Rauvolfia caffra is a hardy, evergreen to briefly deciduous, upright tree with beautiful large, glossy drooping, lanceolate leaves. The trumpet-shaped, small, white flowers are carried in clusters at the end of the branches from May to October and are sweet smelling, attracting swarms of bees as well as wasps and butterflies.
Plant in a protected position. As it grows naturally in swamp forest it can tolerate seasonal inundation of water and it is also considered an indicator of ground water. This upright tree makes a good form plant in the larger garden, and a neat shade tree.
Plant in compost rich soil and ensure it has enough water. Be aware that it has an invasive root system.
It is used extensively for medicinal purposes.
Size 7 to 15m
Streptocarpus formosus is a hardy, evergreen perennial with clumps of long, quilted, strap shaped leaves that are arranged in a basal rosette.
It bears one or two large, purple, trumpet-shaped flowers that have dark purple streaks and are carried at the tips of long, delicate flowering stems from late spring to early autumn. The name "Streptocarpus" refers the the twisted fruiting bodies / seed capsules ("Strepto" meaning twisted and "karpos" meaning fruit). As they mature and dry out, they twist to realease the tiny seeds.
This beautiful plant grows naturally in forest that are hot and humid in summer and warm and dry in winter. Water thoroughly only when the plants are dry. Water less during winter. Streptocarpus should rather be under watered than over watered.
Plant in a well-composted medium with good drainage in a shady position, where the soil is moist, rather than wet.
Looks beautiful planted alongside a shady pond or in containers.
Size: up to 15cm tall
Brilliantasia subulugurica is a fairly hardy, semi-deciduous, vigorous, fast growing shrub with large, glossy, attractive leaves.
Plectranthus oertendahlii is an evergreen, clump forming groundcover that spreads along the forest floor. Wherever its soft stems touch the ground they root.
The leaves are slightly succulent and beautifully variegated green with silvery white markings along their vein and midrib lines. They are reddish maroon underneath.
The delicate white flowers are borne in spikes from February to June, with most flowers appearing in April and May.
A most worthwhile plant for shady areas and makes a spectacular pot plant.
Plant in loamy, well-composted soil and water regularly.
Size up to 20cm
Lachenalia hybrids belong to a group of small, fairly hardy, hyacinth-like, deciduous bulbous plants. In winter they produce attractive, strap-shaped, bright green leaves that are sometimes dotted with deep purple markings.
Between May and October, a spike of tubular to bell-shaped flowers arises from the centre of the bulb. The flowers range in colour from yellow tinged with orange or red, to greenish yellow and even mauve. They produce copious amounts of pollen, which is sought after by pollinating insects such as bees.
Lachenalia hybrids are particularly suited to being ornamental, indoor container plants, or put on a patio. Plant en masse in a container or in dappled shade, in a protected flower bed for seasonal colour.
Plant in semi-shade, light shade or dappled shade, in a good mix of sand and loam, so that they get nutrients but water drains away well. Do not water in summer, once the flowers have died.
Size to 20cm
Peddiea africana is a fairly hardy (not frost hardy), small, slender tree or large shrub, with dark grey-brown, fibrous bark. The shiny, dark green leaves are clustered at the ends of branches. New leaves are a shiny, pale green, giving a decorative contrast of foliage on the plant.
The clusters of yellowish-green flowers (Sept. to Feb.)