07 June 2010

South Africa

Fifa Soccer Cup 2010 is about to kick off in a few days. I lived in South Africa  for 10 years in the 90's. Therefore, I thought it would be appropriate to showcase some of their native flowers. I was lucky enough to travel and see most of South Africa. It's beauty is unique especially its landscapes and native flowers.   It's rich soil  brings forth 10% of all species of plant life in the world.

So here are a couple of my own favourites.  Please enjoy!
The National Flower is the King Protea, and can anybody wonder why it is called a King?  This particular Protea is indigenous to the Western Cape, as is most of the Protea species.
 
There are many types of Protea.  This one  is called the "Suikerbossie" (Sugar Bush) and grows on the highveld about two thousand kilometres North of the King Protea. These flowers are really big!  You can see for yourself as one of the vendors on the left is holding some: 
The Bird of Paradise is the now the emblem of Los Angeles in the USA, but it originated in South Africa.  What few people know about the Strelitzia is that it hides six more flowers in the stem.  If you know how, and work carefully,  you can actually pull them out one by one as the older flower die off.  I was so lucky to have them bloom in my garden at the house that I rented.  It is so visually unique and stunning.
When I first arrived in SA I was so stunned to see miles and miles of Cosmos in open fields along the open road. It was breathtaking !  Cosmos grows all along the roads during autumn and make the most beautiful show with their many colored blooms from pure white to the deepest purple.  Now that I'm back in Canada I make a point of growing them in my garden as a reminder of my stay in SA.
No post about the flowers of South Africa would be complete without showing off the Namaqwaland Daisy.  Namaqwaland and the West Coast are arid parts of the country with only very hardy plants growing sparsely... and then comes the end of winter and the first spring rains!  Within days Namaqwaland and the West Coast transforms into a floral paradise.  These daisies  cover every inch of the landscape and tourists from all over the world come to South Africa specifically to experience this miracle of nature.  The desert becomes  a carpet of yellow, orange, red and purple.  You have to be lucky to see this unique phenomenon as it does not last very long.

Today I'm joining Today's Flowers.  If you also love flowers please click here to view an array of interesting blogs all sharing the same passion and as well as Lisa'sChaos who is hosting   Macro Monday!
I've also joined Twee Poppets at
Tuesday Tag-Along  Just click  the button to join up!
 Mary at Ruby Tuesday!
and some really fun bloggers at   
 LittleYayasClick on the button to join the list!

51 comments:

  1. Gorgeous flowers! & interesting blog too- I think I like the Cosmos best.

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  2. The Cosmos is indeed a beautiful flower. But I would be hard pressed to pick my favorite of the ones you showed. I grew roses before my home burned.

    You have such a lovely and uplifting blog. I know it takes effort to create this effect. I was once a teacher, and I know how tired you can be when you arrive home after a day of teaching, Roland

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  3. Wow! Your flowers are truly exotic. I've never seen most of them. I have many cosmos in my garden but they orange and yellow. I love to have white and pink!!! They're so sweet.

    Love your blog!

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  4. Wow, amazing flowers... I've never seen King Protea before.

    You're right, it's the same flowers that come from guava tree. Thanks for dropping by...

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  5. Such exotic beauty. I visit my local botanical gardens each week and I always gravitate towards the South African garden because of it's exotic feel. The plants and flowers are just so beautiful. There is one called the Leucodendron Galpinii which is of the Protea family and it is just stunning. I have a post coming up this week on it. I envy you to be surrounded by all of this beauty.

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  6. I have never seen flowers before like the Protea. That is one thing I like about this meme is that I get to see flowers I would not normally get to see.
    Thanks for sharing.

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  7. All are lovely and amazing!
    Thank you for sharing.

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  8. I have a huge bird of paradise in my back yard...but I'm astounded by the flower in the very first photo...amazing. You've shared some awesome culture and background of South Africa for us...for that, I'm very pleased.

    My Macro Monday is a bit on the odd side today...would you believe bricks?!! But it's all explained below the photos. Here. Come visit with me if you can. Have a great week.

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  9. Anne-Marie, your space is really special! Beautiful! African flowers are spectacular!
    I have Strelitzia in my garden and didn´t know of the six flowers that hide inside.
    Thanks for the visit and you are always welcome.

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  10. I love learning about new types of flowers and the ones you featured were all so beautiful and interesting! Thanks!

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  11. Those flowers are amazing! Thanks for giving me a little look at South Africa. I enjoyed it.

    =)

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  12. Welcome to Today's Flowers Anne-Marie. I've really enjoyed reading your post and looking at all these beautiful flowers, especially the King flower which I have never seen before. Thanks also for stopping by my blog. I have had a great time looking at yours and look forward to coming back. Have a great week. Denise

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  13. What an amazing sight - to see all those Cosmos. South Africa has some very beautiful flowers! I'm looking forward to watching FIFA soccer too.

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  14. stunning! Such incredible colors and beauty.. really spectacular. thanks for sharing this little bit of SA with us. I can see why you miss it!

    (I just watched Invictus last month -- what a moving story... makes the World Cup even more poignant!)

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  15. So many blooms I have never seen before - fascinating - thank you for sharing these photos.

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  16. Oh wow it's huge!! I am so loving that flower ^_^. Happy Monday!


    Macro Monday-Frog

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  17. Anne-Marie: What beautiful photos of all the different flowers.

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  18. Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving such lovely comments. I think someone as intelligent as you obviously are -- is never out of her element. But isn't that how we grow?

    Have a beautiful week, Roland

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  19. Hi, I'm Autumn Belle from My Nice Garden. I like your blog very much. It is very beautitul. This post about South Africa is interesting and informative. I like the pictures too. I am now following you via my City Daily Photo blog.

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  20. Beautiful, I have seen protea in a floral bouquet before but never the actual plant, lovely cosmos.

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  21. Oh, those are unbelievably gorgeous.

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  22. Thank you for showcasing these beautiful flowers. I love using proteas in flower arrangements; they are dramatic and long-lived.

    Those African daisy fields are very impressive!

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  23. I have an irrational fear of Birds of Paradise. I had no idea they originated in South Africa.

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  24. Wow! So many beautiful flowers. I have to say that I love cosmos. I used to grow them in my garden. They'd grow like weeds. What a pretty country South Africa must be!

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  25. Thank you for the follow. Don't you just love Tag-Along Tue~:)

    Stunning flowers. You are so lucky to have seen them first hand. South Africa, Africa as a whole for that matter, appears to be such a beautiful place from the pictures and T/V shows that I have seen. Maybe one day I will make my way to see these flowers first hand:)

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  26. Hi, following you from Follow Me Back Tuesday …
    Hope you can follow Me too HERE!
    Thanks, have a good day!

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  27. Hi, wonderful photos, especially the King Protea. Love that flower! :)

    visit me at Silently Mine

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  28. These are beautiful! One of our best friends is from South Africa...he wants to take us all on a trip there...I hope to be able to do it one day!

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  29. those are really huge and beautiful flowers .i like your site very informative. thanks for the visit

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  30. South Africa is just one of the places I would love to visit. One day, maybe, when I have fewer responsibilities and more money. In the meantime, I loved experiencing a taster through your post. :)

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  31. I love the bird of paradise. I am thoroughly convinced there are more types of flowers than days in my life so I am busily checking them out. Yours are stunning!

    Thanks for visiting me and God bless!

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  32. What beautiful flowers. I didn't know cosmos are from South Africa. And I have never seen a protea - such a bold flower. I did a drawing once of a bird of paradise - I don't think I've ever seen one for real, unless in a botanical museum.

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  33. Love the blog and the pretty flowers put a smile on my face! I love all things soccer and am excited as well they are in such an amazing country this year! new follower! http://nicolesspirit878.blogspot.com/

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  34. What beautiful flowers! And how lucky that you've lived in such varied places!

    Happy Ruby Tuesday!!! (I use a pinch of salt in the fruit salad because it brings out the flavor - put just a pinch!)

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  35. Hi Anne-Marie, these are incredible flowers. I've seen the Bird of Paradise but never the King Protea. Thanks for following my blog and for your comments about Victoria. It seems you've done a lot of moving around.
    Joanna

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  36. I love big bold flowers and the Protea sure does fit the bill
    and the field of flowers is gorgeous

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  37. All are beautiful flowers! My fave would be the birds of paradise...My mom grows them!

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  38. Absolutely breath taking. What a wonderful treat you've given us all. I also like the unique look of your blog and I'm happy to be your newest follower from the Tuesday blog hop. I'm so glad I found your blog.

    I hope you'll come visit my blog and follow me too. It's always good meeting new friends. Thanks.

    Haupi
    http://hauplight.blogspot.com/

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  39. Wow, gorgeous flowers. And I love the Cosmos, it would love to see fields of them.

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  40. These are real special flowers and so beautiful ! I think it will be a big mess with this mundial football (soccer) game, lol !

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  41. wowwww,i love all those flowers.....thanks for following me done following you too...thanks!

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  42. These are lovely, Anne-Marie! The protea are beautiful. I love the cosmos! (Sorry, I'm running behind.)

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  43. Gorgeous flowers Anne! Following you back from FMBT *hugs*

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  44. You have this uncanny knack of bringing me back down to earth with a post like this! Thank you for sharing the wonderful flowers of this country. I love treating family & friends with Proteas :-) I always check in January to see if there are any cosmos flowers about, because if they are, it allegedly signifies a cold winter!
    I didn't know that about the strilitzias, but will definitely remember your tip!
    Take care darlin' :-)

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  45. Lovely flowers! My husband was in South Africa for a month once in college and has some GREAT memories! I've always been insanely jealous of his trip there and have vowed to travel there someday :)

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  46. It just goes to show what little I know of SOUTH Africa. What gorgeous flowers. And I never knew that about Bird of Paradise. Nice.

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  47. Just overwhelmingly beautiful! Thanks for sharing them with us.

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  48. stunning flowers...

    http://itistimetothinkformyself.blogspot.com/2010/06/jingles-june-follower-awards-week-1.html

    Happy June!

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