These are followed by inflated, oval, yellow-green seedpods covered with soft green hairs that pop to release silky seeds that are carried off by the wind.
It is the host for the African Monarch butterfly and is thus a good element for a butterfly garden.
Grewia flava is a hardy, medium sized, drought resistant, deciduous shrub with blue green foliage with an asymmetrical base.
It bears abundant, yellow, scented, star-shaped flowers from October to March. When this compact shrub is in full flower it is a sight to behold.
The flowers are followed by 2 lobed, edible fruit that are irresistible to birds.
Hermannia pinnata is a hardy, evergreen, drought resistant-flat growing groundcover with finely textured, light green foliage.
It bears masses of beautiful, nodding, apricot coloured, bell-like flowers that are carried on relatively long stalks above the plant in early summer. Unusually for a groundcover, the flowers are wonderfully fragrant.
Hypoxis rigidula is a hardy, deciduous tuberous plant has attractive, graceful slightly twisted grey green, hairy leaves.
The spikes of beautiful, golden star-shaped flowers are borne from August. to March.
They attract insects to the garden and in the wild are utilised by many different creatures.
Melianthus comosus is a very hardy, evergreen, drought resistant fast growing shrub with attractive divided, strongly aromatic leaves.
The sprays of scarlet flowers are sweet smelling and have abundant nectar which attracts insects, bees, butterflies, Sunbirds and Cape White eyes.
It is a really beautiful sight when in flower from October to December.
It also has attractive papery pods.
Pelargonium fragrans is a hardy, evergreen, compact natural hybrid Pelargonium with delicate leaves that have a distinct nutmeg scent.
It flowers profusely with clusters of dainty, small white flowers from May to August but has some flowers all year round.
Plectranthus ambiguous is a hardy shrublet with large thinly hairy olive green leaves.
The flower spikes have densely congested long narrow tubular flowers in a beautiful shade of pale purple in March and April.
Plant in shade or semi-shade and prune back hard before the new seasons growth to keep it looking neat and encourage flowering the following season.
Plectranthus ecklonii is a fairly hardy, erect, shrubby Plectranthus with attractive, large, quilted leaves.
Plentranthus fruticosus is a softly branching, fairly hardy, evergreen, upright Plectranthus has attractive olive green foliage tinged with purple beneath.
The spikes of pink to mauve flowers are borne in profusion in autumn.
Plectroniella armata is a hardy multi-stemmed, deciduous shrub or small tree with smooth grey bark and straight hard spines.
The attractive glossy leaves are dark green on top and pale green below.
Plumbago auriculata white is a hardy, scrambling, much branched, evergreen shrub.
It bears masses of edible, white Phlox-like flowers on and off all year round.
It is an important butterfly host plant and attracts both butterflies and birds to the garden.
A popular garden and hedging plant that is also suitable for covering banks.
Prune regularly to keep smaller and in shape as it can get quite wild.
Plumbago auriculata blue is a hardy, scrambling, much branched, evergreen shrub.
It bears masses of edible, sky-blue Phlox-like flowers on and off all year round.
It is an important butterfly host plant and attracts both butterflies and birds to the garden.
Portulacaria afra is a hardy, evergreen, neatly shaped, small tree or shrub with pretty round, succulent leaves and ruby red branches.
The leaves have a pleasant acid flavour and can be used in salads.
From October to January, after rain, it is covered in clear pink to rosy mauve, nectar rich flowers - a wonderful sight. The papery 3-winged ornamental fruits resemble pinkish lanterns.
Plant in well-drained soil in sun or shade.
Useful for binding soil.
Portulacaria afra prostrata is a fairly hardy, pretty, succulent groundcover is a variety of P. afra but instead of being a large upright shrub it has a creeping habit and stays low.
It has attractive round, glossy leaves on long arching succulent branches.
Psychotria capensis is a fairly hardy, evergreen shrub or small tree that is nicely shaped with leathery, glossy leaves.
It is a great foliage plant.
Raphionacme velutina is a very hardy, deciduous, multi-stemmed herbaceous plant with weakly-erect stems arising from a large, tuberous caudex, which is sometimes flattened. The small, elongated, hairy, grey-green leaves are folded upwards in well-spaced, opposite pairs.
In spring and summer, it bears interesting, yellow-green, star-shaped flowers with purple stamens along the length of the stems.
Plant in a grassland or succulent garden. To make a beautiful container plant, expose the tuber. Be careful not to over water as it may rot.
t will grow best in sun or semi-shade, in well-drained but well-composted soil.
Rhamnus prinoides is a very hardy, evergreen, very fast growing, large shrub with beautiful glossy almost mirror-like leaves.
The small inconspicuous greenish-yellow flowers are borne all year round and attract insects.
The black berries which follow provide food for fruit eating birds almost all year round.
Rhoicissus tomentose is a hardy, evergreen, robust, woody climber with rough, greyish-brown bark. The ornamental, almost circular to kidney-shaped, dark-green leaves are interspersed with velvety tendrils.
The young leaves are hairy and a rich copper or purple colour while the old leaves turn crimson before falling. Dense heads of greenish flowers are borne from October to January. These are followed by large, purple, grape-like berries with white spots, which are another great feature of this climber.
The fruit is edible and much sought after by birds and other wildlife. It is the host plant of the Silver Striped Hawkmoth. This robust climber will cover a pergola, can be trained up and over walls or planted in a container and pruned regularly to keep it bushy and show off its wonderful foliage.
Plant in compost-rich soil in sun, semi-shade or shade.
Size: up to 20m in canopy
Rhoicissus tridentata is a very hardy, deciduous, fast-growing, drought-resistant, vigorous climber or scrambling shrub with attractive, dark-green foliage that turns red in autumn.
The small, greenish-yellow flowers are borne in tight clusters on a densely-hairy inflorescence from November to April. The decorative clusters of edible, red, grape-like berries become black and attract birds to the garden.
It has many medicinal and traditional uses. The trailing stems are lovely in flower arrangements. Ideal for screening on a fence or cascading down a bank. It also makes a good subject for a large hanging basket.
Plant in well-drained soil in sun, semi-shade or shade.
Size: 1 to 3m
Salvia africana caerulea is a very hardy, evergreen small to medium sized shrub with aromatic grey leaves that have many medicinal properties and can be used in cooking.
It bears spikes of attractive, blue to purple flowers from August to December that have copious nectar and attract birds and bees, (for which the flower is specially adapted), to the garden.
This plant is attractive and easy to grow.
It will add both texture and colour to the garden.
Scabiosa africana is a hardy, evergreen shrubby perennial with large rosettes of light green soft-textured leaves with ruffled edges.
Pretty pale blueish-mauve or white flowers on long stems, are borne above the leaves from July to November.
They make a long lasting cut flower.
Sclerocarya birrea is a fairly hardy, medium to large, deciduous tree with a rounded crown and beautiful mottled bark. It has large compound leaves crowded at the ends of the branches.
It bears inconspicuous red and yellow flowers from September to November. Male and female flowers on separate plants therefore only the females bear fruit.
Sclerochiton harveyanus is a hardy, evergreen, shade loving, small to medium sized scandent shrub.
It has attractive, slightly variegated, small, almost heart-shaped leaves that add texture to the garden.
Scutia myrtina is a hardy, evergreen, drought resistant, thorny shrub with beautiful glossy, tiny leaves.
The new growth of leaves is a pretty bronze colour.
Rhus (Searsia) pyroides is a very hardy, deciduous, drought-resistant tree that tolerates extreme conditions of drought and cold and makes a wonderful pioneer.
Rotheca myricoides (= Clerodendrum myricoides) is a fairly hardy, medium sized, evergreen, very decorative shrub with beautiful foliage.
It has massed spikes of purple flowers in spring and summer which attract the beautiful Carpenter Bees.
The edible fruit attracts birds to the garden.
Mentha longifolia is a hardy, evergreen to semi-deciduous, perennial herb which grows in damp areas and has long, thin, bright-green leaves with slightly serrated margins. When crushed they are strongly mint-scented.
It has slender spikes of white to pale-mauve flowers from December to February. It is an essential element of a butterfly garden and also attracts other pollinating insects and thus insectiverous birds to the garden.
Makes a delicious herbal tea and can be added to cordials and other cold drinks.
Excellent for moist areas of the garden or wetland features. It spreads rapidly, so cut off excess shoots and prune regularly to keep in shape. Although it does best in full sun it tolerates a little light shade.
Size: up to 1m
Acacia burkei (=Senegalia burkei) is a hardy, deciduous, medium sized Acacia that has attractive, large round leaflets.
Spikes of white flowers from October to January are followed by bright red seed pods.
This beautiful specimen tree gives dense shade, but is a little slow growing.
Haemanthus albiflos is a hardy, evergreen, shade-loving, bulbous plant with mainly broad, glossy, green, strap-like leaves, although they are very variable and can sometimes be hairy. The upper half of the bulb is bright-green and is exposed above ground.
The beautiful ‘paintbrush’-type inflorescence is borne from April to September. It has a papery, green calyx encasing a head of many long, thin, white flowers that are yellow-tipped with pollen. The orange-red berries that follow are an attractive feature.
The pollen attracts bees and butterflies to the garden while birds love the succulent berries. It is also used in traditional medicine.
This plant makes a wonderful container plant as it likes to be pot-bound. Use as an indoor plant as well. This is a shade-loving plant and, if left undisturbed, will flower and thrive in those dark, difficult areas of the garden.
Plant in well-drained, compost-rich soil. Remember when planting out to leave the top half of the bulb exposed.
Size: 20 to 25cm
Crinum moorei is a hardy, evergreen or semi-deciduous, very fast-growing bulb with beautiful broad, flat, bright-green leaves in a rosette on the end of a short stalk.
The long, flowering stalk carries a head of large, tubular flowers that form a beautiful umbel of pink to almost white flowers from October to January.
Carissa edulis is a hardy, much-branched, evergreen, fast growing shrub or climber that has glossy, leathery leaves, which are sometimes hairy and have red growing tips. The hard rigid spines are almost always single.
Masses of beautiful, white flowers tinged with pink appear from September to December. These are followed by edible fruit that turns purplish-black when ripe, and because it is so sweet and juicy, makes a good jam or jelly.
The fruits attract birds to the garden.
It makes a good hedging plant, whether pruned to keep compact or left to grow freely. It needs to be controlled in a smaller garden but can be allowed to grow wild if you have the space where it will scramble through the trees.
Can be grown in semi-shade, but prefers full sun and flowers more profusely in the sun.
Size 1 to 3m
Macledium (=Dicoma) zeyheri is a very hardy, unusual perennial plant with leathery leaves that are white felted below and cobwebby stems.
It bears purplish flowers with spiky silver bracts that are also tinged with purple and look like miniature Proteas from January to May. They are long lasting and make good cut flowers.
The seeds are much favoured by insects.
Plant in a rockery or in a grassland garden. For an unusual talking point, plant in containers.
Plant in well-drained, compost rich soil in sun or semi shade and water well in summer.
Size 15 to 20cm
Crinum bulbispermum white is a very hardy, deciduous bulbous plant with robust, grey leaves that can grow up to 800mm long.
It bears long stemmed, umbels of large, showy, lily-like, fragrant pure white flowers throughout spring and summer.
Ficus craterostoma is a fairly hardy, semi-decidious, medium sized strangler fig with a rounded, spreading crown and pale grey bark. It has fairly small leaves for a fig, which are dark glossy green, blunt tipped like a fish’s tail, and spirally arranged, making them an exceptionally attractive feature of this plant.
The stalkless, hairless figs, which are inverted flowers, are borne in the axils of the leaves. The small figs turn yellowish red when ripe from May to December.
The figs attract many fruit-eating birds to the garden. Makes a wonderful container plant or bonsai.
Plant in sun or shade.
Figs should not be planted close to walls and paving as they have aggressive root system.
Size: 5 to 10m
Podocarpus latifolius is a very hardy, evergreen, large, beautifully-shaped tree. It is slow growing, but makes an outstanding shade or specimen tree for bigger gardens. The yellowish to greyish-brown bark flakes off in thin, vertical strips. It has beautiful dark-green leaves that are carried more or less horizontally.
The sweet, edible, fleshy, reddish-purple, female cones carry 1 or 2 seeds that ripen from green to pink to red during December and February.
Kleinia galpinii is a hardy, attractive, evergreen succulent plant has flattened, grey-green leaves that arise from a fleshy stem.These grow from a tuberous rootstock.
The clusters of bright-orange or scarlet flowers are carried on a long, flowering stems from January to August.The flowers attract insects to the garden.
This long-flowering plant will brighten up a rockery or mixed flowerbed.
Plant in well-drained soil in full sun or light shade.
Erythrina humeana is a hardy, deciduous, fairly fast-growing shrub or small tree with dark olive-green, trifoliate leaves.
The long-lasting, gorgeous, brilliant red, long flower spikes are carried above the leaves on slender stalks.
Polygala virgata is a very hardy, evergreen, fast-growing, slender shrub with long, narrow, dark-green leaves.
From October to July it bears tall terminal spikes of massed purple to mauve pea-like flowers that attract insects.
Although not particularly long-lived, they readily seed themselves around the garden. The flower spikes last well as cut flowers. Used medicinally.
For the best effect, plant 3 or more of these slender shrubs together, in sun or semi-shade, in compost-rich soil. Prune from when they are young to encourage them to bush out; this will help create an amazing display of flowers.
Metalasia muricata is a hardy, evergreen medium-sized shrub that is very variable in appearance and frost hardiness, depending on the region in which it occurs. This rounded, robust, sturdy shrub has fine silvery grey-green, needle-like foliage. The leaves can be smooth or woolly.
In winter, the shrub is covered in honey-scented clusters of tiny white to pinky-purple flowers.
The flowers attract many pollinating insects, and the seeds are eaten by birds.
Dried leaves are used as tea in Lesotho.
It is useful as a tall filler in flower beds, providing grey-green foliage for colour and textural contrast. In some coastal areas, this species is used with other plants to stabilise sand dunes. As it is drought and wind tolerant, it can be used to screen lower plant beds from the wind.
Plant in sunny areas, in sandy, well drained soils. It can also tolerate acidic soils.
Size to 4m
Jasminum angulare is a hardy, evergreen, drought-resistant climber with glossy, dark-green, trifoliate leaves.
The clusters of star-shaped, white flowers look velvety and are sweetly-scented, especially at night.
These wonderful flowers are borne from October to January and attract a whole host of tiny insects. They are followed by decorative black berries that attract birds to the garden.
Used for both medicinal and magical purposes. This is quite a delicate climber that can be trained over arches and along fences and walls. It also grows well in containers.
Use as a climber or as a rounded shrub depending on how it is pruned.Plant close to a patio or window where the wonderful scent when it is in flower can be appreciated.
It takes a little time to settle once planted out, but once it has done so, it grows quite quickly. Flowers add a delicious scent to potpourri.
Regular pruning will keep it in shape and encourage flowering. Plant in sun or semi-shade in compost-rich soil.
Size: Climbs to 4m
Diospyros lycioides is a very hardy, deciduous, drought resistant, fast growing shrub or small tree.
It bears sweetly scented, white, bell-shaped flowers from September to December that attract butterflies and other insects.
The edible berries are large, red and decorative and also attract birds. As with all Diospyros spp. sexes are on separate plants, therefore only female plants bear fruit.
Plant in sun or semi-shade.
Makes a beautiful small tree when pruned as a standard.
Vangueria infausta is a hardy, deciduous, drought-resistant, large shrub or small tree with big, velvety leaves that have prominent veins on the under-surface.
Clusters of small, greenish-white, sweetly-scented flowers are borne from September to November, usually before the leaves appear.
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.)
Typha capensis is a very hardy reed that can be either evergreen or deciduous depending on local climate. It is robust, fast-growing and is widespread. It only grows partially submerged in water. It has long, grey-green stems with blue-green leaves.
From December to January, the stems end in the typical, cylindrical, velvety brown ‘Bulrush’ flower. These turn into seeds covered in ‘cotton wool’ which helps with dispersal of seeds.
This ‘cotton wool’ is used to stuff cushions.
It has many traditional and medicinal uses.
The Bulrush can be used in boggy areas, among wet pebbles and is one of the best plants to clean grey water. It helps to keep pond water clean and healthy. It is used extensively for the rehabilitation of wetlands and other permanently wet areas. This plant creates vital habitat for many bird species, fish fry, frogs, terrapins and many other aquatic creatures.
This plant spreads quite aggressively by its rhizomes and should only be planted in containers in garden ponds where it can be controlled.
Plant in full sun and prune and clean once a year.
Size: 1 to 2.5m
Tabernaemontana elegans is a hardy, deciduous, upright small tree that has beautiful, large, shiny, dark green leaves and a lovely rounded shape.
The clusters of beautiful white flowers are sweetly scented and borne from October to February and attract bees to the garden.
These are followed by interesting, large, paired fruits with raised, corky dots like the skin of a toad, hence the common name. These lovely fruits split to reveal seeds covered with bright orange pulp.
Acacia galpinii (=Senegalia galpinii) is a very hardy fairly fast growing, deciduous thorn tree and is one of the largest of the Acacias.
Ornithogalum sp. ‘Tiny Peddie' is a hardy, evergreen, bulbous plant with a tuft of glossy, grass-like leaves and small bulbs that multiply.
It flowers from October to March with spikes of pure white, star-like flowers that are almost translucent. The flowers attract insects to the garden and make delicate cut flowers.
A beautiful plant for rockeries or containers or as a border plant.
This pretty plant will happily multiply in your beds but it is small, so should be planted in groups.
These bulbs require well-drained, compost-rich soil in sun or light semi-shade.
Size: 20 to 25cm
Aristea ecklonii is hardy, evergreen, clump-forming, perennial bulbous plant with narrow, strap-like, slightly pleated leaves that are carried in a fan.
It bears flowering stems of amazing pale to deep mauve-blue flowers from August to March. There is a white flowered form grown at Random Harvest nursery (see gallery of pictures).
It requires morning sun as the flowers open in succession early in the day and close in the afternoon.
It grows best in moist conditions near ponds or well-watered areas.
Noltea africana is a very hardy, evergreen, very fast growing, small to medium sized tree.
The glossy leaves are darker above and paler underneath, and have purple petioles. The branchlets are also purplish-red.
The flowers are pretty, small, white sprays borne in the axils of the leaves from August to September. The black seeds are encased in a three-lobed, brown woody capsule that splits to release them when ripe.
A decorative tree that is ideal for the smaller garden but should be kept as a single stem.
Grows well in sun and semi-shade.
Rothmannia globosa is a hardy, evergreen (sometimes briefly deciduous) well-shaped, small tree with attractive bark that becomes neatly squared with age.
It has dark green glossy leaves.
Clusters of magnificent, white, bell-shaped, sweetly scented flowers adorn the tree from August to November. The large, round, leathery green fruits are sweet and juicy, but become hard and woody when dry.
The juice of the fruits, that stains blue, is used to heal wounds and burns.
Plant as an understory shrub under larger trees with light shade, such as Acacia species.
Plant in semi-shade in compost-rich, well-drained soil.
Size: 4 to 7m
Agapanthus campanulatus is a very hardy, deciduous, clump forming perennial with green to grey-green, strap-shaped leaves produced on a stem-like base.
It has umbels of pale to deep blue flowers with a darker stripe on each petal. Inflorescences are carried at the end of long stems from December to March (If you visit Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve in Gauteng, look out for them blooming in amongst the rocks).
The rhizomes and roots are used traditionally and as a protective charm.
As they are deciduous, plant in clumps in an evergreen, mixed herbaceous border. Although they are winter dormant they do tolerate water in winter. Plant in full sun in rich, well-drained soil.
Size: up to 1m
Dovyalis longispina is a hardy, evergreen to semi-deciduous shrub or small to medium-sized tree with glossy, dark-green, roundish, shiny leaves. The new growth is red.
The small whitish-yellow flowers appear in clusters from August to October Male and female flowers are on separate plants, therefore only female plants will bear fruit. The leaves drop during flowering but new leaves re-appear immediately.
The delicious, edible fruit is a beautiful pale red with white spots (they look a lot like strawberries).
The long, thin spines make this an ideal plant for a security hedge, but it is also an attractive garden plant. Attracts birds to the garden.
Plant in full sun or semi-shade in sandy or well-drained soil.
Size: 5 to 8m
Diascia ‘Hybrids’ is a hardy, evergreen, bushy, drought-resistant, perennial groundcover with fine round leaves.
This hybrid bears spikes of flowers in profusion, ranging in colour from white, pink, orange and through to red.The flowers are borne mainly from August to March but it does bear some flowers all year round.
Beautiful planted along the edges of beds, in containers and in amongst small grasses.
Plant in full sun in well-drained soil and do not overwater.Prune lightly on a regular basis to keep it flowering.
Size: 15 to 25cm
Osteospermum ecklonis is a hardy, evergreen, drought-resistant, bushy perennial with a rounded, spreading shape and bright-green, slightly-succulent leaves.
It bears large, glistening, white, daisy-like flowers that are streaked with bluish-mauve below and have attractive deep-blue centres. It flowers in spring and summer when it makes a stunning show.
This pretty white daisy bush attracts many butterflies and insects to the garden.
Mass-plant as a border, use as an element of a cottage garden, or plant in a rock garden.
Prune back after flowering to keep in shape.
Plant in well-drained soil in a sunny position as the flowers close in low light.
Size: up to 75cm
Impatiens hochstetterii is a fairly hardy, semi deciduous, soft herbaceous perennial. It has attractive glossy leaves with a pinkish petiole.
It bears masses of pretty, small, solitary mauve to pink flowers from October. to April.
Asparagus densiflorus Myersii is a hardy, drought resistant, scrambling, evergreen perennial. Its bright green, small, needle-like leaves are carried on long graceful branches that look like cat's tails.
Fragrant, small, white, star-like flowers are borne from November to April and are followed by beautiful, red berries, which attract birds to the garden.
Grows well in semi-shade or sun and makes a good container plant. A neat form plant that can be used as a focal point in the garden or arching gracefully over a pond.
It has many medicinal and traditional uses.
Warburgia salutaris is a fairly hardy, medium sized tree or large shrub with brown bark that has slightly raised, yellowish lenticels and a peppery smell. The attractive glossy green leaves also smell strongly of pepper when crushed. The young leaves are blue green and resemble the Silver Cluster Leaf (Terminalia sericea).
The greenish-yellow flowers are borne in the axils of the leaves from July to December and are inconspicuous. They are followed by large green berries.
The bark of this tree is collected extensively for medicinal purposes and the over harvesting of the bark has killed off the majority of these trees making it highly endangered.
This beautiful, neatly shaped tree with a non-aggressive root system makes a great garden plant. It makes a dense and effective hedge and grows exceptionally well in containers.
Plant in sun or semi-shade, in well-composted, well-drained soil
Size 3 – 8M
Brachylaena rotundata is a hardy, semi-deciduous to deciduous, medium sized, drought resistant tree or large shrub with slender, drooping branches and corky bark. The attractive, leathery, silver-grey foliage is covered with cobwebby hairs especially when the leaves are young.
In autumn the leaves get a reddish tinge.
The tree is covered in yellow thistle-like flowers from August to September (the male and female flowers are on separate trees).
It is host to the moth Phyllonorycter brachylaenae.
Excellent garden subject.
Plant in sun or semi-shade, in well drained soil.
Size: 4 to 5m S.A. No. 730
Strychnos madagascariensis is a hardy, deciduous, large shrub or shrubby, multi-stemmed small tree with pale grey bark and quite thick, shiny leaves that are blue-grey-green below.
The small greenish-yellow flowers are borne on the old wood from October to December. These are followed by large (80 to 100mm diameter), spectacular, bluish-grey fruits with a hard, woody shell. These fruits adorn the tree for up to a year before they fall. They will keep for up to 5 years, and during this time, the seed will turn dark brown.
The fruits can be polished and used as decorations. The pulp is edible but the seeds are said to be poisonous. All parts of the plant are utilised by game and cattle.
A good tree for a small garden.
Plant in sun or semi-shade in well-drained soil.
Size: 3 to 6m
Gazania krebsiana is a perennial, evergreen, clump forming, low growing, drought tolerant, attractive free flowering groundcover.
The flowers are orange to scarlet and appear in late winter and spring. Hybrids are available in many bright colours.
The flowers are edible and it has many traditional uses.
Grows best in full sun and well-drained soil, therefore ideal for rockeries and containers or in a grassland garden.
Size: Up to 30cm
Grewia lasiocarpa is a hardy, evergreen, large shrub or small tree with smooth, grey bark and dense foliage. The leaves are large, almost circular, rough-haired above, and densely covered with soft hairs below.
The attractive, large star-shaped pale pink flowers occur from January to March, followed by 4-lobed, furry, reddish fruit from March to July.
The fruit attracts birds and, in the wild, warthogs and baboons. These fruits may often remain on the tree for long periods, eventually turning black.
Although this plant tolerates most climates, it does best in areas of high rainfall. Plant in sun or semi-shade.
Size up to 3.5m
Euryops tysonii is a very hardy, evergreen shrub with small, densely packed, small, leathery leaves are arranged close to the stems. These make it a particularly decorative small shrub which is dense and has an upright, and at the same time sprawling, growth habit.
The relatively large, sweetly scented, bright yellow, daisy-like flowers are clustered at the end of the stems and are borne from September to May.
The flowers attract many pollinating insects to the garden and if you watch carefully you may be lucky enough to see a perfectly camouflaged Crab Spider living in the centre of the flower.
It requires full sun and looks beautiful in the rock garden, shrubbery, mixed border, on terraced slopes, in retaining walls and also makes a lovely container plant.
Euclea natalensis subsp. capensis is a hardy, evergreen, very attractive shrub or small to medium sized tree (depending on where in grows). It has a dark, spreading crown of shiny, hard and leathery leaves with red undersides.
The strongly scented small, creamy white flowers are borne from August to March and are followed by edible round red to black fruit from March to December.
It attracts birds and insects to the garden. With its dense crown it makes a good screening plant and can be planted singly as a beautiful specimen tree.
It has many traditional, medicinal and magical uses. Twigs are used as toothbrushes.
It is a little slow growing and should be planted in sun or semi-shade.
Size: 3 to 10m
Pelargonium tomentosum is a hardy, evergreen shrubby perennial with spreading branches. The attractive rounded peppermint-scented leaves are velvety to the touch. The minute hairs on the leaves trap dew which glitters like diamonds, a wonderful foliage plant.
The umbels of tiny white flowers have purple markings and are borne from October to January.
Use in moist semi-shade areas and on banks in well-drained soil. It also makes a good container plant.
Remove old leaves regularly to create the best effect of silvery, sparkling foliage.
Use as a culinary herb.
Size: up to 30cm
Buddleja glomerata is a very hardy, evergreen, large shrub or small tree with light brown, bark that peels in strings.
Ruellia otaviensis is a hardy, compact, small, evergreen perennial with dull green leaves. It can sometimes scramble when planted in semi-shade.
It bears funnel-shaped, mauve to purple flowers from November to January. The flowers attract insects.
Use as a border plant in a mixed flower bed. Makes a good container plant and is waterwise.
Plant in compost-rich soil and prune back at the end of winter to keep it looking neat.
Ornithogalum juncifolium is a hardy, evergreen, bulbous plant that has slender, grass-like bright-green leaves.
It bears masses of flower spikes with small, white, star-like florets from September to March that are a sight to behold.
The flowers make a delicate cut flower, and also attract insects to the garden.
Plant in amongst grasses or as part of a mixed perennial bed.
Cut back after flowering.
Plant in full sun for best results, but it will also flourish with half a day’s sun or in semi-shade.
Size 20 - 30cm
Barleria repens "Pink" is a hardy, evergreen, small and drought-resistant herbaceous shrublet or groundcover that tends to sprawl. It has dark-green, quite glossy leaves.
It blooms profusely with glossy, pink flowers in summer and autumn but also has a few flowers for most of the year. The flowers attract insects to the garden.
This plant is more compact than Barleria obtusa and can be pruned to keep in shape or to form a lovely small hedge. The Small Bush Violet is beautiful planted at the base of small trees or in amongst smaller grasses for a more natural look. It also makes a wonderful container plant.
Plant in well-drained, compost-rich soil and mulch well.
Size: 30 to 50cm
Salvia africana-lutea is a very hardy, evergreen, small- to medium-sized shrub with aromatic, grey leaves.
Clusters of unusual brown, funnel shaped flowers are borne from June to December, and when the flowers fall off a decorative, purplish calyx remains. The copious nectar offered by the flowers attracts insects and Sunbirds to the garden.
It is an attractive, easy plant to grow and forms beautiful silvery clumps.
Plant in well-drained soil in full sun or semi-shade and water in winter. This tough plant tolerates very dry conditions and should not be overwatered.
Prune regularly to keep it in shape.
Size: 50 to 75cm
Watsonia borbonica subsp. ardneri ‘White’ is a hardy, tall, summer deciduous, clump forming, bulbous plant with firm glossy sword-shaped leaves that create wonderful form and shape in the winter garden.
The magnificent, tall (up to 2m) spikes of finely scented large, shiny-white, trumpet-shaped flowers are borne from October to November and flower profusely after fires. They attract solitary bees, other insects and birds that feed on the nectar and seeds.
Beautiful in herbaceous borders, as a container plant or use as a form plant.
Plant in sun in well-drained composted soil.
When the corms become too crowded, they inhibit flowering. Lift and divide them into clumps and transplant about every 3 to 5 years. Although winter growing, they also do well in summer rainfall areas as long as they are not over-watered in summer but water well in winter.
Watsonia borbonica ‘Persephone’ is a hardy, tall, summer deciduous, clump forming, hyrid bulbous plant with firm glossy sword-shaped leaves that create wonderful form and shape in the winter garden.
This selection has magnificent, tall (up to 2m) spikes of finely scented large, delicate-pale-pink, trumpet-shaped flowers are borne from October to November and flower profusely after fires. They attract solitary bees, other insects and birds that feed on the nectar and seeds.
Beautiful in herbaceous borders, as a container or use as a form plant.
Plant in sun in well-drained composted soil.
When the corms become too crowded, they inhibit flowering. Lift and divide them into clumps and transplant about every 3 to 5 years.
Although winter growing, they also do well in summer rainfall areas as long as they are not over-watered in summer but water well in winter.
Ficus sur is a fairly hardy, semi-deciduous, large tree with smooth grey bark. The thin, leathery leaves are dark almost grey-green and paler green beneath which make the tree shimmer in the wind. In spring the new leaves flush the tree with a beautiful coppery colour.
The figs are borne throughout the year on heavy, long branches off the main stems. The figs are, in fact, inverted flowers which bear tiny seeds on the inside. The sweet, edible, insect-filled fruits attract a myriad of birds to the garden.
It has many traditional and medicinal uses.
Do not plant figs near walls, pools, pipes or paving.
Plant in sum, semi-shade or shade in well-composted soil.
Size: 10 to 35m
Pachypodium saundersiae is a semi hardy, deciduous succulent shrub that has a large, irregularly swollen stem with thick branches and a silvery-grey bark with hard white spines.
From April to June it bears large, attractive, frilly, white, tubular flowers that are suffused with reddish-purple. The fruit is a grey, two-lobed pod that resembles horns.
A lovely garden or container plant for full sun and well-drained soil.
Size: Up to 1m
Barleria rotundifolia is a hardy, evergreen, fairly fast growing, rambling shrub that has a rounded shape. The spiny branches produce small, shiny green leaves. From December to March it produces yellow tubular flowers, with the four upper lobes of the flower separated from the lower lobe to form an open tube from which 2 stamens and the style protrude. The fruit is a small exploding capsule.
The nectar rich flowers attract pollinating insects (including many butterfly species) and therefore many insectivorous birds to the garden. The many spines make it an effective barrier plant for a security hedge. Plant in clumps in a shady flower bed under trees or in a sunny rockery. Plant in well-drained soil in full sun to semi-shade.
Size up to 1m
The Trumpet thorn, Cactophractes alexandri, is a hardy, semi-deciduous, much-branched succulent shrub, or small tree with long slender spines. The small, pale grey leaves are quite wooly and clustered around and sometimes, even on the spines. They give the plant a silvery look. It bears beautiful large, showy, trumpet-shaped flowers that are white and at times tinged with pink. They are sweetly scented and, as they grow in arid areas, bloom after rain from September to November. The flowers are followed by a thick woody capsule which splits to release winged, papery seeds. The empty, woody pods click together in the slightest breeze adding sound to the beauty of this plant.
Plant in a succulent garden, on banks, in containers or in small groups for a stunning display.
Plant in full sun or semi-shade.
Size: up to 3m
Azanza garckeana is a fairly hardy, deciduous, small to medium-sized tree with greyish-black, fibrous bark. This drought-resistant little tree has palmate-shaped attractive foliage.
From December to May it bears large, showy, solitary bell-shaped yellow flowers with a purplish brown centre. The large round fruits are sweet and edible but quite glutinous.
This tree makes a beautiful container plant. Although it is drought-resistant it will thrive with adequate water. Plant in well-drained soil in full sun.
Size: 3 to 13m
Clivia robusta is a fairly hardy, evergreen perennial with dark, strap-shaped leaves.
It sends out side shoots to form quite large robust clumps that can reach up to 1.6m tall and produce buttress roots.
Spirostachys africana is a hardy, deciduous to semi deciduous, medium sized, tree with a dense round crown. It has distinctive, dark, thick, rough bark cracked into rectangular sections which helps to identify the tree. The foliage turns beautiful yellow to deep red in autumn. Small spikes of pinkish flowers are borne from July to Sept. before the new leaves appear. These are followed by fruit, which splits explosively.
It attracts birds and many animals that feed off the fallen leaves. It is host to a moth larva, which causes the seeds that it has parasitized to jump around on the ground.
It is extensively used as a medicinal plant, but the sap and smoke from the wood is poisonous. The wood is prized for furniture making and pieces can be used as an insect repellant.
Plant in sun or semi-shade, in well-drained soil.
Size: 4 to 8m
Clematis brachiata is a very hardy, deciduous climber with amazing, sweetly scented, creamy-white flowers that have a mass of bright yellow fluffy stamens in the centre. It blooms from Febuary to May. The thick, small fruits are covered with a tail of long, silvery-white, silky hairs. This helps with seed dispersal.
Allow to climb up into trees, use as a groundcover or tumble down banks. Prune back quite severely each year to encourage flowering.
Many pollinating insects are attracted to the pollen-rich flowers
Its many medicinal uses have earned it the name of traveller’s joy.
Schotia brachypetala is a hardy, semi-deciduous (deciduous in cold areas), very decorative tree with interesting branching patterns and a rugged look. The bark is rough and grey. The beautiful foliage is bronze when it first flushes and goes through many different colours and textures in the different seasons.
From August to November it bears massed bunches of magnificent scarlet-red cup-like flowers filled with so much nectar that it drips out, hence the common name. The flowers attract all manner of birds. Some, like Sunbirds, will sip the nectar. Others, like Weavers, will make holes in the bottoms of the flowers and rob them of their nectar without pollinating them. The flowers also attract a whole host of insects. The pods, that are initially bright-green with a dark margin, turn beautiful glossy brown.
The large seeds are edible after they have been roasted and have been used as a coffee substitute. The pods and seeds readily absorb fragrant oils and so are included in potpourri. It has many medicinal and traditional uses.
An excellent and ornamental garden subject for sun or semi-shade and one of our most beautiful and shapely trees. Suitable for containers and bonsai.
Size: 3 to 16m
Carissa macrocarpa is a hardy, drought resistant, dense, spiny shrub to small tree with large leathery, dark green, glossy leaves.
It has large, beautiful, scented, white flowers that are followed by large edible red fruits on and off throughout the year.
It attracts butterflies and fruit eating birds to the garden.