Durbanville Nature Reserve – Cape Bluebell – 2

Wahlenbergia capensis, commonly known as the Cape bluebell, is a plant in the family Campanulaceae and is native to the Cape Province but has been introduced to Australia. It is an annual herb with up to four greenish blue, bell-shaped flowers with spreading petal lobes.


Cape Bluebell is an annual herb with one to a few stems and grows to a height of 14–50 cm (6–20 in). The lower leaves are egg-shaped to elliptic but become lance-shaped higher up. They are 9–40 mm (0.4–2 in) long and 1.5–10 mm (0.06–0.4 in) wide, sometimes with wavy edges and small teeth or lobes. Each plant has up to four bluish-green long stalked flowers that are dark blue near the center and often have black spots. The five sepals are triangular, 4–7.5 mm (0.2–0.3 in) long and hairy. The petals form a tube, bell-shaped near the base with five spreading, egg-shaped to broadly elliptic lobes, 6–11 mm (0.2–0.4 in) long and 3–7.5 mm (0.1–0.3 in) wide. The five stamens have a filament 2.5–4 mm (0.1–0.2 in) long and another 2–3.5 mm (0.08–0.1 in) long. The style is dark blue with five branches on its tip. Flowering occurs from September to December. The fruit is a capsule 5–11 mm (0.2–0.4 in) long and 5–9 mm (0.2–0.4 in) wide.


Wahlenbergia capensis is widespread in, and restricted to the Western Cape between Clanwilliam and Knysna in South Africa. It is found on the lower sandstone slopes and the sandy flats of this region. Due to its annual life cycle, it is also able to persist successfully on disturbed land, such as along roadsides and on cultivated land. It is an introduced species occurring in the south-west of Western Australia where it is found between Kalbarri and Tambellup. The species was first collected in Western Australia in 1898.

Cape Bluebell, Wahlenbergia capensis, Durbanville Nature Reserve, Durbanville, South Africa
  • Location: Durbanville Nature Reserve, Durbanville, South Africa
  • Date Taken: 2020-10-25
  • Camera: Canon EOS 7D Mark II
  • Lens: Canon Zoom Lens EF-S 18-200 mm 3-5.6 IS
  • Exposure Program: Manual
  • Image Quality: RAW
  • F-Stop: f/5.6
  • Exposure Time: 1/400 sec
  • ISO Speed: ISO-100
  • Focal Length: 200 mm
  • Metering Mode: Spot Metering
  • Handheld
  • Information: Wikipedia

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