Sunday, November 11, 2007

Trees and flowers of South Africa

As I stayed in the Southern Hemisphere we arrived in spring, and trees and flowers were waking up from hibernation. There was so much to see, and some trees displayed a flowering beauty in such an abundance. Here are some pieces of floral beauty as seen in Pietermaritzburg.

The African Acacia (left and above)

This is a tree many of us remember from Nature programs from Africa. In reality varieties of the Acacia family are found in Africa, America, Asia and Australia.

We saw the Acacia tree everywhere on our trip, from the mountain plateau of Gauteng, to the Drakensberg, KwaZulu-Natal and the Northwest province.

The acacia has the most beautiful, fine foliage and long white spikes or thorns that protect it from those who want to feast on its green leaves.

The Jacaranda Tree

If you have seen a Jacaranda tree in bloom, you will never forget it. This large trees have the most magnificent blue flowers that bloom in October.

The Jacaranda tree was a tree also seen everywhere. The most beautiful of them were in Pietermaritzburg, where we drove under trees in bloom planted along the streets. As I went closer, in order to get a photograph of the flowers, I noticed that they had the same shape as our Bell flowers that bloom during spring.

The large tulip tree

This is not its name, but this tree I found in Scottsdale had huge tulip-like flowers all over and it was a wonderful sight.

If anyone knows this plant, please let me know.

The busy climbers

This is something I remember from my summers in the Virginia areas during summer. The sight of flowering climbing plants using trees to growing up in the canopy to get as much light as possible.

Here a lovely climber with large yellow flowers has climbed up in an Acacia i Scottsdale. In fact it had managed to cover more or less the whole tree.

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