FoBCA Newsletter 2019 No. 5

Accommodation

Good news! Montispectus, the accommodation facility on the Blaauwberg Nature Reserve is available for bookings again. The chalet offers beautiful views down fynbos slopes, across the city, to seven kilometres of rocky and sandy coastline and the ocean and beyond. It is the only place in the world from where you can see two proclaimed world heritage sites, namely Table Mountain and Robben Island. To book, visit the BCA website’s Accommodation page.

FloraDoc App for iPhone now available

The CREW group is happy to announce that the long-awaited FloraDoc app has been released for iPhone – though we do still need to wait a little longer for the Android version which is still in the development phase.
https://apps.apple.com/us/app/floradoc/id1467080851?ign-mpt=uo%3D2

The FloraDoc app is a flower identification app for the Cape Peninsula, comprising a photographic library of all the indigenous and naturalised plants occurring on the Peninsula.

All the plants known to occur on the Peninsula are described, including naturalised aliens - that’s over 2,300 species. More than 4,300 photos illustrate 1,600+ (the most common) species already recorded for the app. So instead of carrying a bulky book with you when you are out walking on the Peninsula, you can now simply haul out your smart phone and search a much wider dataset to try to identify the flowers you see. You need only a basic knowledge of plant genera and families which will help you to quickly find a particular plant for comparison. The more you use the app and become familiar with the different groups, the easier it gets to use.

The app allows the user to search through the digital image library for a particular family, genus or species by typing in the relevant scientific name. The autocomplete function ensures your spelling is correct and takes you to the appropriate taxon. Most species that have already been photographed show various aspects of the plant. Each species is supported by descriptions sourced and referenced from several commonly-used Peninsula field and flora guides.

This is a must-have app for anyone who loves the Peninsula Fynbos. The app is available on the App Store for R269.99 Further upgrades are free. Once the app is downloaded you do not need any internet or data connection to use it. Any profits will go towards the Friends of Silvermine Nature Area conservation projects.

Please share this news with any friends or family who may be interested in this amazing flower identification tool.

The Battle of Blaauwberg Painting

Those who attended the talk at the AGM by Ian van Oordt on the Battle of Blaauwberg painting and its incredible detail – here is a link to the painting:- https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0b/Battle_of_Blaauw_Berg.jpg

SANCCOB Newsletter

As SANCCOB are neighbours of our sister Friends group, Rietvlei, and within FoBCA's area of concern, we thought you may like a look at their Newsletter that they send out biannually. Here is the link to the latest issue, courtesy of one of our members. SANCCOB Newsletter July 2019

Forthcoming FoBCA events

  • Sat 27 Jul 2019 - Battle of Blaauwberg Walk. Dave Honour, FoBCA registered tour guide and also an expert on KZN battle sites, is the leader. For more information or to book your attendance, please call/SMS Dave Honour at 082 906 4875 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Tues 30 Jul 2019 - Eye of the Pangolin screening, 7pm, Erin Hall Rondebosch
  • Sat 3 Aug 2019 - Botanical Walk along the Coastal Trail starting at Eerste Steen 9am. Please SMS Petra on 079 776 3701 for more details
  • Sat 31 Aug 2019 - Two Hills Walk in the Blaauwberg Nature Reserve. To participate in the walk, contact Stephanie Muller at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or SMS 083 679 4642
  • Sat 7 Sep 2019 - Botanical Walk
  • Sat 28 Sep 2019 - Battle Up Blaauwberg Trail Run. For more details go to https://www.facebook.com/events/306459700294123/
  • Sat 5 Oct 2019 - Botanical Walk

 The calendar of events is always available on the Home page of our website, as well as on our Facebook page.

What to see now in Blaauwberg Nature Reserve....

We all know this sorrel too well - Oxalis pes-capre, the sorrel that gives "waterblommetjie bredie" its acidy taste.


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Oxalis pes-capre

However, this sorrel has a "cousin" called Oxalis hirta. It is about 7 to 9 cm tall, and has beautiful white, pink and magenta flowers. It is currently flowering in the Blouberg area, Sunset Beach and even on some pavements at present. The name Oxalis means "acid" (from Greek oxys) and hirta means "hairy".

Although Oxalis species occur in most parts of the world, the main centres of diversity are South America and South Africa. We have about 250 species and varieties of Oxalis. Six species are Critically Rare, Presumed Extinct (CR PE). Overall 25% of our Oxalis species are of conservation concern and without protection they are certain to become extinct. 

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Oxalis hirta

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Oxalis hirta - You may have seen this photo, published in last week's Table Talk - look out for more FoBCA snippets in future issues.

Remember that our very handy Flower Guide is available at Starke Ayres Garden Centre (please ask at the information counter), at Plants on 6th Nursery, Melkbosstrand and at Eerste Steen for purchase at still only R100 each.

At the back of the book is a Quick Guide - get your copy, look up what is flowering at this time of the year. Bring your copy with you when you join the FoBCA CREW team on the Coastal Trail Botanical Walks the first Saturday of every month. See the events calendar for details.

Flower Guide

In conclusion....

Please continue to spread the word about the FoBCA and its purpose. If anyone shows an interest in joining the FoBCA, you can always send them this  document brochure (9.22 MB) , which explains all the benefits of being a Friend, and the value of their contribution to nature conservation and preservation when they become a member. Kind regards
Jackie Potgieter
FoBCA Membership Communication