autumn/fall winter summer spring
Spring at Pretoria NBG

Daytime temperatures may rise in September, but evenings are still cool. Many trees and perennials suddenly burst into flower, some even before the new leaves appear. Tall spikes of dazzling, orange-red watsonias (Watsonia angusta) fill flowerbeds.

It's an exciting time of year. The birds become active again and their calls fill the air constantly, as they busily begin building new nests and choosing mates. It is usually still a little dry-rains often don't start until November.


Mesems (vygies) captivate and enchant all. Their brilliant shimmering flowers appear in a variety of colours; red, mauve, pink, orange or white. Lampranthus amoenus and L. blandus are two examples of mesems. Namaqualand daisies make a wonderful splash of orange or white, depending on the type planted.

Scrub hares are particularly partial to these plants and often make a meal of them before they have an opportunity to flower. At this time of year, Grey duiker sometimes wander into the cultivated section of the Garden to look for food. They are browsers and feed on leaves, flowers and fruits, but in spring the natural bush is still dry and leafless and food is scarce.

On the koppie (hill), Ochna pretoriensis (Magalies plane) and Ochna pulchra (peeling plane) become clothed in masses of yellow flowers. Ochna pulchra has an attractive white bark which peels off in flakes. A broad band of clivias (Clivia miniata) lines pathways near the Tea Garden.

Rothmannia globosa (September bells) is covered in large, scented, creamy white bells. Thorn-trees (species of Acacia) are adorned with fluffy, often scented flowers.


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