The brilliant vermillion flowers of the COASTAL CORAL TREES (Erythrina caffra) have been really spectacular this year and have attracted many species of nectar-loving birds and the noisy GREEN (RED-BILLED) WOOD-HOOPOE (Phoeniculus purpureus), to sample the sweet nectar and feast on the insects which are also drawn in.
Along the verge as one arrives by boat at FOREST CAMP, there is a colony of NERINES (Appendiculata), a plant native to the Eastern Cape and parts of KZN belonging to the amaryllis family. The delicate flowers grow in a ball-headed shape with individual pale pink wavy-edged, long-lasting flowers. Being in such sharp contrast to the dry riverside grasses, they’re eye-catching not only because of their colour but also because of their extremely delicate appearance. This little plant is rarely seen in the wild or even in cultivation, so we’re lucky that it occurs and gives us pleasure at a spot to which we have such easy access.
Recently, on rocky outcrops and here and there in the bushveld, we’ve seen the flowering PIG’S EAR (Cotyledon orbiculata) succulents. The orangey-pinky-red bell-like flowers are not particularly showy but the grey-green fleshy leaves with their rusty red-coloured margins are extremely useful to the informed. Recently a member of the SIBUYA team was suffering from painful plantar warts on the underside of his feet. He was very surprised to be told by the local doctor to use the succulent fleshy leaves of the PIG’S EAR as a poultice on the warts. After using the leaves in this way for two weeks, the troublesome warts had totally disappeared! Apparently, in Traditional medicine, the leaves of this little succulent are successfully used to cure not only warts, but also boils, corns and toothache.
Detail of the exquisite Nerine
Pig’s Ear making a splash of colour