I encountered one of the first Large Brown Afrikaner lilies (Gladiolus liliaceus) of spring this morning. It stood on the same wayside where I saw another (of the cream-coloured variety), last October. Once home, I invited my mother to return to the flower to admire it. Upon her suggestion, we strolled further up the dirt road and what should we see but another of the same flower, precariously blooming on the verge!
(If you listen carefully at the 15 seconds mark, you can hear one of the Clapper Lark species, Mirafra apiata marjoriae, flap its wings and whistle in the distance.)
We then crossed the road, and there in the field, were more lilies scattered amongst the bushes! These I did not photograph; they were at some distance, and I did not have the right lens (it never occurred to me to use the iPhone). My mother told me how, when she was a child, on the first school day of spring, they had to bring a wildflower to class. She would come to that very field to pick a lily, three kilometres from her home!
I was delighted to photograph a Chandelier lily1 as it emerged from the ground directly from the bulb, and as it began to unfold into the branched flowerhead, from which it derives its common name, one week later. What a sight!
Brunsvigia orientalis, possibly Brunsvigia litoralis, a slight variant.
I recently shared a photograph of the Chandelier lily (Brunsvigia orientalis, possibly Brunsvigia litoralis, a slight variant) and briefly mentioned what happens once the flower expires. I was fortunate to come across an example, a week ago. This one was about 30 centimetres (11,81 inches) wide. The seeds—which are about half the size of a pea, green at first, then black—are contained in the triangular pods at the extremities of the many arms. What a plant!