Perfect Pagodas of Silvermine Nature Reserve

Botanising among the clouds at the heart of South Africa’s Mother City

Zoë Poulsen
Weeds & Wildflowers

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The intense red bracts are starting to appear on the tree pagodas (𝘔𝘪𝘮𝘦𝘵𝘦𝘴 𝘧𝘪𝘮𝘣𝘳𝘪𝘪𝘧𝘰𝘭𝘪𝘶𝘴) that grow throughout Silvermine Nature Reserve, Table Mountain National Park, Cape Town, South Africa. Photo: ©Zoë Chapman Poulsen.

It is not for nothing that this part of the world is known as the Cape of Storms.

This last winter has been particularly harsh in Cape Town, with storms lashing our exposed corner of the southern Cape Peninsula.

Flooding and landslides have caused chaos, with the N2 freeway that links Cape Town with the Overberg, Garden Route, and beyond being washed away a few weeks ago.

Every time we have thought that winter has bid us adieu, it has come back and slammed us with another cut-off low with torrential horizontal rain and roaring winds.

But now, early summer is here, and the weather is becoming warmer.

The evening-scented flowers of the fragrant Crassula (𝘊𝘳𝘢𝘴𝘴𝘶𝘭𝘢 𝘧𝘢𝘴𝘤𝘶𝘭𝘢𝘳𝘪𝘴) Photo: ©Zoë Chapman Poulsen.

After such a long and wet winter, the fynbos is thriving and the mountain streams are flowing in full force.

Just ten minutes from home in the Southern Peninsula suburbs, we are lucky enough to be able to escape into the rugged mountains of Silvermine Nature Reserve.

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Zoë Poulsen
Weeds & Wildflowers

Botanist, freelance writer and conservationist based in Cape Town at the heart of South Africa’s Cape Floristic Region. https://www.capetownbotanist.com