Notices for Users of the Albums

1. New Albums and some changes


The latest genera Albums added to the Operation Wildflower Site are the ones on Metalasia, Brabejum and Bauhinia. This means that photos and stories of plants belonging to these genera already on the Site have been moved from the more general Albums called Shrubs and Trees into their own new Albums under Genera. 


There is a genus Album in every case where enough material has been accumulated to warrant a stand-alone grouping of photos and stories. There are now more than 160 such Albums on genera of South African plants. The biggest ones (most photos) belong to the genera Crassula, Euphorbia, Pelargonium and Aloe. Keep watching, more will be added! If there is no genus Album yet on the plant you are looking for, check under Types or the Search Box.


In order to access all items on a plant of interest, the Search Box should be used, entering the botanical name of the plant. Most photos and stories on a particular plant are likely to be posted under Genera, (or if there are only few of them, in the conglomerate categories under Types). Habitat, Regions or Parks and Gardens may also contain some material on a species searched for, showing in the list generated when using the Search Box. The latest Parks and Gardens Album is the one on the Quiver Tree Forest.


2. Want to talk about an Album Item?


There is a new way of communicating with the Editor of this Site regarding any of the Album Items.
Comments, questions, corrections, information and suggestions can be put to the Editor by using the following email address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Please ensure that the Album Item concerned is clearly identified. Type its exact title as well as the Album Name in the Subject Line of your email. Please also state your name.


Similarly, communication regarding the functioning or technical aspects of the Site can be directed to the Webmaster at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..




Naturalization Papers for Invader Plants?

Legend has it that cosmos and a number of other alien plants such as blackjack and khakibos arrived in this country during the Boer War.  The British imported fodder for their horses from South America and of course this baled grass was full of the seeds of opportunistic plants. The troops carried this fodder in hay nets hanging from their horses and as they rode about the country the seeds were shaken out and took root where ever they fell! With no natural enemies they flourished.

Some are highly invasive and impact directly on our indigenous plants, while others, like cosmos, just grow where they can and give us a visual treat once a year.


Of course, a lot of our most dangerous invasive alien plants are just that, because they have eye-catching forms or stunning flowers. They are brought into the country as garden plants and soon escape into the surrounding areas. We all have our views on what we should cultivate in our gardens and most suburban gardens are a mixture of indigenous and alien plants.

Horticulturalists and botanists talk about naturalised and non-invasive alien plants. The caster-oil plant, Ricinus communis, is a declared weed and invasive alien. Johan Binneman of the Department of Archaeology at the Albany Museum in Grahamstown discovered caster-oil seeds during excavations in several Eastern Cape archaeological sites that date back 10 000 years. This plant was used by the San and KhoiSan for medicinal purposes!  How long does a plant have to be resident before it is given naturalization papers?

Ricinus communis  or castor-oil plant

Taken (with minimal editing) from the February 2009 Newsletter of the Kznwildlife Rhino Club

Who's Online

This week20666
This month105183

Botanical Gardens