Fire flower series: Trachyandra

My early morning  cycle ride in the Cape Point reserve came to a halt as I came across a large family of ostriches.   Pa flapped his wings at me so I backed off to watch at a distance.  The adults are protective of their young and there were at least 12 chicks.

Ostriches_01

Pa returned to foraging and I noticed that he was feeding on the showy Trachyandra hirsutiflora, a plant which generally flowers after fire.  The tall flower spikes bear multiple white flowers on a headlike raceme and the hairy fruits are bunched below.

Ostriches_APR4036

Ostriches_APR4156

The young are well camouflaged against the sandy background and have the same graceful gait of the adults.

Trachyandra hirsutiflora

A close-up of the flowers, Trachyandra hirsutiflora (Veldkool).

Ostrich chick

The chick is eating one of the fruits from the Trachyandra hirsutiflora.

The parting shot shows the comparative size between adult and chick as the last chick follows the female over the rise.

Ostriches_02

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17 thoughts on “Fire flower series: Trachyandra

    1. Yes, what a way to start the day – especially if spiced with a little adrenalin – never quite know what/who i’ll encounter out there on my bicycle! I googled the asphodels, amazing that they are so similar.

    1. Yes amazing and also a tad adrenalin enriching… again out cycling this morning I came across the whole family and counted 15 chicks. The adults are really protective, jittery so i made off in the other direction.

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