Tag Archives: South Africa

Christmas with the Vicar and some Naked Ladies

Scratching my head for something suitably seasonal, and having previously looked at poinsettia and mistletoe but reluctant to do the obvious like Christmas Trees, holly or ivy, it occurred to me that very little has been written about Naked Ladies…. … Continue reading

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Burchell in Brazil

Two recent posts have looked at the plant collecting and travels of William Burchell in  St Helena and his more famous trek across South Africa.  Today’s looks at the rest of his long life and especially his long plant hunting … Continue reading

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Burchell at the Cape

The last post looked at William Burchell, the son of a London nurseryman who after emigrating to St Helena in 1805, began the process of cataloguing its flora and fauna and setting up a botanic garden. Frustrated by the attitude … Continue reading

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William Burchell and St Helena

St Helena is one of the most remote places on Earth, 4,000 kilometres (2,500 miles) east of Rio de Janeiro and  almost 2000 kilometres (1,210 miles) from the nearest bit of  the African coast.  It’s probably most famous for being Napoleon’s place of exile. … Continue reading

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Welwitschia mirabilis: “the ugliest plant in creation”?

What a mouthful that is! Even worse when you realise it’s the Latin name of a bizarre plant ‘discovered’ by a man born in the Austrian Empire of Slovak origin, who worked for the Portuguese monarchy in one of their African … Continue reading

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