am mistaken...].

Helichrysum ecklonis
There are few plants I would rather grow than this....There are forms that are even a darker red. The foliage is scrumptious. I once collected several thousand seeds that never germinated. Nuff said.

Helichrysum retortoides
This is unspeakably desirable for certain people...

Macowania sororis
Another spectacular clump of the yellow South African daisy shrub, with a mass of Zaluzianskya in front that will be dazzling at dusk.
More Calceolaria...

Haplopappus "aff." glutinosus

One of dozens of wonderful Geraniums from South Africa

A restio a tad worse for wear (but it made it through the winter)

Geranium brycei
Another breathtraking blue South African geranium not well distributed to gardens yet...

Two antipodal treasures: the blue in the foreground is Perezia recurvata, and the white flowered mat behind is Helichrysum marginatum--a treasure I grew for years in a larger form but have lost.

Cotula paludosa
I would like to try growing THIS cotula--I think it will be a winner!

This is SO Edinburgh: good old Erinus alpinus and Asplenium trichomanes in the foreground...behind, a week earlier there would have been twenty or more fresh flowers on Cypripedium calceolus, and oh yes, a mass of Epipactis gigantea 'Serpentine Night' next to the dark leaved Geranium sessiliflorum and seedling dactylorhizas...treasure compounded with treasure!

A frontal view of the Helichrysum marginatum mentioned above...
My hosts for the day: Carole Bainbridge on the left and John Mitchell--of RBG--on the right. Thank you for an unforgettable visit!


  1. I heard that Tropaeolum was a spreader and considered to be almost weedy in the right climate; I can see why. But what a nice weed to have.

  2. The Andes are full of crazy tropaeolums that should be hardy: we've tried this several times. I think it is quite spready where it's established--I wish I had that problem!

  3. "The many great gardens of the world, of literature and poetry, of painting and music, of religion and architecture, all make the point as clear as possible: The soul cannot thrive in the absence of a garden. If you don't want paradise, you are not human; and if you are not human, you don't have a soul.” - Thomas More


  4. Really nice pics of some wonderful plants, like those hardy S Africans especially :)


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