Journal archives for October 2018

October 22, 2018

TREES OF THE TOKAI ARBORETUM

TREES OF THE TOKAI ARBORETUM

About 900 plants in 300 species are recorded in the main Arboretum. Numbers of plants in brackets are for 1997 (where not given, only 1 plant exists), or alternatively (where two numbers are given) for both 1986 and 1997. The date of first planting is given for recorded species.

Ordered by Family and then alphabetically by Latin name.
Synonyms are only provided for species found on older lists.
 = all dead;  = indigenous to Tokai;  invasive alien

Birch Family Betulaceae
Formosan Alder Alnus formosana
Grey Alder Alnus incana
Silver Birch Betula pendula (= alba)  1886
European Hop-hornbeam Ostrya carpinifolia
Box Family Buxaceae
Box Buxus sempervirens
Buffalothorn Ziziphus mucronata
Cacao Family Sterculiaceae
Flame Kurrajong Brachychiton acerifolius (2)
Lacebark Kurrajong Brachychiton populneus (2) 
Chile Pine Family Araucariaceae
Parana Pine Araucaria angustifolia
Bunya-bunya Araucaria bidwillii
Norfolk Island Pine Araucaria heterophylla (= excelsa) (2)
Citrus or Buchu Family Rutaceae
Cape Chestnut Calodendrum capense (4)
Wing Prickly-ash Zanthoxylum alatum
Cypress Family Cupressaceae
Cypress-Pine sundry Callitris sp
Black Cypress-Pine Callitris endlicheri (= calcarata) (2)
Oyster Bay Pine Callitris rhomboidea
California Incense Cedar Calocedrus decurrens
Lawson Cypress Chamaecyparis lawsoniana (4)
Japanese Red Cedar Cryptomeria japonica
Hayata Cunninghamia konishii
Chinese Fir Cunninghamia lanceolata (2)
Rough-bark Arizona Cypress Cupressus arizonica (2)
Gowen Cypress Cupressus goveniana
Tekate Cypress Cupressus forbesii
Weeping Cypress Cupressus funebris (= Juniperus) (15)
Cedar of Goa Cupressus lusitanica (25/ 19) 1886
Bentham’s Cypress Cupressus lusitanica var. benthamii (= benthamii)
Monterey Cypress Cupressus macrocarpa (31/ 22) 1886
Italian Cypress Cupressus sempervirens var. horizontalis (10) 1886
Italian Cypress Cupressus sempervirens var. stricta (8)
Sargent Cypress Cupressus sargentii
Bhutan Cypress Cupressus torulosa (8) 1886
Juniper sundry Juniperus sp (6)
Canary Islands Juniper Juniperus cedrus (9)
One-seed Juniper Juniperus monosperma
Pencil Cedar Juniperus virginiana (16) 
Coast Redwood Sequoia sempervirens (4)
Bald Cypress Taxodium distichum (3) 1886
Coffin Tree Taiwania cryptomerioides
Chinese Thuja Thuja orientalis
Willowmore Cypress Widdringtonia schwarzii
Mulanje Cypress Widdringtonia whytei
Elder Family Adoxaceae
Maple-leaf Viburnum Viburnum acerifolia
Korean Spice Viburnum Viburnum carlesii
Wayfaring Tree Viburnum lantana
Viburnum unknown – name not found: Viburnum latifolia
Elm Family Ulmaceae
White Stinkwood Celtis africana 
Sugarberry Celtis mississipiensis
English Elm Ulmus procera (= campestris) (32/ 22) 1886
Chinese Elm Ulmus parvifolia
Fibrebark Family Thymelaeaceae
Pompon Tree Dais cotinifolia
Mezereon Daphne mezereum
Fig Family Moraceae
Moreton Bay Fig Ficus macrophylla (3)
Taiwan Fig Ficus retusa (5)
Port Jackson Fig Ficus rubiginosa (2)
Osage Orange Maclura pomifera
Gum Family Myrtaceae
Western Australian Peppermint Agonis flexuosa (4)
Sydney Red Gum Angophora costata (19/ 15) 1886
Marri Corymbia calophylla (2)
Lemon-scented Spotted Gum Corymbia citriodora
Yellow Bloodwood Corymbia eximia
Red Flowering Gum Corymbia ficifolia (7) 1886
Spotted Gum Corymbia maculata
Gum sundry Eucalyptus sp. (3)
White Box Eucalyptus albens
Blakely’s Red Gum Eucalyptus blakelyi
Blaxland’s Stringybark Eucalyptus blaxlandii
Bangalay Eucalyptus botryoides
Red River Gum Eucalyptus camaldulensis (5) 
Brown Stringybark Eucalyptus capitellata (2)
Sugar Gum Eucalyptus cladocalyx (2) 1895 
Yate Eucalyptus cornuta (2)
Cup Gum Eucalyptus cosmophylla
Karri Eucalyptus diversicolor (3) 1895 
River Peppermint Eucalyptus elata (= andreana)
Blue Gum Eucalyptus globulus 1895
Tuart Eucalyptus gomphocephala
Flooded Gum Eucalyptus grandis (4) 1895 
Red Bloodwood Eucalyptus gummifera
Cider Gum Eucalyptus gunnii
Scribbly Gum Eucalyptus haemastoma
Bushy Yate Eucalyptus lehmannii 
Yellow Gum Eucalyptus leucoxylon var. sideroxylon (3
Yellow Gum hybrid Eucalyptus leucoxylon X ? (= jugalis)
Woolly Butt Eucalyptus longifolia (3)
Red Stringybark Eucalyptus macrorhyncha
Jarrah Eucalyptus marginata 1895
Bullich Eucalyptus megacarpa (2)
Yellow Box Eucalyptus melliodora
Green-leaf Box Eucalyptus microcarpa
Tallow Wood Eucalyptus microcorys (3)
Yellow Stringybark Eucalyptus muelleriana
Messmate Eucalyptus obliqua (5) 1895
Dongora Mallee Eucalyptus obtusiflora
Grey Ironbark Eucalyptus paniculata (3) 
Swan River Black Butt Eucalyptus patens
Large-fruit Red Mahogany Eucalyptus pellita
Black Butt Eucalyptus pilularis 1895
Sydney Peppermint Eucalyptus piperita (= bottii) (2)
Red Box Eucalyptus polyanthemos (3)
White Peppermint Eucalyptus pulchella (= linearis)
Small-fruit Grey Gum Eucalyptus propinqua
Grey Gum Eucalyptus punctata (3)
Grey Peppermint Eucalyptus radiata (3)
Mountain Ash Eucalyptus regnans
Swamp Mahogany Eucalyptus robusta
Sydney Blue Gum Eucalyptus saligna (2)
Mugga Eucalyptus sideroxylon (3)
Silverton Ash Eucalyptus sieberi (= sieberiana)
Silver Peppermint Eucalyptus tenuiramis (= tasmanica)
Forest Red Gum Eucalyptus tereticornis (2)
Ribbon Gum Eucalyptus viminalis
Manna Gum Eucalyptus viminalis subsp. cygnetensis (= huberiana) (2)
Wandoo Eucalyptus wandoo (= redunca) (2)
Australian Myrtle Leptospermum laevigatum (2) 
Brush Box Lophostemon confertus (= Tristania) (32/ 25) 1886
Paperbark sundry Melaleuca sp
Bracelet Honeymyrtle Melaleuca armillaris (3)
Saltwater Paperbark Melaleuca cuticularis (10)
Hillock Bush Melaleuca hypericifolia (3)
Niaouli Melaleuca leucadendra
Snow-in-summer Melaleuca linariifolia (3)
Prickly-leaf Paperbark Melaleuca styphelioides (13)
Lemon Bottlebrush Melaleuca citrina
(= Callistemon, M. lanceolatus)
Stiff Bottlebrush Melaleuca rigida (= Callistemon) 
Willow Bottlebrush Melaleuca saligna (= Callistemon) (14)
Brush Cherry Syzygium australe
Waterberry Syzygium cordatum
Malabar Plum Syzygium jambos
Jacaranda Family Bignoniaceae
Jacaranda Jacaranda mimosifolia
Bower Vine sundry Pandora sp
Mahogany Family Meliaceae
Toon Tree Cedrela toona (3) 
Cape Ash Ekebergia capensis (3)
Syringa Melia azedarach 
Trichilia Trichilia roka
Mango Family Anacardiaceae
Wild Plum Harpephyllum caffrum (7)
Pistachio sundry Pistacia sp
Mastic Pistacia lentiscus
Turpentine Tree Pistacia terebinthus (3)
Prairie Sumac Rhus lanceolata
Red Currant-rhus Searsia chirindensis (= Rhus)
Wax Tree Toxicodendron succedaneum (= Rhus)
Maple Family Aceraceae
Downy Japanese Maple Acer japonicum
Montpelier Maple Acer monspessulanum
Japanese Maple Acer palmatum
Oak Family Fagaceae
Sawtooth Oak Quercus acutissima (6)
Californian Live Oak Quercus agrifolia
American White Oak Quercus alba  1886
Swamp White Oak Quercus bicolor
Algerian Oak Quercus canariensis (25) (= mirbeckii) 1916
Turkey Oak Quercus cerris (19) 1886
Ring-cup Oak Quercus glauca
Holm Oak Quercus ilex (4)
Banj Oak Quercus leucotrichophora (4)
Valley Oak Quercus lobata
Burr Oak Quercus macrocarpa (3) 1916
Black-jack Oak Quercus marilandica (2)
Water Oak Quercus nigra 1916
Pin Oak Quercus palustris (2) 1916
Durmast Oak Quercus petraea (3) 1916
Willow Oak Quercus phellos (6)
English Oak Quercus robur (30/ 34)
Netleaf Oak Quercus rugosa (= reticulata) 1916
Post Oak Quercus stellata (5)
Cork Oak Quercus suber (37)
Oak hybrid Bebb’s Oak Quercus X bebbiana (2)
Oak hybrid Compton’s Oak Quercus X comptonii
Oak unknown – name not found: Quercus campicola (2)
Olive Family Oleaceae
Ash sundry Fraxinus sp
Narrow-leaf Ash Fraxinus angustifolia (5)
Common Ash Fraxinus excelsior  1886
Manna Ash Fraxinus ornus
Red Ash Fraxinus pennsylvanica (2)
Green Ash Fraxinus pennsylvanica var. lanceolata (2) 1916 (= pubescens, = var. subintegerrima)
Velvet Ash Fraxinus velutina
Japanese Privet Ligustrum ovalifolium
Small Ironwood Olea capensis (3) 
Wild Olive Olea europaea s. africana (3) 
Black Ironwood Olea laurifolia (3)
Pea Family Fabaceae
Two-vein Hickory Acacia binervata 1886 [Pea]
Silver-leaf Wattle Acacia falcata
Blackwood Acacia melanoxylon  1886
Orchid Tree Bauhinia variegata
Carob Tree Ceratonia siliqua (7)
Judas Tree Cercis siliquastrum
Coast Coraltree Erythrina caffra
Cocksspur Coral Tree Erythrina crista-galli
Honey Locust Gleditsia triacanthos
Umzimbeet Millettia grandis (2)
Karoo Boerbean Schotia afra
Weeping Boerbean Schotia brachypetala
Bush Boer-bean Schotia latifolia (4)
Umtiza Umtiza listeriana
Western Keurboom Virgilia oroboides (2) 
Pine Family Pinaceae
Deodar Cedrus deodara (6)
Spruce sundry Picea sp
West Himalayan Spruce Picea smithiana (3)
Pine sundry Pinus sp (2)
Arizona Pine Pinus arizonica
Canary Pine Pinus canariensis (28/ 27) 1886 
Mexican Pinyon Pinus cembroides
Big-cone Pine Pinus coulteri (2) 1916
Michaoacan Pine Pinus devoniana (= michoacana)
Short-leaf Pine Pinus echinata  1895
Apache Pine Pinus engelmannii 1916
Spruce Pine Pinus glabra
Aleppo Pine Pinus halepensis (4) 1886 
Khasi Pine Pinus kesiya (2)
Lawson’s Pine Pinus lawsonii 1916
Chihuahua Pine Pinus leiophylla
Lumholtz’s Pine Pinus lumholtzii  1916
Montezuma Pine Pinus montezumae var. hartwegii  1916
Bishop Pine Pinus muricata (2) 1895
Austrian Pine Pinus nigra var. nigra  1916
Egg-cone Pine Pinus oocarpa
Long-leaf Pine Pinus palustris
Mexican Pine Pinus patula 1916
Cluster Pine Pinus pinaster (6) 1886 
Stone Pine Pinus pinea 1850s
Western Yellow Pine Pinus ponderosa 1916
Smooth-bark Mexican Pine Pinus pseudostrobus 1916
Table Mountain Pine Pinus pungens
Monterey Pine Pinus radiata (49/29) 1884 
Northern Pitch Pine Pinus rigida
Chir Pine Pinus roxburghii (= longifolia)  1895
Weymouth Pine Pinus strobus  1916
Scots Pine Pinus sylvestris
Loblolly Pine Pinus taeda (2) 1895 
Bhutan Pine Pinus wallichiana (3)
Plane Family Platanaceae
London Plane Platanus X hispanica (= X acerifolia) (4) 1886
Oriental Plane Platanus orientalis
Rose Family Rosaceae
Common Pearlbush Exochorda racemosa
Toyon Heteromeles arbutifolia (? Heteromalla)
Siberian Crab Malus baccata
Red Stinkwood Prunus africana
Ninebark Physocarpus opulifolius
Black Cherry Prunus serorina (? Populus)  1886
Chinese Quince Pseudocydonia sinensis
Sagewood Family Buddlejaceae
Olive Sagewood Buddleja saligna
Forest Nuxia Nuxia floribunda
She Oak Family Casuarinaceae
She Oak sundry Casuarina sp
Black She Oak Allocasuarina suberosa (3) (= Casuarina)
Forest She Oak Allocasuarina torulosa (= Casuarina)
Beefwood Casuarina cunninghamiana (3) 
Spikethorn Family Celastraceae
Cape Saffron Cassine peragua (= kraussiana) (3) 
Common Saffron Elaeodendron croceum
(= Cassine papillosa) (18)
Small-leaf Saffron Elaeodendron zeyheri (= Cassine crocea)
Common Spike Thorn Gymnosporia buxifolia 
(= Maytenus heterophylla)
Mountain Maytenus Maytenus oleoides
(= Gymnosporia laurina) (2)
Sugarbush Family Proteaceae
White Silky Oak Grevillea hilliana (6)
Australian Silky Oak Grevillea robusta (10) 
Silvertree Leucadendron argenteum 
Waratah Telopea speciosissima
Walnut Family Juglandaceae
Hickory sundry Carya sp
Chinese Wing Nut Pterocarya stenoptera
Wild Peach Family Flacourtiaceae
Kei Apple Dovyalis caffra
Wild Peach Kiggelaria africana (9) 
Red Pear Scolopia mundii 
Willow Family Salicaceae
Grey Poplar Populus X canescens (2)
Grey Poplar Populus canescens var. rossii (2) 1916
Eastern Cottonwood Populus deltoides var. missouriensis 1916
Cottonwood Populus robusta
Yellowwood Family Podocarpaceae
Yellowwood sundry Podocarpus sp. (2)
Outeniqua Yellowwood Podocarpus falcatus (25/ 27)
(= Afrocarpus; = gracilior)
Henkel’s Yellowwood Podocarpus henkelii
Real Yellowwood Podocarpus latifolius (24/ 22) 
Other Families
Tree of Heaven Ailanthus altissima (3)  [Tree of Heaven]
White Pear Apodytes dimidiata (2) [White Pear]
Argan Argania spinosa [Milkwood]
Wild Pomegranate Burchellia bubalina (2) [Coffee]
Rock Alder Canthium mundianum  [Onionwood]
Western Catalpa Catalpa speciosa [Trumpet Vine]
New South Wales Christmas Bush
Ceratopetalum gummiferum (4) [Wild Alder]
Camphor Cinnamomum camphora (= ? Camphora)
(5) 1886  [Avocado]
Assegaai Curtisia dentata (12)  [Dogwood]
Russian Silverberry Elaeagnus angustifolia [Silverberry]
Kamassi Gonioma kamassi (4) [Oleander]
Cape Holley Ilex mitis  [Holly]
Beauty Bush Kolkwitzia amabilis [Honeysuckle]
Sweet Gum Liquidambar styraciflua [Witch Hazel]
Coldbark Ochna Ochna arborea (2) [Boxwood]
Stinkwood Ocotea bullata  [Bay]
Screw Pine sundry Pandanus sp [Screw Pine]
Australian Cheesewood Pittosporum undulatum 
[Cheesewood]
Sneezewood Ptaeroxylon obliquum (12) [Sneezewood]
Epaulette Tree Pterostyrax hispidus [Styrax]
Cape Beech Rapanea melanophloeos  [Myrsine]
Unknown ?Belotina sp  1886 [?]
Source: Chris Botes (SAFCOL, SANPARKS)

Originally posed on iSpot 3 December 2014 - 11:03AM Tony Rebelo
cc by-sa 3.0

Posted on October 22, 2018 10:01 by tonyrebelo tonyrebelo | 0 comments | Leave a comment

October 15, 2018

The Ants and Bees: or AB See of Citizen Science

"I have had a look at iNaturalist to see what South African bee species are recorded - am I right that there are only 9 species: Apis mellifera, Xylocopa caffra, X. flavorufa, Megachile maxillosa, Halictus jucundus (which I believe is now Seladonia), Amegilla atrocincta, Xylocopa capensis, Xylocopa nigrita, Megachile felina. There is Plebeina hildebrandt - but it has only been recorded in Namibia so far.
I see that ants feature much more than bees (and wasps) - how many ant species would you say are recorded on iNaturalist SA so far?"
Annalie

That is not quite a fair comparison on several grounds. Let us expand to southern Africa and look at the details:
See Ants: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?place_id=113055&taxon_id=47336&view=species
See Bees: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?place_id=113055&taxon_id=630955&view=species

So

Bees: 1,486 observations 43 species 117 identifiers 200 Observers
Ants: 2,836 observations 176 species 115 identifiers 220 Observers

So Ants have twice as many observations. But the same number of identifiers and observers. The big difference is the identifications and the enthusiasm of those making the IDs (shown: more than 200 IDs). (to see this click on the “Identifiers” tab on the pages above)

Ants:
1 peterslingsby 2,755
2 rjpretor 907
3 tonyrebelo 449
4 meldem 342
5 alexdreyer 276
6 colin25 202
Bees:
1 rjpretor 726
2 johnascher 524
3 tonyrebelo 368
4 colin25 218

That is all it takes: 1 champion! Someone willing to adopt a group and run with it and get everyone excited and all cued up. Apart from this champion there is not much different between the two.
But what does help is someone willing to make IDs to species level:

Rank of identifications
Observations (taxa):

Level of ID: Ants Bees
Family 90 (1) 133 (6)
Tribe 44 (6) 129 (12)
Genus 551 (22) 381 (23)
Species 2228 (176) 849 (28)

So: 79% of ants are identified to species, and 57% of bees!

Bees: Top 5 (but > 10 obs):
Apis mellifera: 583
Xylocopa caffra: 93
Xylocopa flavorufa: 73
Halictus (Seladonia): 18
Ants: (> 100 obs)
Camponotis niveosetosus: 188
Camponotis fulvopilosus: 154
Lepisota capensis: 125
Crematogaster peringuei: 124
Anoplolepis custodiens: 122

So – the Honeybees accounts for 69% of bee observations, and only 4 species have 10 or more observations.
But ants have 5 species with more than 100 observations, and 46 species with ten or more observations

So that is the difference: the ants have the more charismatic identifiers and identifications (and they don’t fly away).

The solution is simple. We need a Bee Champion on iNaturalist for the region!

Posted on October 15, 2018 09:39 by tonyrebelo tonyrebelo | 5 comments | Leave a comment

October 04, 2018

Please Help with Identifications

Identifications of BioGaps observations is proving very slow. This is probably because the project ran over a dry and many observations are of heavily browsed flowerless observations.
Please can you help with identifications: priority groups and links to them are listed at the bottom of this posting as comments.

Overall summary of data for Biogaps Bioblitz Surveys:
Taxon spp-level IDs Total observations % IDs to spp Species so far:
Total 2864 9211 31% 748
Plants 2509 7360 34% 582
Plants excl Fungi 2509 6874 36% 582

Summary of Biogaps Bioblitz Survey data by family
Taxon spp-level IDs Total observations % IDs to spp Species so far: Sum proportion Proportion
ID Above Family 0 400 0 (5.8%)
Asteraceae 465 1556 30% 96 22.6% 22.6%
Poaceae 186 775 24% 44 33.9% 11.3%
Aizoaceae 218 630 35% 55 43.1% 9.2%
Asparagaceae 84 441 19% 28 49.5% 6.4%
Scrophulariaceae 121 398 30% 25 55.3% 5.8%
Solanaceae 43 304 14% 9 59.7% 4.4%
Fabaceae 73 255 29% 16 63.4% 3.7%
Malvaceae 67 219 31% 18 66.6% 3.2%
Anacardiaceae 65 119 55% 10 68.3% 1.7%
Iridaceae 58 98 59% 9 69.8% 1.4%
Apocyanaceae 65 103 63% 12 71.3% 1.5%
Crassulaceae 42 96 44% 16 72.7% 1.4%
Euphorbiaceae 41 69 59% 12 73.7% 1.0%
Asphodelaceae 40 97 41% 17 75.1% 1.4%
Amaranthaceae 32 99 32% 10 76.5% 1.4%
Ebenaceae 41 97 42% 8 77.9% 1.4%
Oxalidaceae 107 159 67% 10 80.2% 2.3%
Zygophyllaceae 33 74 45% 5 81.3% 1.1%
Posted on October 04, 2018 07:36 by tonyrebelo tonyrebelo | 6 comments | Leave a comment

October 08, 2018

Summary of BioGaps Plots.

Plots for permanent observation posts. Order by degree South and then west to east.
Observations and species for plants only - see the observation for other groups.

30S
Biogaps (s Afr) Pentad 3050_2500
Biogaps (s Afr) Pentad 3055_2540

31S
Biogaps (s Afr) Pentad 3135_2030
Biogaps (s Afr) Pentad 3150_2045 Obligatory: 0 Obs - 12 spp
Biogaps (s Afr) Pentad 3140_2120
Biogaps (s Afr) Pentad 3155_2125

Biogaps (s Afr) Pentad 3140_2210
Biogaps (s Afr) Pentad 3120_2215
Biogaps (s Afr) Pentad 3135_2240
Biogaps (s Afr) Pentad 3105_2245
Biogaps (s Afr) Pentad 3155_2250
Biogaps (s Afr) Pentad 3140_2320
Biogaps (s Afr) Pentad 3125_2330 Optional: 326 obs -97 spp
Biogaps (s Afr) Pentad 3155_2330
Biogaps (s Afr) Pentad 3130_2355

Biogaps (s Afr) Pentad 3155_2405
Biogaps (s Afr) Pentad 3135_2410
Biogaps (s Afr) Pentad 3125_2455
Biogaps (s Afr) Pentad 3115_2525
Biogaps (s Afr) Pentad 3130_2540

Biogaps (s Afr) Pentad 3150_2605
Biogaps (s Afr) Pentad 3125_2610
Biogaps (s Afr) Pentad 3140_2640

32S
Biogaps (s Afr) Pentad 3240_2020
Biogaps (s Afr) Pentad 3230_2050
Biogaps (s Afr) Pentad 3205_2055
Biogaps (s Afr) Pentad 3215_2115
Biogaps (s Afr) Pentad 3250_2125

Biogaps (s Afr) Pentad 3215_2140
Biogaps (s Afr) Pentad 3210_2150
Biogaps (s Afr) Pentad 3240_2150

Biogaps (s Afr) Pentad 3200_2215
Biogaps (s Afr) Pentad 3215_2240
Biogaps (s Afr) Pentad 3235_2240
Biogaps (s Afr) Pentad 3215_2305
Biogaps (s Afr) Pentad 3245_2315
Biogaps (s Afr) Pentad 3225_2335
Biogaps (s Afr) Pentad 3210_2345

Biogaps (s Afr) Pentad 3225_2425
Biogaps (s Afr) Pentad 3210_2445
Biogaps (s Afr) Pentad 3225_2455
Biogaps (s Afr) Pentad 3240_2455
Biogaps (s Afr) Pentad 3230_2510
Biogaps (s Afr) Pentad 3255_2535
Biogaps (s Afr) Pentad 3225_2540
Biogaps (s Afr) Pentad 3205_2545

Biogaps (s Afr) Pentad 3230_2615

33S
Biogaps (s Afr) Pentad 3300_2455

Posted on October 08, 2018 09:56 by tonyrebelo tonyrebelo | 0 comments | Leave a comment

October 02, 2018

Constantia Valley Green Belt Trails

To document the fauna, flora and moulds of the Constantia Greenbelts.

The various trails are 20-35 minutes long, but some are end to end. They are:

North:

  • Doordrift Walk (Doordrift Rd Plumstead northwest to Alphen Hotel, along Diep River, and over the detention ponds): 25-30min
  • Alphen Trail (Alphen Hotel west to Le Sueur Meadow, along Diep River): 20-25 min - popular with dog walkers
  • Diep River Trail (Le Sueur Meadow west to Cecilia Forest at Southern Cross Drive): 25-35 min - lovely vlei and shade walk
  • Klaasenbosch Trail (Le Suer Meadow north along Klaasenbosch River to Klaasenbosch - Kirstenbosch Rycroft Gate): 30-45 min - lovely shade walk, with a planted "indigenous" section (i.e. indigenous to South Africa, not the Peninsula) some of which are named.
  • Brommersvlei Walk (an isolated east-west walk along the Brommersvlei River and Bel Ombre Meadow): 20-25 min [ Note: during spring-summer-autumn dogs must be on leads: apparently to protect breeding birds ]
West:
  • Die Hel Nature Area ( a Dell of overgrown Fynbos and invading forest under pines, with superb flat walks and steep alternatives): 45-55 min. When there was more Fynbos, this area was reknowned for its Knysna Scrub Warblers, but is now overgrown. Because of the expensive houses upslope it is unlikely to be regularly burned in order to maintain the Fynbos.
South:
  • Grootboschkloof Trail (from Firgrove Way north to Spaansgemat Road along the Grootbos River): 20-25 min
  • Spaansgemat River Trail (from Firgrove Way west to Spaansgemat Road at Peddlers along the Spaansgemat River): 25-35 min
  • Silverhurst Trail (after a 5 min walk from Peddlers across Constantia Main Road to Silverhurst): 30-35 min
*Pagasvlei Walk (isolated, park at Pagasvlei Rd or Klein Constantia Road): 15-20 min
  • Keysers River Trail (from Firgrove Way south along the Keysers River to the Cycle Track (and Tokai Park) and Tokai Lismore Ave): 30-35 min. This links via Tokai Park to Tokai Manor, the Arboretum and Elephants Eye Path, and via the Constantiaberg contour path to Constantia Neck and Cecilia and to Kirstenbosch for those wanting more strenuous hikes or cycles.

The Green Belt is a superb area for discovering trees and shrubs planted by gardeners and authorities over the last 200 years. Because of its isolation from the natural fires, there is no hope of ever restoring the area to Fynbos, and the area will continually be invaded by indigenous forest plants and trees, dispersed by birds and bats down the river courses. Similarly, alien trees and shrubs are spreading from established stands and neighbouring gardens. In this setting these species - especially the trees - are most welcome and form spectacular groves and avenues: ideal for shade walking. The astute walker can probably date areas of establishment from the species present. Most of the more recently established areas have more indigenous species, with the most recent becoming more focussed on the the indigenous Peninsula species rather than merely southern African plants. There is an active committee helping manage the area, and controlling the highly invasive species, as well as those species that are too vigorous - especially within the rivers. In addition, areas are regularly improved with new plantings. Over 100km of trails are maintained, with bridges over rivers and boardwalks were necessary.

The trails are regularly used by hikers, dogwakers, cyclists and runners. There are sufficient people at all times for the walks to be considered totally safe.

Posted on October 02, 2018 06:40 by tonyrebelo tonyrebelo | 1 comment | Leave a comment