Plants & Animals of the Western Cape, Part 1

By Hazel Taylor
Tuesday, September 15, 2020 – 7:00 pm Pacific Time


NOTE: This month’s presentation will be held online. Zoom login information below. Our in-person events are suspended until further notice.

We often see talks about the Western Cape of South Africa, but the region’s leaf and stem succulents adapted to their winter-rainfall environments alongside bulbs and other xerophytic plants, not to mention a host of fascinating animals. In part one of her series “Plants and Animals of the Western Cape”, Hazel Taylor invites us to step back to take in that wider view.

Our tour begins in Cape Town, including the world-famous Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, before exploring the fynbos (fine-leafed bush) vegetation of the Cape of Good Hope. We will travel north along the coast, visiting wildflower bulbs in the reserves of Waylands and Tienie Versveld, and then on to the West Coast National Park for more wildflowers and increasing numbers of succulent plants.

From there we head to the Knersvlakte, an area of quartz plains in Namaqualand, to see a population of Argyroderma delaetii, a mesemb being studied at the time by university scientists. Our final destination will be Nieuwoudtville, which has a reputation as the “Bulb Capital of the World”. Here we will also see a forest of tree aloes – Aloidendron dichotoma – and visit the Hantam Botanical Garden. All along the way the region’s fauna will be highlighted, from penguins and reptiles to pollinating insects.

Dr. Taylor has been in the British Cactus and Succulent Society (BCSS) and its predecessor for over 50 years. She was a founding member of the Bromley branch, and is currently its Chairman. She also belongs to the CSSA, and has attended several of their conventions and field trips. After studying biochemistry and completing a PhD in bacterial genetics, she later decided to complement her scientific training with a financial qualification and embarked on a career in finance. She currently serves on the BCSS Shows Committee where she enjoys training aspiring and experienced judges, and was helping to organize the BCSS quadrennial National Show this year, before it was postponed.

Meeting Format and Login Instructions:

Please plan to join the meeting by 7pm if you haven’t used zoom before, as it takes a moment to download and install. Everyone else is welcome early as well to chit-chat before we start.

The formal presentation will begin at 7:30pm.

Zoom doesn’t run in your browser. It is a desktop app, and there are also mobile apps you can download in your device’s app store to watch on a phone or tablet.

If it’s your first time using zoom, click the link below and it will automatically take you through a download process. If you already have Zoom installed, you can click and go straight in, or  open zoom and use the meeting ID and password to get in. At some point you may be asked a question about audio. “Join with computer audio” is the right choice. Don’t worry, you will be able to keep your microphone muted until you are ready to speak.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 841 2119 5110
Password: sfscs

If the Zoom meeting fills up or you cant get it to work, we will simulcast on Facebook live on our page at:

Upcoming Events

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November: TBD