Gladiolus venustus has flowers that are shades of purple to pink and sometimes dull yellow with yellow markings on the lower half of the lower tepals. It is widely distributed across the interior of the winter rainfall areas of southern Africa where it is found in dry habitats on clay and sandstone slopes.
It is called beetle daisy in English and katoog (cat eye) in Afrikaans.
The florets have dark, beetle-like markings at the base which mimic and attract pollinating bee-flies.
It can be found in Namibia and South Africa.
Photos : Tino de Monte
Broadleaf Catstail (Bulbinella latifolia)
There are 24 bulbine species – 18 from South Africa and 6 from Nieu-Zealand. Bulbinella can be grown in the garden in rockeries or as container plants, the flowers are colourful and long-lasting when cut and placed in the vase. Most South African species flower from winter to early summer, but 4 species flower during the drier period between summer and autumn. The New Zealand species usually flower mid summer. Bulbine latifolia has broad, succulent leaves and are the largest in the genus. ZA Distribution: Eastern Cape, Western Cape.
Common names: cup and a saucer, men-in-a-boat (Eng.); bobbejaanskoen (Afr.)
Plants without stem. Two flat leaves, 48–180 x 20–80 mm, never curled, and generally smooth sometimes with small hairs, bracts ovate to round, purplish red, with green bases and 1–5 pinkish flowers. Tepal blades concave at the base, shorter than the tepal claw, stamen twice as long as tepal blades. Flowering time: July–August. The plant is found in the western Karoo and Bokkeveld Plateau, South Africa
Verfblommetjie / Drumsticks
Zaluzianskya affinis is an annual herb that grows to 30 cm in height. The plant is commonly called northern purple drumsticks (or northern lilac drumsticks), differing from the southern purple (or lilac) drumsticks only insofar as its leaves are narrower and have sharply pointed tips. The leaves, particularly the upper ones, are alternate on the branched, hairy stems.
The flowers grow in dense spikes, white or pink to lilac in colour. Each flower has a long, thin corolla tube ending in five oblong petal lobes, widening and deeply notched at their tips. A yellow or orange eye or star forms the flower centre.
The flowers open in the afternoon and have a distinct honey scent at night. They received the drumsticks name from the shape of the dull to dark red buds. Flowering happens in winter and spring.