During my walk through the grasslands of the Drakensberg I came across the beautiful Thunbergia atriplicifolia (also known as the Natal Primrose). The creamy yellow flowers made me pause a while and admire both it and the view of the mountains stretching away into the distance.

Natal Primrose

Once home, I freshly admired the patch of Black-eyed Susan (Thunbergia alata) that seeded itself near our swimming pool some years ago. These tubular yellow flowers put on an attractive show at this time of the year. The vine is self-seeding and seems to look after itself – probably because it is found growing in gardens and along forest margins throughout the Eastern Cape.

Blackeyed Susan

Even these lovely flowers are currently outshone by the spectacular display of the masses of golden yellow flowers of the Canary Creeper (Senecio tamoides). This creeper is also indigenous to the Eastern Cape. It grows along forest margins and has no problem establishing a dominant presence in our garden – in fact, during its non-flowering period, I pull masses of it off the trees and prune it back quite severely.

canary creeper

It is looking beautiful at the moment though and seems to glow brightly in the autumn sunlight, attracting bees, butterflies, Sombre Bulbuls, Village Weavers, Cape Weavers, Greater Double-collared Sunbirds, Black Sunbirds, and Cape White-eyes.

canary creeper


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