The Incredible Camouflage masters: Praying Mantis species

The Incredible Camouflage masters: Praying Mantis species

Hilary Haarhoff’s friend, Phillipa de Zeeuw from Cowies Hill in Durban,  captured these amazing photographs of the Eyed-flower Mantid (Pseudocreobotra wahlbergi) in her garden. Note the incredible camouflage of this creature.  It has a large body, 42mm, attractively mottled in pinks, browns or greens with prominent circular eye-like marking on each fore wing.  It has large lateral extensions on abdomen.  The wingless nymphs (shown in photos)  are spectacularly ornamented and striped with pink and green and carry the abdomen curled above the body.  This species mimics flowers and ambushes visiting insects.  When threatened nymphs can expand the raised abdomen to reveal a single dorsal eyespot.  It occurs on flowers and in vegetation, KZN to Limpopo and Mpumalanga. The pic below of the Giant Mantid or Common Green Mantid (Sphodromatis gastrica) nestling in a Natal Lavender tree was captured by my husband. It has a large body, length 55mm, robust and bright green, usually with a white spot near anterior corner of each fore wing.  Sides of abdomen may be mauve and yellow.  Females are  much fatter than males.This species is unusual that diet consists mainly of caterpillars. The normally occur on foliage of trees and shrubs in domestic gardens and a variety types of undisturbed vegetation.  One of the most common species in the region.   Share this:Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new...

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Calitzdorp Succulent Show.

Calitzdorp Succulent Show.

The Calitzdorp Succulent Show 2018 : See details of events, bookings etc. HOME  EVENTS  NEWS  PROJECTS GALLERIES CONTACT VETPLANT  > VETPLANTFEES 2018 Vetplantfees 2018 IMPORTANT INFORMATION OVERVIEW DATES/TIMES VENUE ACTIVITIES ADMISSION MASSIVE PLANT SALE RARE PLANT AUCTION EXPERT TALKS WORKSHOPS (NEW) VELDWALKS Trained Cape Nature guides will escort small groups of enthusiast on a 90-minute walk to Calitzdorp’s famous Jakkalskop where dozens of succulent plant varieties will be in flower. It is an experience not to be missed and have proven to be very popular with festivalgoers. DATES & TIMES Vetplantfees – Veld Walk – 22 Sept 2018 – 10:00 Vetplantfees – Veld Walk – 22 Sept 2018 – 16:30 Vetplantfees – Veld Walk – 23 Sept 2018 – 09:00 Vetplantfees – Veld Walk – 23 Sept 2018 – 16:30 Vetplantfees – Veld Walk – 24 Sept 2018 – 09:00 Vetplantfees – Veld Walk – 24 Sept 2018 – 13:00 BOOKING & PAYMENT Booking and payment are essential as only 8 persons will be accommodated on each of the scheduled walks. The fee to join each walk is R150, payable in advance and non-refundable on cancellation. Veld Walks will open for booking and payment by 1 August 2018 on this website. WHERE TO MEET Each walk will depart from the main festival paypoint every day. IMPORTANT Participants should wear shoes suitable for walking in the veld and bring water, a hat and sun protection. BOOKING Booking will open by 1 August 2018 on this website. SCHEDULE OF EVENTS SATURDAY, 22 SEPTEMBER 09:00 — 17:00 Plant & Art Exhibition, Vendor Sales, Children’s Activities, Food Vendors 10:00 – Veld Walk* >> More Info 11:00 – Expert Talk Details coming soon. 12:00 – Workshop Container Gardening with Succulents* (Alison James) >> More Info 13:00 – Expert Talk Details coming soon. 14:00 – Workshop* Details coming soon. 16:30 – Veld Walk >> More Info 18:00 – Dinner & Keynote Speech* Details coming soon. * Fees apply. Advance booking required. SUNDAY, 23 SEPTEMBER 09:00 — 17:00 Plant & Art Exhibition, Vendor Sales, Children’s Activities, Food Vendors 09:00 – Veld Walk* >> More Info 11:00 – Expert Talk Details coming soon. 12:00 – Workshop Container Gardening with Succulents* (Alison James) >> More Info 13:00 – Expert Talk Details coming soon. 14:00 – Workshop* Details coming soon. 15:00 – Rare Plant Auction Details coming soon. 16:30 – Veld Walk* >> More Info * Fees apply. Advance booking required Share this:Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new...

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South Africa’s horticultural directory

South Africa’s horticultural directory

Businesses, services, vacancies, events, Open Gardens, workshops, specialists, products, training. The cold and rainy days have arrived (at least in the Western Cape), winter is upon us. Welcome to the July edition of our newsletter. There are some clivia events coming up, and plenty of Open Gardens in October and November to inspire… For more information please go to the EVENTS section. You can choose to see what’s going on in your specific area or everything country-wide. If you know of up-coming events, sales, open gardens, please let us know about them. fiona@horti.co.za. Interspecific Clivia Show On show will be the latest interspecific clivias and there will be experts on hand to talk to regarding all aspects of breeding interspecifics. These plants are becoming extremely popular this year and we will have the very best on show and for sale. Join us for this fantastic event at Laerskool Rooihuiskraal on the 14th of July Entrance is free. Orchids Lover’s Fair Visit the Orchid Lover’s Fair from the 28th of July until the 29th of July at the Walter Sisulu Botanical Garden. There will be a huge selection of plants on display, talks and demonstrations for visitors and much more. Normal garden entrance fees apply. Clivia Show for exciting new Hybrids Exciting Clivia Show and market of interspecific hybrids displayed by leading Clivia growers and collectors. Plants, seedlings and seed for sale to the public. The wonderful clivia flower can brighten your home and garden during late winter and early spring.Clivias are also pretty good as cut flowers for the home too. Giant African baobab trees die suddenly after thousands of years The Baobab is the biggest and longest-living flowering tree. Baobab trees, aged between 1,100 and 2,500 years and in some cases as wide as a bus is long, have died from what is speculated to be from climate change. For the news article, click here. Biocontrol of the alien invasive black wattle. Now is the time (July) to release the midge which controls the alien invasive black wattle. This midge – more correctly called Dasineura rubiformis prevents black wattle from setting seed. It’s fast becoming one of the most important aspects of black wattle control. The full article – including how you can pick up stocks of this midge (it’s FREE!) can be read here. Looking for the right person?  If you also have vacancies at your company please let us know. We can network for you. We successfully found people for the horticulturist position and the production manager positions advertised in our last newsletter!Qualified and looking for a job? If you are horticulturally qualified and are looking for a job, please add your details to our website. Follow this link here. It’s free! Vacancies: Salesperson (trees) Habitat trees is looking for an experienced tree sales person. It is essential...

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Pretty Petunias.

Pretty Petunias.

Those of us that were affected by the Knysna Fires of 2017 were astounded by the array of plan life that emerged in early Spring.  A bounty of alien invasive weeds appeared,  amongst these aliens were Petunias in a wonderful palette of blues, mauves and pinks, with the odd white one. These plants originate from  hybrids grown in domestic gardens. They  reverted back to the original stock and no longer resemble the F1 hybrids of the cascading or  carpet series, but they are all showstoppers. Somehow they are flourishing without any compost,  water,  deadheading or any TLC.  There are no Mites,  Caterpillars, Thrips,  Root, Stem and Crown Rots,  Botrytis Blight, Powdery Mildew,  Verticillium Wilt,  or Viruses. Personally I have never been a fan of Petunias, but they have eared my respect for being survivors, and I must admit they can look stunning in the right location.   (Extract from Gardenista) Gardening 101: Petunias Jeanne Rostaing July 11, 2018   European plant hunters in the mid-1700s discovered petunias in South America and, after an introduction into Europe in the early 1800s, quickly became a popular choice for the sumptuous flower gardens of the Victorian era. However, those early petunias were not the lush, brilliantly colored blooms we know today. The flowers were small, limited to either white or purple, and the plants themselves tended to be rather lanky and unimpressive. Fortunately, by the late 1800s breeders in several countries including Germany, England, Japan, and the United States were hard at work to produce plants with larger blooms and an ever-widening array of colors and flower forms. Today the staggering number and variety of petunia hybrids continues to explode. Most petunias sold today in nurseries are varieties of Petunia x atkinsiana. The mainly funnelform (tube-shaped) blossoms can now range from one to five inches wide. Colors include the basic and ever-popular white as well as pink, red, lavender, magenta, yellow, purple, violet, and even black. Flowers are frequently striped, speckled, edged in a contrasting color (such as white or even chartreuse) or have centers that are round or star-shaped in hues either lighter or darker than the rest of the flower. To further boggle the mind, there are double blooms that look like miniature peonies and fancy varieties with dainty ruffled edges. Above: Mix-and-match petunias mingle with other flowering annuals in a hanging basket. Today’s gardeners and designers seem to be taking full advantage of the bounteous assortment of petunias available. It seems that everywhere I walk here in New York City this summer, window boxes and containers of all shapes and sizes are overflowing with this fragrant flower. It is ubiquitous but, with so many pleasing forms and its ability to...

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Balloon Releases Are Killing Wildlife and Marine Animals – Here’s What You Can Do Instead

Balloon Releases Are Killing Wildlife and Marine Animals – Here’s What You Can Do Instead

For years, balloon releases have been used to celebrate events or honor the memory of someone lost.  Schools release them during football games, they’re sent floating into the air at running events, and released by crowds of people at weddings, funerals, and memorials. And while those who organize and participate in balloon releases have the best of intentions, what they fail to consider is what happens when those balloons eventually land – and when they do the results are detrimental to wildlife and marine animals. The Long-Lasting Impact of Balloons Balloons negatively impact our environment by littering streams, lakes, and beaches. It’s basically the same as intentionally throwing trash on the ground or into the ocean. Even balloons marketed as biodegradable or “eco-friendly” can still take years to disintegrate, meaning they’re not any better for the environment than standard balloons. BalloonsBlow.Org/Facebook When balloons make their way into the water, their tattered ends and floating pieces can resemble jellyfish or other sea life consumed by marine animals such as sea turtles, fish, and dolphins. When the pieces of latex or Mylar are mistaken for food and ingested, they can get lodged in the digestive tract, inhibiting animal’s ability to eat and causing a slow and painful death by starvation. Wildlife can also fall victim to balloons and balloon strings when the pieces fall to the ground or onto trees and bushes. Birds have been found injured with ribbons wrapped around their beaks or wings, and have strangled themselves when they become entangled in strings attached to trees or power lines. And just like marine animals, they can succumb to a painful death after ingesting balloons. The negative impact on animals and the environment prompted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and local chapters of the National Audubon Society to urge people to stop releasing balloons and instead find more humane alternatives that are safer for animals and our planet. Several states and cities in the U.S. and abroad have also passed laws regarding mass balloon releases after years of witnessing their detrimental effects. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service/Flickr What You Can Do If you know of someone planning a balloon release, please urge them to consider one of these earth- and animal-friendly options instead. There are so many other symbolic acts that don’t involve the use of balloons. We’ve listed a few options for you below, and you can find more by visiting this website that offers not only fun alternatives but educational materials to help you spread awareness about the dangers of balloons and balloon releases. Bubbles Bubbles are not only fun but can create stunning photo ops. Watching hundreds of bubbles float up into the sky can be mesmerizing and just as symbolic as seeing a balloon float away, but without the resulting of litter and...

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