Two weeks ago we made our first trip of the season to our local botanic garden, Old Westbury Gardens. Being so close, we became members here last year, and find that it's a great place to bring our daughter for a few hours of running around outside. These little plants caught my eye, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that they're native to South Africa. Well, to be clear, as someone who studies invasion biology, I didn't think that was so great, but as someone who's spent sometime studying the flora of the Cape Region of South Africa, seeing these guys made me feel a bit nostalgic.
This last one was particularly stunning.
While writing this post, I looked up Nemesia in the book Field Guide to Fynbos. I was happy to see the genus in there, but not surprised that N. fruiticans (they only one of these three with a species name) was not listed. This field guide is not exhaustive. But the generic description sounds pretty right - leaves opposite, variously toothed, flowers solitary, combinations of white, yellow, orange, pink, or blue, calyx 5-lobed, corolla 5 lobed and strongly 2-lipped. There are about 60 different species of these little guys, about 25 in the fynbos.