Authentic South AFrican Food

Bobotie is a South African dish consisting of spiced minced meat baked with an egg-based topping.

I blogged about this dish about 5 years ago, when I only had a handfull of followers. If you are interested to read more about this dish clickon this link:



dailypost photo-challenges/Authentic

Floral Friday: Wild flowers

This is a magical time along the West Coast of South Africa when every coastal town and inland village, mountains and fields are ablaze as an endless, kaleidoscope of wild flowers burst, almost simultaneously, into full bloom.DSC_0141 DSC_0065 IMG_9350FLORAL FRIDAY FOTOS


Floral Friday : Arum lily

Common names: White or common arum lily (English); Wit varkoor (Afrikaans); intebe (Xhosa) ihlukwe (Zulu)
Araceae (Arums, Anthurium, Caladium and Philodendron)
DSC_0211 (3)The arum lilies in my gardenDSC_0209 (2)Arum Lily is a popular garden plant which grows in wet mud, and in and around the edges of shallow ponds or static water.  Its size depends upon the amount of shade it experiences; it grows larger in shadier corners.  At winter times in the Cape the Arum lilies line the roads wherever there is a bit of damp or water.


Floral Friday : Gnidia squarrosa

Family: Thymelaeaceae (fibre-bark/gonna family)

Common names: aandbossie, juffertjie-roer-by-die nag (Afr.)IMG_8326 (2)

Gnidia squarrosa has attractive, multicoloured winter-spring flowers that will fill your garden with perfume in the evenings.

Gnidia squarrosa is a much-branched, lax, willowy shrub that reaches a height of 1 to 2 m, with roughly equal spread. The leaves are small and narrowly lance-shaped. The flowers are borne in rounded heads of 6 – 30 flowers at the tips of the slender branches. The flower consists of a long  tube topped by a 4-pointed star, with 8 tiny finger-like petals . The tubes are mostly greenish yellow, the face of the star is creamy white and the flowers are flushed with maroon-pink, but the degree of pink varies from flowerhead to flowerhead on the same bush. On one end of the scale some heads are almost completely greenish yellow with only a stripe of colour on the back and tip of the stars, while on the other end the base of the tubes are deep maroon and most of the flowers are stained pink, and many are somewhere in between, with only a few of the flowers unevenly stained pink. Overall, they give an attractive multi-coloured effect. The flowers are sweetly fragrant at night but unscented during the day, and adorn the bush in winter to spring (June to October). While not a candidate for the commercial trade, they make a good cutflower, lasting a few days in the vase. IMG_8327 (3)

Gnidia squarrosa is found from the Cape Peninsula to the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, where it grows in coastal limestone soils and on sandy slopes.

The tubular flower, its pale colour and its strong night fragrance indicate that this species is pollinated by moths.

Derivation of the name
The genus Gnidia was named by Linnaeus, but it is not clear where it came from or why he chose it. It is perhaps a Greek word for Daphne or laurel, or it is possibly derived from the old Greek name for Knossos in Crete, Knidiossos was one version. Both common names are Afrikaans, aandbossie means ‘night or evening-scented bush’, and juffertjie-roer-by-die-nag means literally ‘young-lady-gad-about-at-night’. Both are generic names given to many plants with night-scented flowers, and the latter name is more strictly used for Struthiola species.IMG_8325 (2)

Gnidia squarrosa is an easy plant in the garden, particularly fynbos and coastal gardens. It does best in full sun and well-drained soil, and will need some room to spread. Remember to treat it like a fynbos plant, i.e. put it in a well-drained, sunny spot and don’t give it manure or heavy doses of chemical fertilizers, and it will thrive. Plant it where you can appreciate its beautiful night scent, e.g. near the house, or beside the patio or a path that you use in the evenings.IMG_8326


Floral Friday : Arctotis hirsuta

Arctotis are low growing, spreading plants which bear large daisy-like flowers from late autumn/early winter into spring. These colourful plants have a compact, mounded growth habit and make a perfect ground cover.IMG_8492 (2) They are versatile and hardy, relatively drought tolerant and cope well with coastal conditions. Also great for mixed patio pots, rockeries and retaining walls. Arctotis has pink flowers against its green-grey foliage.IMG_7619 (2)


Floral Friday : Eriocephalus africanus L

Family: Asteraceae

Common Names: Wild Rosemary, Wilderoosmaryn, Kapokbos

Wild rosemary is one of the shrubs that most people in the Cape know because it is so common in the veld and easy to identify with its thin, grey leaves, which smell like Vicks when crushed. It is also a well-known medicinal plant and an excellent shrub for the waterwise garden.
IMG_8330Eriocephalus africanus
is found mostly on clay and granite slopes throughout the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Namaqualand. Along this wide distribution Eriocephalus africanus is very variable, especially when comparing plants growing in the salty air along the coast with those growing under much drier conditions inland. In general, they all form bushy evergreen shrubs up to 1 metre with a silvery, grey appearance.

Looking at the leaves that are arranged in tufts along the branches, it is easy to see a number of features that help the plant to survive with little water. Special features include the grey leaf colour which reflects sunlight and thereby reduces leaf temperature. The minute, silvery hairs covering the leaves trap moisture and thus reduce transpiration. The small, needle-shaped leaves are another adaptation that limits water loss. The aromatic oils are also thought to help reduce water loss. Shrubs growing on the coast have succulent leaves, whereas those growing away from the coast have thinner, less succulent leaves.IMG_8320

Flowering times vary, but the best displays are in winter when the whole shrub is covered in small, white flowers. Typical of the family Asteraceae, the flowers are a composition of 2-3 showy white ray florets on the outside and purple disc florets in the centre.On warm days many bees are attracted to the flowers, seeking their small amounts of nectar. Soon after flowering, fruits are formed that are covered in long, white hairs. These attractive, fluffy seed heads look like cotton wool or snow, which gave Eriocephalus the common name kapokbos in Afrikaans. (Kapok refers to snow).

Eriocephalus prefers full sun and well drained soils. In the western Cape it is best to plant during the wet winter months so that the plants can establish themselves before the dry summer. Wild rosemary is fairly hardy and will grow in most gardens throughout the country.

Mass plantings of Eriocephalus flowering in winter are very beautiful, but they also make striking combinations in smaller groups. The shrubs can be pruned lightly to encourage bushy growth, to shape into a hedge or even a ball. The root system is well developed with a taproot that can penetrate the soil to a depth of 6 m, and lateral roots that extend about 2 m around the plant and are closer to the surface. This extensive root system makes Eriocephalus africanus resistant to drought and able to recover from grazing by animals. New plants are easy to propagate from seed or cuttings. The seed may be sown in autumn or spring and germinates within 10 days. Eriocephalus roots easily from tip or heel cuttings taken in spring or autumn.IMG_8332

Wild rosemary has traditionally been used as a medicine for many ailments like coughs and colds, flatulence and colic, as a diuretic and a diaphoretic. A tea is usually made with 1 cup of boiling water and a sprig of wild rosemary. In her book on indigenous herbs, Margaret Roberts mentions that wild rosemary seems to have similar qualities to ordinary rosemary as both have an invigorating effect on the skin and hair. She suggests boiling springs of wild rosemary (1 measure of twigs and flowers to 2 measures of water) for 15 minutes and when cooled to add it to the bath or to use as a hair growth stimulant and conditioner. Wild rosemary can also be used for cooking, in sachets and pot-pourris.

In southern Africa there are 34 species of Eriocephalus, all with woolly fruits.

Floral Friday : Osteospermum fruticosum

Osteospermum fruticosum , also called the trailing African daisy or shrubby daisy bush, is a shrubby, semi-succulent herbaceous flowering plant native to South Africa, belonging to the small tribe Calenduleae of the sunflower family (Asteraceae).

IMG_8418 IMG_8416 IMG_8415

It grows between 6 and 12 inches tall and can spread four to six feet in width. The dark-centered daisy-like flowers range in color from deep purple to white. Some hybrid growers have bred pale yellow-flowering strains. The plant is a perennial in mild climates.


Floral Friday : Felicias

Common names: blue felicia bush, shrubby felicia, bush felicia, blue felicia, blue marguerite, blue daisy bush, Paris daisy (Eng.); bloumagriet, blou-astertjie (Afr.)

Felicia amelloides catches the eye wherever it is planted, with its striking sky-blue and sunny yellow flowerheads, held well above the leaves. South Africa has been blessed with many felicias, several of which make excellent garden plants. This species is one of the best. Apart from its beauty, this plant has many advantages. It is hardy, fast growing, long-flowering and long-lived, more or less frost- and wind-resistant, needs only moderate water and little care. It is also readily available from nurseries. As blue is a difficult colour to get into a garden, this is definitely a plant that will draw attention.IMG_8324 (2)

This species comes from the coastal strip of both the Western and Eastern Cape Provinces, mainly from Humansdorp to Port Alfred. It has been recorded from as far west as the De Hoop-Potberg Nature Reserve and it reaches the Kei River mouth to the east. The furthest inland it extends seems to be to the Vanstadensberg and Winterhoek Mountains near Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage, and the Ecca Pass, near Grahamstown.

This felicia is mainly found on old coastal sand dunes that are beginning to stabilize, or where dunes meet permanent bush or where there is any shelter. It is also found on sandy flats, exposed stony hillsides, gravelly slopes, outcrops of Table Mountain Sandstone and on rock slabs. The associated vegetation has been described as fynbos (sometimes called macchia), transition fynbos/bush, coastal scrub, thick scrub, ericoid vegetation and Stoebe plumosa communities.IMG_8328

The blue felicia bush receives some rain all year round in much of its natural area and endures a wide range of temperatures, including some frost. It does not seem to need the regular coastal mists as it grows well in inland gardens. With this natural distribution and habitat, it could be grown in many parts of South Africa, except, perhaps, where there is very high rainfall and heavy frost. Good drainage and some shelter would probably overcome these problems.IMG_7728Felicias are visited by bees and small flying insects, such as wasps and butterflies. They also have tiny thrips running around the florets, usually carrying pollen grains on their bodies. Sometimes a bright yellow ‘flower’ spider lurks in the daisy’s centre, matching the disc florets perfectly. Whatever animal achieves pollination, it is generally very successful as full heads of seed are the norm. IMG_7731FLORAL FRIDAY FOTOS