On a recent trip to Kenya I was reminded how diverse the aloe family is–apparently there are hundred of species. And while many share a resemblance to the Aloe vera plant that we might grown as houseplants, for some aloes that grow as big as trees, the sky is literally the limit. Some of the rosettes shown are several feet across! So here are a few photos I took at the small botanical garden at the Nairobi Museum. Not all plants had tags identifying them. There were some interesting succulents too, and I’ve included those.
Sundews(droseras) are among the most beguiling of the carnivorous plants. Unlike the toothed Venus Flytraps, or or the open-mouthed pitcher plants they seduce softly with sparkling pinkish-red globules that suggest pleasure, rather than pain. What’s amazing is that these tiny treasures have adapted to a wide range of environments and can be found in many countries and habitats around the world.
While I haven’t had much experience cultivating sundews, its always thrilling to look for them in the wild. Here I share pictures from two very different habitats, that nevertheless have something in common..both are capes and among the most beautiful spots in the world. Nevertheless, both are harsh austere environments with wide temperature swings, where only the most tenacious plants can thrive.
Table Mountain is simply majestic and inspiring…there are few words that can describe it. Proteas and other southern Africa flora, most endemic to this region, and some to Table Mountain itself, can be found here. One sunny afternoon in November,2008 as I explored the mountain top, I came across several patches of wet soil that sparkled with a soft greenish rosettes,tinged along the edges in deep pink–sundews!