Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Euphorbia species

It is extraordinary how many Euphorbia there are and how much they differ from each other.  The only way to know they are related is by the  flowers.
Here is a photo of the tiny ground cover.  The leaves are very small  in dry weather.  I added my finger tip for scale.

It was only recently that I found out that this old favorite ground cover  was in fact an Euphorbia!

Never forget that the milky sap or latex of  the Euphorbia plant is highly toxic.  Especially in the eyes.  There is one very fierce large tree size Euphorbia in the northern parts of South Africa where it is dangerous  in habitat where those large plants grow to walk downwind when they are in bloom.  Your eyes will start burning and you better cover the eyes and nose with a  piece of  cloth quickly.
Surprisingly the bees and butterflies love the flowers !
There are animals - even domestic cattle - that eat some of the Euphorbia species.  This is life saving for the animals in Namaqualand and the Karoo.
I would like an assortment Euphorbia  between the aloe 
plants but most of the pretty or odd ones are rather difficult plants out of their habitat.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Orange slime for Gisela.
If you have some info on this then we can add it here. 
Let me know if you want the larger photos and I will email it to you.

I saw it only once - early morning.  By midday the
bubbles have all "melted" into a thin  layer of orange liquid.

If I had a scientific mind I would not have picked it up
but I wanted to have a closer look and did not realize it was so very fragile.

There was no sign that the slime damaged the plant in any way.  This was large enough to fill my hand -   "fist size".

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Ever changing scenes in the garden.  After I took the photo I realized how much the scene changed. Seeing it every day it seems to be the same. The aloes are Aloe gerstneri in front and you need to look close to see Aloe speciosa behind.
 Photo above was taken January 2007
 Photo below was taken January 2010
Aloe gerstneri blooms in summer  and Aloe speciosa in winter. The photo bellow is to show Aloe speciosa in bloom,  winter July 2009.

The angle of this photo is slightly different. There are still two Aloe gerstneri  plants the second one is behind the first one.  The toppled plum tree can be seen in the background  with only a few yellow leaves on it. The winter growing mesemb on the left is now bright green.  This photo below of Aloe speciosa  was taken 1 Aug. 2010.  In fact I went and took this photo a few minutes ago. Those flower racemes are at least 50 cm high and there are three! Below, this aloe from the side showing clearly the rosette facing north which is the rule for this aloe species.