by Zoë Poulsen - Cape Town Botanist | Jan 10, 2018 | Botanic Gardens, Cape Flats Sand Fynbos, Cape Floristic Region, Cape Peninsula, Cederberg, Conservation, Ecology, Endangered Species, Ethnobotany, Fynbos, Hiking, Landscape History, Mountains, Plant Profiles, Pollination, Proteaceae, Proteas, Renosterveld
The genus Protea is one of the most well-known and charismatic of the Cape Floristic Region’s (CFR) Fynbos Biome. The King Protea (Protea cynaroides) is South Africa’s national flower. Proteas are exported as cut flowers all over the world, prized for their beauty, diversity and longevity. They are often depicted in artwork and are popular garden plants. Members of the genus are also known as sugarbushes.
by Zoë Poulsen - Cape Town Botanist | Feb 5, 2017 | Cape Floristic Region, Cape Peninsula, Conservation, Ecology, Fynbos, Hiking, Landscape History, Mountains, Orchids, Plant Profiles, Table Mountain
I grew up a winter baby, born in February in the northern hemisphere. Childhood birthdays were days for hot chocolate, tobogganing in the snow and soggy visits to the zoo watched by various bemused creatures hiding from the horizontal Westcountry rain. Six years ago I moved to Cape Town and suddenly the seasons were ‘back to front’ and my birthday moved to mid-summer and the hottest time of the year. It also now coincides with the flowering of one of the Cape Floristic Region’s most spectacular orchids – The Pride of Table Mountain or Red Disa (Disa uniflora).
by Zoë Poulsen - Cape Town Botanist | Nov 5, 2016 | Botanic Gardens, Cape Flats Sand Fynbos, Cape Floristic Region, Cape Peninsula, Conservation, Ecology, Endangered Species, Fynbos, Kirstenbosch, Plant Profiles
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be the last in the world of your kind? There are many species who have experienced this fate in the hands of people. The most famous of these is Lonesome George, a giant tortoise of the Pinta subspecies from the Galapagos Islands. Despite the best efforts of conservationists, when Lonesome George died in 2012 at the age of approximately 102, the Pinta Island subspecies of giant tortoise died with him. I was lucky enough to meet Lonesome George at his last home at the Charles Darwin Research Centre during a stint of volunteering in the Galapagos Islands during my teens, and it is a memory that has stayed with me.
by Zoë Poulsen - Cape Town Botanist | Sep 6, 2016 | Cape Flats Sand Fynbos, Cape Floristic Region, Cape Peninsula, Conservation, Endangered Species, Fynbos
This week the normally quiet Cape Town suburb of Tokai has been the centre of attention. It has made front page news in the papers and social media has been buzzing. Placard waving protestors, their families and their dogs lined the side of Orpen Road with residents queuing to sign petitions. Tears have been shed and emotions have been running high.
by Zoë Poulsen - Cape Town Botanist | Jul 27, 2016 | Cape Floristic Region, Cape Peninsula, Fynbos
Are you a dynamic King Protea? Or a caring Protea compacta? Take our fynbos quiz, and find out more about fynbos – and yourself. And stand a chance to win a two night stay for two people at the Haarwegskloof Renosterveld Reserve, between Bredasdorp and Swellendam in the Overberg. All you need to do is complete the fun quiz, and share your fynbos flower on social media.
by Zoë Poulsen - Cape Town Botanist | May 9, 2016 | Cape Floristic Region, Cape Peninsula, Ethnobotany, Fynbos, Indigenous Foods, Research
It is well known that growing your own food is one of the greatest moves that we can make towards eating truly green and sustainably. It cuts the food miles and puts people in control of their own diet destiny in a world where often some of the most ‘sustainable’ and ‘ethical’ large scale supermarket brands still contain ingredients sprayed with vast numbers of chemicals and shipped across the globe, generating a huge carbon footprint. Many people have taken the initiative in the face of these challenges and gardens and allotments brim with lovingly tended carrots and cabbage destined for local dinner tables.