Monday, July 25, 2011

Aloe Trail plants and flowers

A weekend or two ago I took the family and joined a guided walk along the Aloe Trail in Port Elizabeth.  The trail is situated between Bluewater Bay and Amsterdamhoek and consist of 2km as well as 7km trail options.  Because we had the Rugrats with us we decided just to do the 2km section which offered fantastic views of the Swartkops River as well as a number of interesting plants and flowers.

It isn't hard to see where the nature reserve got its name from.  Where ever you look there are aloes with a number of them being in full bloom already and others on the verge of blooming.  The predominant ones in flower at the moment are these that I know as  Fence Aloe, although I may be wrong.  But one doesn't have to know its name to appreciate its beauty.
This bush had everybody in the group stumped.  All its new leaves are pink and as time goes on they then turn green.  It didn't have any flowers on it, but the pink leaves does make it look like its flowering.

The Vygies are in full bloom with their brilliant purple flowers standing out against the green background.

The tree on every body's lips at the moment is the Spekbook (Portulacaria afra).  People are encouraged to plant spekbook due to its ability to store big amounts of carbon in its roots.  So if you want to decrease your carbon footprint, plant a spekboom.  Spekboom usually flower in spring especially after good winter rains of which we have had lots this year. 

Another type of spekbook is what we call the wide leave spekboom.  Again the non-botanist in me tells me I'm probably wrong.  I have a couple of them in my garden which has pink flowers, but these had a white one.

You can't just venture off the path, otherwise these guys are waiting for you...

I feel like I'm letting the team down today (sorry Helen, Caroline and Diana), but I think these are a type of Daisy. 

I will correct any of these names if somebody does throw some info about them my way. 


  1. Thanks for sharing this beautiful flowers! :)

  2. These are just beautiful! I am fascinated by the Spekbook - reducing carbon footprinting and so pretty too :-)

  3. Luverly. Yellow daisy probably a Senecio of sorts. Rest I am not sure but if you need a succulent idnetified, then Ernst van Jaarsveld at Kirstenbosch is your man!

  4. What a great little walk. Nice to see so many flowers in bloom meaning spring is on the way.

  5. The blush pink spekboom with the wide leaves is Crassula ovata. Pink joy, or jade plant. Once we saw masses blooming on the road to Wuppertal. Never forgotten that sight!!

  6. Wow these pics are so lush and splendid! Thanks for providing some visual relief over here.

  7. Lovely! Perfect time to go on this walk when the aloes are in flower. When we walk on these type of trails, hubby walks at quite a pace - taking photos of flowers is not on his priority list so I have to take pic and catch up .. take pic and catch .. .. .. :) still have to share the Featherbed and Hermanus Fern Kloof - will get to to sometime :)

  8. What pretty flowers! I'll be sure to check out the Aloe Trail if I'm ever in PE. There is lots of that pink crassula ovata flowering in Kirstenbosch at the moment. And I know I have seen that pink-leaved shrub too but don't know what it is.