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South Africa’s plant life

first_imgSouth Africa’s large areas of semi-desert scrub and grassland might suggest a certain poverty of plant life. Aside from the fact that a tract of pristine grassland can hold up to 60 grass species, nothing could be further from the truth.Namaqualand is dry, rocky and desert-like for the most of the year except for a few weeks during spring when it yields its floral wealth in dazzling sheets of colour. (Image: Brand South Africa)Brand South Africa reporterThere are eight major terrestrial biomes in South Africa:Nama Karoosucculent Karoofynbosforestthicketsavannagrassland, anddesert.These biomes, or ecological life zones, have distinct environmental conditions and related sets of plant and animal life.Around 10% of the world’s flowering species are found in South Africa, the only country in the world with an entire plant kingdom inside its borders: the Cape Floral Kingdom. While it represents less than 0.5% of the area of Africa, it is home to nearly 20% of the continent’s flora.Also called the Cape Floristic Kingdom, it contains 9 000 species, 69% of them endemic – and 1 435 identified as threatened. It is a World Heritage site and a biodiversity hotspot.The Cape Peninsula alone boasts more plant species than the whole of Great Britain.FynbosThis southwestern area of South Africa is the home of the fynbos (an Afrikaans word meaning “fine bush”), which is composed of ericas (heathers), proteas and the grass-like restios.Most spectacular in flower are the proteas (Proteaceae), which include the king protea – the national flower – and others of broadly similar shape, the pincushion leucospermum types, and spiky leucadendrons. The colour range is vast.The ericas (Ericaceae), the largest genus of flowering plants in South Africa, are more delicate, repaying close examination of their almost infinite variety of colour and form. One or other of these species will be found in bloom at almost any time of the year.These share their Cape home with such beauties as the red disa orchid, one of South Africa’s 479 wild orchids, which grows in the mountains, as well as numerous irises, pelargoniums and many more.South Africa’s pelargoniums, in particular, have contributed greatly to gardens all over the world, as have the arum lilies – the classic white species is from this area, the yellow and pink from elsewhere in the country.The world’s gardens also have South Africa to thank for the agapanthus, gladiolus, Barberton daisy and Gardenia thunbergia, to name a few.Carpet of flowersThe Cape in the spring is a breathtaking sight, but even more astonishing is Namaqualand. Dry, rocky and desert-like for the rest of the year, it yields its floral wealth for a short few weeks in the spring in dazzling sheets of colour.The golden yellow and orange Namaqualand daisies are predominant, but in between them are a wide variety of flowers, including the iridescent succulent mesembryanthemums.Colours here are particularly intense, although there is also much fascination in less colourful species such as the quiver tree (the San, or Bushmen, used to make quivers from its fibrous stem) and the bizarre-looking tall succulent known as the halfmens (half human).And anyone interested in plants’ abilities to adapt to harsh circumstances in a myriad different ways (not all are succulents) need not wait for spring to visit the area.ForestsAlthough South Africa has more than a thousand indigenous trees, large species are relatively scarce in many parts of the country.But they are very much at home in some areas, such as the Knysna-Tsitsikamma forest with its tall stinkwoods, black ironwoods and yellowwoods, and the northeastern region in Mpumalanga and Limpopo, home to the ancient cycads and Lowveld species such as the “fever tree”, so called because of its association with malaria areas.It is also in the north that one finds the famous thick-stemmed baobab, which according to African myth was accidentally planted upside down, accounting for the odd shape of its branches.Then there are the forests of KwaZulu-Natal, where the beautiful shade-loving orange Clivia miniata, a now much cultivated member of the amaryllis family, is found.Another popular orange (and purple) garden flower, now the emblem of the US city of Los Angeles, originates in the Eastern Cape: the strelitzia. In much the same colour range, South Africa’s winters are marked by the flowering of some of the country’s 125 species of aloes.The Eastern Cape’s Greater Addo National Park, which stretches across 180 000 hectares from the coast to the Karoo, includes samples of five of the eight South African biomes mentioned above.Medicinal plants and thorn treesThere is virtually no area of South Africa without its particular floral treasure or species of special beauty or interest.These include succulents that look almost exactly like stones (lithops), mangroves, tree ferns, traditional food plants and those that would kill you if you took a bite, and – one of the most promising fields of study in South Africa – a large number of plants of medicinal value.Some of these, such as the Aloe ferox, a purgative, were discovered to be medicinally useful by the early European colonists; many more have long been known and used by indigenous African people.Yet for all the spectacular plants to be found, perhaps the landscape that most eloquently conjures up the spirit of South African flora is the typical savannah, with its (often dry) grasses and more-or-less thickly scattered shrubs and thorn trees.Lingering images may vary widely, from fynbos field to subtropical forest, but for many South Africans the thorn tree is the nesting place of their hearts.Reviewed 17 May 2017Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Chandigarh cracks the whip on violators

first_imgThirty-seven people were arrested in Chandigarh as revellers in cities across Punjab and Haryana flouted the Supreme Court order which had limited the bursting of crackers to between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Diwali, the police said on Thursday. In Ludhiana, one of the most polluted city in the country, 14 cases were registered for flouting the apex court’s time frame on bursting crackers. In Chandigarh, altogether 38 cases were registered for violation of the apex court order. The cases were registered under section 188 of the Indian Penal Code for disobedience of an order promulgated by public authorities. The Air Quality Index (AQI) at several places in the two States was recorded as ‘poor’ and ‘very poor’ on Thursday morning after Diwali night. The pollution-regulating authorities, however, said the air quality after this Diwali remained better than the last year’s.“We have registered 14 cases so far against unknown persons in connection with the violation (of the Supreme Court order),” Ludhiana Deputy Commissioner of Police Ashwani Kapoor said on Thursday. He said the police had appealed to the people before Diwali to adhere to the apex court’s 8-to-10 p.m. time frame for bursting crackers, adding as soon as the violators are verified, their names will be added in the FIR. The order was flouted at many places in the two States as people started bursting crackers well before 8 p.m. and continued beyond 10 p.m. The pollution level rose at several places in two States on Thursday morning.Poor AQI In Punjab, AQI on Thursday morning was found to be 221 in Ludhiana, 266 in Jalandhar, 221 in Amritsar, 271 in Patiala, 223 in Mandi Gobindgarh and 215 in Khanna. The AQI range between 201 and 300 falls under “poor” category. Before Diwali, the AQI in Punjab hovered around moderate to poor category. In Haryana, the AQI after Diwali reached 300 in Rohtak and 353 in Gurugram which is in ‘poor to very poor’ category. In Faridabad, the AQI was 401, just touching the ‘severe’ category. In Chandigarh, the AQI was 155, which is in the ‘moderate’ category, the officials said. The pollution level was about 25% to 30% less this year if compared with the air quality level during the last year’s Diwali. This year, the air quality was much better, Punjab Pollution Control Board’s Chief Environmental Engineer Karunesh Garg said. The AQI in many parts of Punjab after Diwali normally used to be beyond 300, Mr. Garg said, adding that the apex court order has helped a lot in creating awareness about disadvantages of bursting firecrackers.last_img read more

Robinson on late foul: Refs make mistakes too

first_imgPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netLyceum’s historic 18-0 sweep of the NCAA Season 93 eliminations almost didn’t become a reality after referee Edmar Avis’ call late in the first overtime.After CJ Perez gave the Pirates a 97-96 lead with a gutsy drive with 3.4 seconds to spare, Robert Bolick desperately tried to fish for foul in the last 1.5 ticks, something that the official numbered 16 willingly gave as he whistled Jaycee Marcelino for a foul.ADVERTISEMENT “Mistakes will always be there. But what I can say is the referees really tried their best. If I will rate it, you already saw it and you can base it on what you saw, I’m happy with the way they called it,” Cristobal said.“I will not entertain that anymore. As far as the referees are concerned, we’ll always go on different ways. They will judge it according to what they saw and they will always call for what is good and right for the game.”Lyceum coach Topex Robinson also didn’t let the errant call affect his team’s psyche late in the game.“I trust coach Bai a lot. They’re also people who make mistakes. I told my players to just keep on playing. They don’t want to be in that situation also, and we honor them also. We know that they’re gonna make mistakes and it’s not a fault of their own. I told them that instead of making the referees as an excuse, we have to find a way. We have to find a way and we have to really, really grind it with them,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Read Next Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa NCAA Finals trip dream come true for Marcelino twins Kin of Misamis Oriental hero cop to get death benefits, award — PNP BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight MOST READ Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president That led to a lot of fans scratching their heads after Lyceum seemed to have lost the shot at history.Fortunately for Pirates, Bolick botched his first attempt and could only muster for a split to tie the game at 97 and send the game to a second overtime.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutThe Pirates would then take the 107-105 win over the Red Lions in double overtime to complete the unprecedented streak.NCAA commissioner Bai Cristobal was quick to leap on the defense of the referees, charging the bad and missed calls made to experience. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH LATEST STORIES San Beda, Lyceum early favorites ahead of NCAA Season 93 PLAY LIST 02:12San Beda, Lyceum early favorites ahead of NCAA Season 9305:18After the Typhoon Part 200:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games View commentslast_img read more

Murray Fends Off Tsonga at US Open

first_imgNEW YORK — An hour-and-a-half into his stay at the U.S. Open, Andy Murray had to wonder whether it would end quickly.A week later, the same guy who hobbled through head-to-toe cramps in his first-round match looked strong on a day that was even more hot and humid — and now he’s in the quarterfinals. The eighth-seeded Murray beat No. 9-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-5, 7-5, 6-4 in 2 hours, 35 minutes on Sept. 1.“I don’t feel like I’m that far away from playing my best tennis,” Murray said.He hasn’t reached a tournament final since back surgery late last year. Coming into the U.S. Open, Murray felt he was playing well but lamented that he was struggling to close out matches.In a tight one against a tough opponent, Murray won enough crucial points to pull out the victory in straight sets.Tsonga had three break points to go up 3-0 in the third, but Murray fought them off to swing the momentum. He promptly broke in the next game to get the set back on serve, and then closed out the match with another break.Murray, who still isn’t sure why the cramps struck so early in his opening match on Aug. 24, drank too many fluids this time and gave himself a stomachache.It was a tough draw for both players — and gets even tougher for Murray, who next faces No. 1 Novak Djokovic. That matchup feels much more like a Grand Slam title match than a quarterfinal, and for good reason. Murray and Djokovic have met five times in major tournaments, with four coming in the finals; the other was a semi.Tsonga rolled into the U.S. Open full of confidence after beating Djokovic, Murray and Roger Federer in Toronto to win the title. In Tsonga’s 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-4 victory over Murray in early August, he was the one winning the key points in a close match.“Tennis, it’s never a straight line. It’s always like this,” Tsonga said, tracing peaks and valleys with his hand. “So today it was like this maybe at the wrong moment.”Murray hasn’t been back to a final since becoming the first British man in 77 years to win Wimbledon in July 2013. He beat Djokovic to clinch that title and also defeated him at the 2012 U.S. Open for the first Grand Slam championship by a British man in 76 years.“Great memories from that match,” Murray said in an on-court interview. “Hope we can play another top-level match.”After beating 22nd-seeded Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-1, 7-5, 6-4 earlier, Djokovic called the prospect of facing Murray or Tsonga a “very tough, tough draw.”Murray, he said, “knows how to play center court U.S. Open where he played some great tennis and we had some great matches.”They went to five sets twice in 2012, in Djokovic’s win in the Australian Open semis and Murray’s breakthrough victory in the U.S. Open. “Long games, long rallies, long points, because we do a lot of the same things well,” Murray said.When Murray’s ranking slipped after the surgery, it left him vulnerable to this sort of draw: He could potentially play Tsonga, Djokovic, Australian Open champ Stan Wawrinka and 17-time major winner Federer in the last four rounds. Wawrinka beat 16th-seeded Tommy Robredo 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (7), 6-2.Murray may finally be playing well enough to make that run sound plausible. “It’s still obviously a long way from trying to win the tournament,” he said, “but it’s only nine sets now, three matches. … Maybe five, six days away from potentially winning another Grand Slam.”(RACHEL COHEN, AP Sports Writer) TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

16 days ago​Sir Alex Ferguson hails ‘absolute legend’ Wenger

first_imgAbout the authorAnsser SadiqShare the loveHave your say ​Sir Alex Ferguson hails ‘absolute legend’ Wengerby Ansser Sadiq16 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has gushed praise on his old rival Arsene Wenger.The two set the standard in the Premier League in the 1990s and early 2000s.Despite being bitter rivals in those years, Ferguson and Wenger have developed mutual respect in their later years.And Ferguson was not afraid to speak out in praise of Wenger, as the Frenchman received recognition at the Nordoff Robbins charity award dinner.Ferguson said via video: “The career you had as a manager at Arsenal was absolutely fantastic – an absolute legend.”I loved the competition against you. “We had some great times and it’s wonderful you’re getting this award tonight. “So good luck, my blessing [is] with you.” last_img read more

11 days agoRedknapp insists no chance Spurs will sack Pochettino

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Redknapp insists no chance Spurs will sack Pochettinoby Paul Vegas11 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveHarry Redknapp says there is no chance Spurs will sack Mauricio Pochettino.The Argentine is under pressure to keep his job after a spluttering start to the Premier League season.But former Tottenham boss Redknapp believes Pochettino’s future at the North London club is secured.”Yeah, absolutely, that is not going to happen,” Redknapp told the Daily Mail. “I don’t know if they’ve overachieved. They should be finishing in the top three with that squad, that’s where they should be, there’s no doubt about that in my opinion.”But to get to a Champions League final was great for them. It was great to see them reach the final. “At the start of the year I really thought Spurs would push Man City and Liverpool a lot, lot closer. Tottenham have got a great team, with Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Son – I thought this could be their year. “But it’s been a disappointing start for them for sure and they need to turn it around quickly, but I still think they’ll finish third.” last_img read more

Shaun King Provides Backstory For Winston Crab Legs Photo, Blasts People Criticizing The QB

first_imgShaun King clarifies James Winston and the crab legs story.Shaun King Crab LegsThursday night, former Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston, now a Tampa Bay Buccaneer, posted an Instagram photo of himself celebrating his No. 1 selection in the NFL Draft with a plate full of crab legs. Normally, such a photo wouldn’t be newsworthy – but given the fact that Winston was caught shoplifting crab legs from a Tallahassee Publix last April, it didn’t go unnoticed. Winston, who was criticized heavily for the post, eventually took it down, reportedly at the request of his new employer.Former NFL quarterback Shaun King, who is dialed into the football scene in northern Florida, has provided a bit of backstory on the photo Friday morning. He says that the crab legs were a gift from Captain Keith Colburn of The Deadliest Catch after Winston helped auction off a king crab at Mike Alstott’s charity auction earlier this year. He’s blasting people who have been critical of Winston.If people only knew how STUPID they sound killing this kid over that picture smdh— shaun king (@realshaunking) May 1, 2015I was seated at the table right next to jameis at the mike alstott charity auction, when captain keith asked jameis to help him auction off— shaun king (@realshaunking) May 1, 2015This huge king crab he had flown in for the event. Captain keith is from the deadliest catch show. I wasnt sure how jameis was gonna— shaun king (@realshaunking) May 1, 2015Handle the request, but it didnt faze the young man at all he simply said ok sure, we r here to help the alstott foundation right.— shaun king (@realshaunking) May 1, 2015That same captain keith in a gesture of thanks sent jameis and his family 25lbs of king crabs legs for his draft event last night.— shaun king (@realshaunking) May 1, 2015Thats the backstory behind last nights picture for those of you who need to seriously have some self evaluation done— shaun king (@realshaunking) May 1, 2015While the backstory may be a bit more heartwarming than many would have guessed, Winston likely still knew the reaction he’d get for the post. Whether it was worth it – well, that’s a question that the new Buccaneers quarterback can answer.last_img read more

Buckeye briefs Ohio State athletes accumulate multitude of awards

Men’s Tennis falls in indoor championships The No. 3 Ohio State men’s tennis team advanced to the championship match in the ITA National Team Indoors after defeating No. 2 Virginia, 4-1, Sunday, but fell to No. 1 USC, 4-3, in the final match. The loss was the Buckeyes’ first of the season as their record drops to 12-1 overall. OSU returns home to face Kentucky for a match scheduled for Feb. 25. Baseball’s Dezse named Big Ten Player of the Week Ohio State sophomore first baseman and pitcher Josh Dezse was named the Big Ten Player of the Week for his performance in the Big Ten/Big East Challenge. Dezse went 7-for-14 overall including a home run, five RBIs and four runs. In all three games Dezse had at least two hits as OSU won two out of the three contests. Many publications named Dezse a preseason first-team All-American. This is the third time in Dezse’s career that he’s been named the conference’s player of the week. The baseball team will travel to Atlanta, Ga., for a three-game series against No. 10 Georgia Tech this weekend. Spooner in contention for player of the year honors in women’s hockey Senior forward Natalie Spooner is one of 30 final candidates for the 2012 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, which is given to the top player in women’s college ice hockey. Spooner helped lead the Buckeyes to a 16-14-4 regular season record while averaging 0.94 goals per game. Men’s Lacrosse upsets No. 5 Denver The Ohio State men’s lacrosse team beat Denver, 10-9, Sunday to bring their record to 3-0 on the season. Junior attackman Logan Schuss had five goals in the contest which helped him earn ECAC Lacrosse League Offensive Player of the Week honors. Schuss has had at least one point in every game of his collegiate career. He has totaled 15 points and 10 goals on the season, which brings him to 123 points in his career. That total makes him 20th in Ohio State history. Dean earns Big Ten Co-Gymnast of the Week honors Junior gymnast Colleen Dean was named Big Ten Co-Gymnast of the Week along with Nebraska freshman Jessie DeZiel Monday. Dean won first place in the all-around competition in a dual meet with Denver Saturday. The team combined for a program record 197.625 points. The team next competes at home against Penn State Saturday at 4 p.m. read more

Graham discusses move to Ipswich

first_imgIpswich Town have signed Jordan Graham from Wolverhampton Wanderers on a season-long loan.The winger is hoping his move to the Sky Bet Championship side will help rediscover his love for football.Graham has returns to Portman Road on loan from the Premier League new boys, having spent a similar temporary spell in Suffolk while an Aston Villa player in 2013/14.He has played just 28 games of senior football since then, though, with serious knee injury in 2016 halting his progress.“It’s been quite a tough couple of years for me and there hasn’t been much enjoyment in that time,” Graham said, according to East Anglican“I was doing really well before I got such a severe injury, which knocked it out of me for quite a while.”Premier LeaguePremier League Betting: Match-day 5 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Going into the Premier League’s match-day five with a gap already beginning to form at the top of the league. We will take a…“I also want to be enjoying football and recapturing my love for it again. Coming here is the first part of achieving that. It has been difficult but Wolves know me and they know I play my best football when I’m happy.”“I find it hard when I’m not enjoying the environment I’m in. Being here with a few familiar faces that I know quite well and getting back to training and working hard, hopefully playing week in and week out, my best football will come back and everything will be alright again.”Graham is excited to be part of Paul Hurst’s squad and believes the style the new Ipswich boss is trying to play will suit his game, with the Blues sitting bottom of the Championship in no way putting him off.“I like what the manager is trying to do here, the way he is trying to play. It is quite a bit different from what Mick (McCarthy) was doing over the past few years here, so it was never going to happen straight away.last_img read more

Trump reportedly will ban Chinese telecom equipment next week

first_img • Tags Mobile World Congress 2019 Jul 9 • Killer cameras and battery life might meet their match in the Note 10 The White House wants to get the order out ahead of Mobile World Congress to highlight the importance of cybersecurity in contracts for tech infrastructure, Politico noted.This comes after a report that the US State Department is discouraging European countries from using equipment made by Huawei in their 5G rollouts — the latest step in the saga surrounding that company.Neither the White House, Huawei nor ZTE immediately responded to requests for comment.In August, Trump signed a bill prohibiting the US government and its contractors from buying certain equipment from ZTE, Huawei and other Chinese companies, prompting some universities to review and replace gear.CNET Magazine: Check out a sample of the stories in CNET’s newsstand edition.CNET en Español: Get all your tech news and reviews in Spanish. 6 FBI director slams Huawei and ZTE phones Jun 1 • The Nubia Alpha looks like either a house arrest bracelet or Batman’s phone Share your voice Comments Now playing: Watch this:center_img Jun 29 • Galaxy S10 5G, OnePlus 7 Pro LG V50 ThinQ 5G: Why you shouldn’t rush to buy a 5G phone See All President Donald Trump may sign an executive order that hits Chinese telecoms next week. Chris Kleponis / Getty Images President Donald Trump is likely to ban Chinese telecom equipment from US wireless networks by signing an executive order as soon as next week, according to Politico.The administration wants to issue the order before Mobile World Congress, Politico reported Thursday, citing three anonymous sources. MWC 2019, the world’s largest mobile industry show, runs from Feb. 25 to 28 in Barcelona.The order, which was previously expected in January, would have a major impact on Huawei and ZTE even if it doesn’t name them specifically. The two Chinese mobile giants have been accused by the US government of posing national security risks. May 13 • Galaxy S10E vs. iPhone XR: Every spec compared Security Mobile Politics 1:11 ZTE Huawei reading • Trump reportedly will ban Chinese telecom equipment next week Mobile World Congress 2019last_img read more