Acacia mellifera (=Senegalia mellifera) is very drought resistant, hardy, thickset, deciduous Acacia with vicious, hook thorns.
Acacia tortilis (=Vachellia tortilis) is a hardy, deciduous, drought resistant, slow growing umbrella-shaped Acacia.
Bauhinia bowkeri is a hardy, semi-deciduous, scrambling shrub or small tree with bright green, glossy bi-lobed leaves that look like butterfly wings.
It bears big, frilly white flowers that are sweetly scented from October to December. This plant is spectacular when in flower. Plant in sun or semi-shade in well-drained soil.
They look wonderful in an informal hedge, as a backdrop or low screen or climbing up trees giving a real forested feel.
Ziziphus mucronata is a very hardy, deciduous, small to medium sized tree with both hook and straight thorns. The glossy leaves turn a beautiful, golden yellow in autumn.
It has attractive, small, yellowish flowers from October to January and hard, round, reddish-brown berries with a sweet, powdery pulp, which are known to be used as a kind of porridge.
Berchemia zeyheri is a hardy, neatly shaped, deciduous tree with a straight stem and smooth grey bark.
Acacia caffra (=Senegalia caffra) is a very hardy, deciduous, drought resistant, graceful tree with feathery foliage that gives the tree a weeping shape.
Ficus ingens is a fairly hardy, drought resistant fig with a grey to yellowish grey bark.
Ficus sycomorus is a fairly hardy, medium to large spreading fig tree with a distinctive yellow stem that is often seen along riverbanks.
Acacia davyi (=Vachellia Davyi) is a hardy, drought resistant, deciduous, small Acacia with distinctive yellow or light brown, corky bark on the stems and branches.
It has clusters of bright yellow puffball flowers on the ends of the branches from December to February, which attract insects to the garden.
Bauhinia petersiana is a hardy, deciduous, spreading bush with beautiful grey-green bi-lobed leaves that look like butterfly wings.
It bears magnificent, frilly, large, fragrant white flowers in December and January.
Faidherbia albida is a hardy, drought resistant, fast growing, large thorn tree that is deciduous at various times of the year - sometimes summer and sometimes winter.
This seems to coincide with seasonal flooding.
Euclea crispa is a very hardy, drought resistant, small evergreen tree has a white stem and beautiful blue-green or olive-green leaves.
Catha edulis is a small, hardy, fast-growing, evergreen to semi deciduous tree that has a lovely slender shape.
The glossy green leaves and young branches droop, giving the tree a graceful, weeping look.
Combretum krausii is a hardy, fast growing, semi-deciduous tree with glossy dark green leaves that turn vivid red and purple in autumn.
Cordia caffra is a hardy, fast growing small to medium sized deciduous tree with attractive, distinctive, mottled and flaky bark.
The attractive, drooping, glossy leaves have long petioles and wave in the slightest breeze, adding movement to the garden.
It has creamy-white, sweetly scented flowers in September and October that attract insects to the garden.
Cussonia paniculata is a very hardy, semi-deciduous, drought resistant tree. This is an ideal form plant with a truly indigenous look.
The beautiful grey-green leaves are large and leathery and clustered at the ends of the branches.
The spikes of flowers are borne in large, robust branched flowering stems from January to March.
Deinbollia oblongifolia is a hardy, briefly deciduous, shrub or small tree with large decorative, dark green leaves crowded at the ends of the branches.
The pyramids of white flowers, which stand out above the leaves, are borne from March to June and are followed by white, fruit that is much favoured by birds.
Lichens readily grow on the bark giving it a lovely mottled effect.
One of the best plants for attracting butterflies, moths, other insects and birds to the garden.
An attractive garden plant for shady areas that also makes a good container plant for indoors.
Traditionally the seeds are used to make soap, the leaves eaten as spinach and the roots used medicinally.
Gonioma kamassii is a species that is endemic to South Africa.
It is a fairly hardy, evergreen shrub or small tree with a dense crown of leathery, shiny, dark green leaves. The bark is smooth at first, aging to scale-like fissures.
Clusters of small, white, wonderfully scented flowers are borne throughout the year but with a peak in October.
Halleria lucida is a hardy, evergreen, small to medium sized tree with attractive foliage and a graceful drooping habit.
Harpephyllum caffrum is a fairly hardy, large evergreen tree. It has attractive dark foliage with the odd red leaf in the crown.
The small yellowish-green flowers are borne in terminal sprays from October to February. Male and female flowers are on separate trees, therefore only female plants bear fruit
Fleshy red berries follow the flowers and attract many fruit eating birds to the garden.
Mimusops zeyheri is a semi-hardy, drought resistant, fairly fast growing decorative tree that has a spreading, densely rounded, evergreen crown and deeply grooved bark.
Ochna natalitia is a hardy, semi-deciduous, large shrub with glossy leaves that flush red in spring.
Olea europaea africana is a very hardy, evergreen, drought resistant tree with gorgeous silvery foliage and a rounded crown.
It bears scented, greenish flowers from October to December followed by delicious edible small black Olives (these can be eaten directly from the tree and need no treatment to make them edible).
It is an excellent bird and insect tree that is much favoured by wildlife.Birds love to probe under the rough dark bark for insects.
Pappea capensis is a hardy, evergreen, very attractive, small to medium sized, neatly shaped, dense tree.
Peltophorum africanum is a hardy, deciduous, drought-resistant, small- to medium-sized tree with brown, rough, longitudinally fissured bark.
The lovely fine, feathery leaves resemble those of Acacia species but the tree is thornless.
Phoenix reclinata is a very hardy, evergreen, palm with shiny, light to dark green, long arching leaves that become spiny close to the stem.
The Palm Swift glues its nest to the fronds. It bears showy, creamy-white pollen-laden male flowers from August to October. (male and female flowers on separate plants). Female flowers are yellowish.
The luminous orange-brown fruit are borne in large hanging zig-zagged branches during late summer.
Ptaeroxylon obliquum is hardy, drought resistant, medium sized to large, fairly fast growing and evergreen or deciduous (depending on the conditions).
Crinum macowanii is a very hardy, deciduous, large bulbous plant with long strap-like leaves that have undulating margins and can reach up to 1 metre.
It bears a head of spectacular, huge trumpet-like flowers that are sweetly scented from October to February.
Rhus (Searsia) chirindensis is a hardy, deciduous, fast growing tree that is sometimes multi-stemmed and has a spreading rounded crown. The bark is rough and darker on the mature main stems, and smooth and somewhat shiny on the young stems. Both sometimes have woody spines, but particularly the young stems.
The large glossy, dark green leaves are tri-foliate and reddish when young and turn beautiful red autumn colours.
Sprays of small flowers are borne from August to March. (male and female flowers on separate plants, therefore only female plants bear fruit).
Searsia (=Rhus) lancea is a very hardy, evergreen, drought resistant tree with a graceful, weeping form. The dark, fissured bark contrasts beautifully with the long, thin, bright, trifoliate leaves.
The inconspicuous yellow-green flowers (male and female flowers on separate plants, therefore only female plants bear fruit) from June to September attract insects and are followed by bunches of edible fruit that attract birds. The small flowers are borne in abundance and give the tree a lacy look when in bloom.
An excellent garden subject that thrives in clay soils and is fast growing if watered regularly. Having said that it is also drought hardy. Extremely popular street tree and a good avenue tree. Makes a great climbing tree for children if the lower branches are not pruned off.
Plant in sun or semi-shade in virtually any soil type.
Size up to 8m
Rhus leptodictya is a very hardy, evergreen, drought resistant, small, decorative tree with a drooping crown of bright green foliage. The bark on young stems is reddish brown, becoming darker and rougher as the tree matures. The lovely reddish wood is used to make beautiful small pieces of furniture.
The inconspicuous flowers (male and female flowers on separate plants, therefore only female plants bear fruit) are borne from January to April.
Rhus pendulina is a very hardy, very fast growing, drought resistant, semi-deciduous shade tree with a willow-like habit. The leaves are a dull green and bark is light grey-brown and smooth on young branches, becoming rough and scaly as the branches mature.
The sprays of inconspicuous flowers (male and female flowers on separate plants, therefore only female plants bear fruit) that attract insects are borne from September to January These are followed by bunches of fruit that attract birds.
Do not plant near walls, pools, pipes or paving as it has an aggressive shallow root system.
This is not a particularly long lived tree but is useful as a quick growing screening tree. Interplant with a longer living tree to ensure a permanent screen.
It throws pretty, delicately dappled shade.
Size up to 10m
Grewia occidentalis is a very hardy, fast growing, evergreen shrub with attractive, rough, glossy, quite dark green leaves and trailing stems.
It bears gorgeous star-like pink flowers with a cluster of prominent, bright yellow stamens from October to January
It also bears distinctive, edible fruits that are clustered together in a square or cross shape.
Agapanthus hybrid nana blue is a hardy, evergreen perennial has narrow strap-like leaves.
Agapanthus praecox white is a well-known hardy, evergreen plant that has attractive strap-like leaves and umbels of white flowers that are borne on long stalks from December to April.
They make good cut flowers.
Aponogeton distachyos is a fast growing aquatic herb with glossy oblong leaves that float on the waters surface.
Sweetly scented, edible flowers stand up out of the water above the leaves, attracting attention. The flower is interesting in that it is a
forked inflorescence bearing tiny, white, one-petalled flowers with
Bees are very
attracted to the flowers and may be one of the main pollinators. Waterblommetjies flower in profusion during winter and
spring. Large areas of water in the Western, Southern and Eastern Cape
are covered with their sweetly scented, white flowers.
An excellent plant for ponds and dams, although where growing conditions are good, it needs cutting back and splitting to keep it from taking over. Rhizomes can be lifted in autumn and divided. Replant them immediately in good soil, in shallow water, and as they begin to grow in summer they can be moved into deeper water.
Plant in pots, in good soil, and place in full sun to partial shade for some of the day.
This is a well known local delicacy for the cold winter months. It has become so popular that many commercial plantings have been made in ponds around the western Cape. Cooked with onions, mutton or lamb and a few leaves of the local sorrel/suring (Oxalis pes-caprae), it makes a delicious stew.
Boophane disticha is a very, hardy, deciduous plant with a huge bulb. In warm areas the bulb is held above the soil while in colder areas it is kept below ground level as a protection against frost.
The grey-leaves are held in a twisted fan shape and are most attractive. (the species name disticha means in 2 rows, referring to the leaves).
The large deep pink to red flower head appears in early spring before the leaves. Fire induces this plant to flower. Once the flowers have been pollinated each flower stalk elongates and carries the seed on the end to form a tumbleweed. This is the plants strategy for distributing its seeds.
Plant in full sun or semi-shade with an exposed bulb.
Extensively used in traditional medicine but with caution as it is poisonous.
Crinum graminicola is a very hardy, deciduous bulbous plant that has large, robust grey-green strap-like leaves and a huge bulb.
It bears huge umbels of deep pink, pendulous, lily-like flowers on a long stem from October to February.
Gloriosa superba is a hardy, deciduous, trailing or scrambling plant with shiny light green leaves that taper to tendrils at the tips, which help it to climb.
It grows from a ‘U’ shaped tuber that is deeply buried.
Anthericum saundersiae is a hardy, evergreen, clump forming, grass-like perennial that bears sprays of white flowers and seeds all year round.
It grows in sun or shade and this makes it a good plant for the difficult areas that are in shade for part of the year.
Andropogon eucomis is a very hardy, small upright growing grass with bright green foliage that is concentrated at the base of the plant.
The glistening white seed heads are borne at the tip of reddish stems from November to May.
This widespread grass is ornamental and easy to manage in the garden.
Bowiea volubilis is a hardy, deciduous, bulbous plant that has two thin, strap-like leaves.
It climbs by means of its large much-branched inflorescence, the branchlets of which grow downwards.
Aloe cooperi is a very hardy, stemless Aloe with long, narrow, yellow-green leaves arranged in a fan shape and distinctively keeled with white spots beneath.
It has spikes of apricot or yellow coloured, tubular flowers from December to March.
The flowers attract nectar feeding birds such as Sunbirds and White Eyes.
It grows solitary or in small groups and thrives in a variety of soil types and unusually for an Aloe, grows in marshy places.
It is also very frost tolerant and grows in cold areas.
The flowers and leaves can be cooked and eaten.
Lantana rugosa is a hardy, evergreen, much branched perennial shrub with rough stems and leaves.The leaves are small (the drier the conditions, the smaller the leaves), bright green and aromatic when crushed. Little clusters of pinky purple flowers are borne from September to May, and are followed by clustered, juicy, purple fruit. An excellent addition to the wildlife garden.
The flowers attract many pollinating insects, including butterflies. The fruit is eaten by people, monkeys and birds. It has a number of traditional medicinal uses.
Plant in well drained soil, and full sun to semi shade. It will flower and fruit best in full sun, but the more shade and water it receives, the larger the leaves will be. Prune well after flowering for it to maintain a good shape, otherwise it can become scraggly.
Size up to 1.5m
Gardenia cornuta is a small, evergreen, decorative tree. It is multi-stemmed with grey-green mottled bark on erect, stiff branches.
The leaves are clustered at the ends of the hard twigs, and are shiny light green with wavy margins.
Scented, star-like white flowers adorn the tree from December to March, making it a sight to behold. They fade to creamy yellow as they get older.
These are followed by oval woody fruit that turn yellow. The fruit is eaten by monkeys when it is young, and nyala also relish the fruit.
Plant in a spot that is protected from frost, in sun or very light, dappled shade.
Size up to 5m
Tulbaghia violacea is a very hardy, evergreen, tuft forming bulbous plant, with semi-succulent, strap-like, grey-green leaves that are garlic scented when bruised.
Long stalks carrying umbels of delicate lilac to pink flowers are borne mainly from January to April. It will however bloom on and off almost all year in cultivation.
The flowers are sweetly scented at night and make excellent cut flowers. Use in the garden as a companion plant, particularly to deter aphids.
When sitting outside whack some of the leaves on your table or chair and this will deter flies and mosquitoes.
Used medicinally. It can also be used as a garlic substitute in salads, soups and stews. The flowers are a decorative addition to a salad.
An excellent groundcover for difficult areas as it can thrive in very poor soils and with very little watering.
Jasminum multipartitum is a very hardy, evergreen, fast-growing creeper or scrambler with small, glossy, dark-green foliage.
It bears masses of fragrant, white (with deep pink undersides), star-shaped flowers, from August to January.
Scadoxus puniceus is a very hardy, deciduous, beautiful, bulbous plant that varies hugely in size, depending on where it comes from. The large, glossy leaves have wavy margins and are speckled at the base.
It bears a large inflorescence of red, powder-puff-like flowers on a long stem, which appears before the leaves, from July to October.
This form of Scadoxus puniceus is much taller, more robust and has larger flowers with a less intense red colour than our Highveld form.
It is a very hardy, deciduous, beautiful, bulbous plant that varies hugely in size, depending on where it comes from.
Crassula multicava is a hardy, evergreen, mat-forming, broad-leaved succulent plant.
It bears many sprays of dainty, star-shaped, pink flowers from May to November that attract a whole host of tiny insects.
Gladiolus crassifolius is a very hardy, deciduous, bulbous plant with erect, robust leaves that have a yellow midrib and margin and are carried in a fan (crassifolius = thick-leaved).
The tall spikes of flowers are borne mainly in spring and summer. The flower colour is very variable, but they all have a dark blotch in the throat.
This is a particularly beautiful plant for a grassland garden with its rigid flowers held up above the waving grasses. The insects that visit the flowers attract birds to the garden.
Used in traditional medicine.
Plant in compost-rich soil in sun or light shade.
Size: up to 75cm
Polygala fruticosa "Petite" is a hardy, evergreen, shrublet that has shiny, grey-green, heart-shaped leaves that have red margins. The young leaves are a shiny, coppery pink.
The clusters of gorgeous, magenta, pea-shaped flowers appear from August to May and attract bees and other pollinating insects to the garden.
This beautiful plant is great in a mixed border, rockeries, Terraforce walls or containers. Used in traditional medicine.
Plant in compost-rich soil in full sun or semi-shade and water well when planting and until settled. Thereafter it will tolerate quite dry conditions.
Polygala myrtifolia "Riviersonderend" has narrow almost needle-like leaves. This is a hardy, evergreen, drought-resistant shrub.
The magenta flowers are borne in lax terminal heads throughout summer and autumn, and attract Carpenter Bees, butterflies and other tiny, pollinating insects to the garden. The seeds are relished by Laughing Doves.
This graceful form is an ideal alternative for the garden that is too small for the large tree-like form of the Polygala myrtifolia. It makes a beautiful, floriferous screening plant. A useful garden and container plant.
Prune lightly and regularly.
Plant in well-drained soil in a sunny or lightly shaded position.
Size: 1m up to 2m
Karomia speciosa (= Holmskioldia speciosa) is a hardy, deciduous, sparsely-branched shrub or small tree with smooth, pale-grey bark.
Nerine laticoma is a very hardy, deciduous, bulbous plant with a tuft of broad, glossy, strap-shaped leaves and quite a large bulb.
From January to March, each bulb sends up a long, flowering stem that has a rounded head of absolutely beautiful pink flowers that attract pollinating insects.
Aloe ferox is a hardy, drought-resistant, single stemmed Aloe with a crown rosette of large, fleshy, succulent bluish-green leaves that have thorny margins.
Asparagus laricinus is a very hardy, evergreen, shrubby Asparagus with fine, feathery foliage and silvery, zigzag branchlets.
It has a myriad of tiny, white, nectar-rich flowers in spring and summer that are fragrant and attract insects and birds.
Aloe greatheadii var. davyana is a very hardy, fairly robust, drought-resistant, stemless Aloe that grows singly or in groups. The leaves are shiny green with white spots arranged in bands. They have sharp, dark-brown teeth along the leaf margins.
The plant itself may be a bit drab but it is spectacular when in flower. Pale-pink to bright-red, attractive flowers are arranged on a branched flowering stem in June and July and attract insects and Sunbirds.
Aloe peglerae is a very hardy, slow-growing, beautiful Aloe that occurs only on the Witwatersrand and Magaliesburg, but due to fires and the loss of habitat. It is now critically threatened.It has grey-green, toothed leaves that curve inwards making it look like a ball.
It blooms in July and August bearing spikes of dull-red and yellow flowers with purple stamens.They are densely-packed, very large and robust.Bees and other insects are irresistibly attracted to the pollen and nectar of the flowers.
It requires minimal water as it normally grows on rocky ledges.Plant in amongst rocks or in very porous containers.
It requires well-drained soil and full sun.Keep dry in winter.
size: 40 m
Aloe petricola is a fairly hardy, stemless Aloe with a grey-green rosette of long leaves that narrow to a fine tip and have margins with sharp-brown teeth.They curve inwards giving the plant a rounded look.
The inflorescence is densely packed with bicoloured flowers that are red or orange when in bud and open progressively into greenish-white flowers.There is another form that has orange buds and yellow flowers. Flowering time is in July and August.Adequate water in summer will ensure good flowering in winter.The flowers attract birds and a myriad of insects which, in turn, provide food for lizards and toads in the garden.Plant in groups for a magnificent show in winter.
This plant looks gorgeous planted amongst rocks in the garden.
It will grow in shallow soil provided it is well-drained and well-composted.It requires full sun.
Size: 45 to 60 cm
Aloe pretoriensis is a hardy, evergreen, normally-solitary species, occurring singly in dry, rocky grasslands.The rosette of slender leaves is pale blue-green with pink tips. The colour of the flowers is exactly the same pink as the tips of the leaves.
The flower spikes are immensely tall up to 2m and adorn the plant from May to July. Birds and insects are drawn to the nectar in the flowers.This Aloe is magnificent with the sun behind it and the leaves and flowers glowing pink.
A beautiful form and container plant. Plant in well-drained soil in full sun.
Size: of plant: 40 to 80cm. Flowering Stem up to 2m
Aloe reitzii is a very hardy, robust, stemless Aloe that can withstand extreme winters.It grows in a small area across three provinces. It has a single rosette of greyish, blue-green,fleshy leaves with reddish-brown teeth, mostly along their margins.
Spectacular spikes of brilliant, red, tubular flowers are born in late summer (February to March). The flowers are bright-red above and lemon-yellow below. One flowering spike appears in young plants, but as they mature, more flowering spikes are produced. The nectar- and pollen-rich flowers attract many pollinating insects as well as Sunbirds.
A striking accent plant for a succulent or grassland garden.
Plant in well-drained soil, in full sun.
Size: up to 90 m
Aloe tenuior is a hardy, pretty, dainty, rambling Aloe has bright red or yellow flowers.
It has long narrow sheathing leaves, crowded in a loose rosette at the tip of the branches.
Aloe vanbalenii is a hardy, almost stemless Aloe is one of our most distinctive Aloes with its long, twisted and recurved leaves ending in coppery-red tips that almost touch the ground when grown in the sun.
The tall (up to 1m), conical flower-spikes vary from yellow ,yellow and orange to red and are borne from June to August .The many Sunbirds, that visit to feed on the nectar, are an added attraction to its beauty.Plant in a mixed, succulent bed or rockery, raised beds or containers.
Allow them enough space to make a beautiful statement wherever they are planted.
Plant in well-drained soil in sun or light.
Size: 50 cm
Aptenia cordifolia is a hardy, evergreen groundcover that is fast-growing,it has a spreading growth habit and roots as it creeps along.
It has light-green, succulent leaves and deep rose-pink flowers from September to July.The flowers attract bees to the garden.
It has many medicinal uses.This is a useful plant for stabilizing banks or as living mulch in the garden as it spreads rapidly.
It grows well in either sun or semi-shade.
Size: 5 to 10cm
Bulbine frutescens is a very hardy, evergreen, vigorous, spreading, succulent shrublet or groundcover with grey-green, smooth, short, succulent, quill-like leaves.
Throughout the year it bears spikes of pretty, star-shaped, yellow or orange flowers that attract insects.They also make good cut flowers.
It is an important medicinal plant as the juice of the leaves has excellent healing properties, and will relieve stings, burns and rashes.
Plant in large groups or in between rocks for good effect Plant in full sun or light shade.It is drought-resistant but also grows well in normal garden conditions.
Size: 30 to 50 cm
Bulbine natalensis is a hardy, evergreen, drought-resistant, succulent plant with bright-green, softly-fleshy leaves that form a basal rosette.
Star-shaped, yellow flowers are held in densely-packed spikes at the ends of long, gracefully-arching, flowering stems throughout the year.The pollen- and nectar-rich flowers attract pollinating insects to the garden.
It is an ideal rockery or bedding plant and also makes a worthwhile container plant.It has many medicinal uses, particularly for quick relief when used on stings and bites.
Plant in well-drained soil in full sun or semi-shade.
Size: up to 60cm
Carpobrotus edulis is a very hardy, evergreen, succulent, drought-resistant, spreading groundcover that has triangular-shaped, fleshy leaves.
In spring and summer, (August to October.)it bears large, vygie-like, yellow flowers that fade to pink.The large, fleshy fruits that follow become yellowish and wrinkled when ripe.They are edible and make good jams and preserves.
A useful plant for retaining soil on embankments as it grows fast and roots at the nodes.It is often at its best for only 3 to 4 years, therefore interplanting with other robust plants that can take over from it over time is recommended.It has many medicinal uses.The juice of the leaves has excellent healing properties, and will relieve stings, burns and rashes.
Plant in well-drained soil in full sun.
Size: up to 20cm
Aloe hybrid ‘Little Easy’ is a hardy, fast-growing, multistemmed, hybrid Aloethat makes an attractive scrambling shrub with dark-green foliage.
It is free-flowering with orange flowers tipped with yellow throughout the year.It is drought-resistant and attracts numerous birds and insects to the garden.
Prune back every few years to keep it looking neat and tidy.
Plant in well-drained soil.It prefers full sun but will tolerate some shade during the day.
Size: 1m x 1m
Hypoestes aristata is a hardy, evergreen, small to medium sized, rounded shrub with grey-green leaves that have lighter veins giving them a variegated look.
It bears abundant spikes that are densely packed with 2-lipped deep purple flowers with darker purple spots in the middle of winter, from March to August, when very little else is in flower.
The flowers attract butterflies and other insects to the garden which is a boon to the insect eating birds.
Cotyledon orbiculata (var. flanaganii) is a hardy, evergreen, drought-resistant, stemless, succulent groundcover is the Karoo form of Cotyledon orbiculata and has finger-like leaves that are edged with red.
The umbels of pendulous, apricot-coloured flowers grow on long stalks and are borne in mid-summer.The flowers attract insects and Sunbirds to the garden.
This versatile plant looks great in containers, in pockets in a rock garden or planted en masse.Also useful for planting in retaining walls and on embankments.
Plant in sun or semi-shade in well-drained soil.
Size: 30 cm
Crassula ovata is a hardy, evergreen, erect, succulent shrublet of which two subspecies are recognised.It has a tree-like appearance, with a single, light-brown to greyish-brown main stem, from which many small branches arise.The small, fleshy, dark-green leaves are slightly flattened and narrow.
The tiny, honey-scented, creamy-white to pink flowers are carried in many rounded inflorescences on the plant almost all year round but mainly April to September.The flowers attract a whole host of tiny insects which are the staple diet of lizards and frogs.
Used in traditional medicine.It is beautiful planted in amongst rocks or in a container.
Plant in sun or semi-shade in well-drained soil.
Size: up to 1m
Crassula sarcocaulis is a hardy, evergreen, erect, succulent shrublet with a number of varieties.It has small, dark- to bright-green, narrow, very succulent leaves.
The creamy-white flowers are carried in a round inflorescence almost all year round.The flowers attract a whole host of tiny insects which are the staple diet of lizards and frogs.
It is beautiful planted in amongst rocks or in a container and also makes a great, easy-to-grow bonsai subject.Used in traditional medicine.
It grows in sun or semi-shade.
Size: 60 cm
Crassula spathulata is a very hardy, evergreen, succulent, creeping, fast-growing, mat-forming groundcover with glossy, almost lime-green, round little leaves.When grown in sun and not watered much, the leaves turn a pinky-red on the margins.
Sprays of tiny, pink and white flowers are borne in spring and summer.The flowers are visited by many tiny pollinating insects.
It can be planted as a living mulch to help keep moisture in and weeds out.Mass plant under trees and along borders as well as in containers and hanging baskets where it will cascade happily over the edges.This pretty plant is tough, easy to grow and rewarding.One of its many uses is that it helps to stabilise banks.
Grows well in shade and sun and, although it is a succulent, it thrives in a normally irrigated garden.
Size: 10 to 15 cm
Crassula tetragona is a hardy, evergreen, succulent shrub with rows of bright-green, sword-shaped leaves.These are evenly arranged in crossed, opposite pairs along the stems, which are held upright in a vertical position.
In summer and early autumn, it bears masses of tiny, creamy-white flowers in an inflorescence carried above the shrub.
The compact, upright habit makes this an attractive plant.Makes a beautiful bonsai, or container plant in drier spots in the garden.
Plant in sun or semi-shade.
Size: up to 1m
Curio [=Senecio] rowleyanus is a hardy, evergreen, mat-forming, succulent groundcover with long creeping, trailing stems.Pea-like, perfectly round leaves with a translucent stripe spaced along their entire length hang along the stems, hence the common name ‘String of Pearls’.When the stems lie on the ground they will root at the nodes and spread into quite large patches.
From spring to autumn it bears masses of pretty, brush-like white flowers on and off that attract tiny, pollinating insects.The flowers are faintly cinnamon-scented.
A beautiful plant for hanging baskets, window boxes or a variety of other containers, where the dense bunches of trailing stems hang gracefully over the edge.
Plant in semi-shade in well-drained soil.
Size: 1m Trailing stems
Juncus effusus - Mat-Rush is a very hardy, evergreen, tufted, perennial rush grows in wet areas as well as in a normally irrigated garden.The grass-like leaves are very variable, with some plants having robust, upright leaves whilst others have slender graceful leaves.
The flowers are small, dry and scaly and crowded at the tips of the long thin stems in spring and summer.The flowering stems are beautiful in a vase.
Traditionally used for weaving sleeping mats and baskets.The little seeds are golden brown. It is a useful addition to a wetland garden and to help filter water.
It should be planted in well-watered, sunny areas.
Acacia gerrardii (=Varchellia gerrardii) is a hardy, fairly fast-growing, drought-resistant, deciduous Acacia.It has a long, straight stem that starts branching high up to form a flattish crown.As it is sparsely branched and throws little shade, many plants and lawn grass will grow underneath it.
The bark is dark grey and fissured, with red under-bark appearing in the cracks.The bark on the young branches is red and young growth is covered in hairs.
From October to February the tree is literally covered in masses of large, creamy-white, scented puffball flowers that attract many pollinating insects.It is the host plant of the Black-striped Hairtail butterfly.The flowers are followed by nutritious, sickle shaped pods.
Bark contains tannin that is used for medicinal purposes.It tolerates a wide variety of soil types.This Acacia can be used in fairly small gardens as it is tall but not bulky.
Plant in full sun.
Size: 5 to 7m
Tulbaghia simmleri is a hardy, fast growing, deciduous, bulbous plant with attractive, grey-green, fleshy, strap-like leaves that die back in winter.
Umbels of deep lilac, sweetly scented flowers are borne on long stems and make an excellent cut flower. It flowers from late summer (May) into early spring (September).
Plant in well-drained, compost rich soil in shade or sun.
Freylina tropica is a very hardy, evergreen, slender shrub that has spreading branches, smooth grey bark and shiny, bright green leaves.
It blooms profusely in late winter when little else is flowering but does bear white or lilac flowers throughout the year.
Attracts insects and butterflies to the garden.
Anchusa capensis is a drought hardy annual or bi-annual that grows vigorously, is upright, and has bright green, rough leaves and stems. It has a fairly weedy appearance.
The stems of brilliant blue flowers are borne throughout Spring and Summer and into Autumn. Each little blue flower is beautiful when looked at closely. They have a white feathery centre (these are actually scales that protect the reproductive parts of the flower).
Strelitzia juncea is a lovely addition to the garden. This hardy, evergreen plant forms a bushy clump of tough, cylindrical leaves. The interesting leaves and shape make this a stunning accent and container plant.
The brilliant orange and shimmering peacock-blue flowers have an interesting structure resembling an exotic bird, and flower from May to October.
The beautiful, flowers attract a number of different bird species to the garden. The nectar attracts sunbirds while the black seeds with an orange aril attracts many seed eating birds to the garden. Use both the long lasting flowers and leaves for flower arranging.
Plant in well-drained, rich soil in full sun or partial shade.
Size up to 1.5m
Pelargonium salmoneum is an evergreen, extremely drought hardy, semi-succulent Pelargonium which has yellowish green leaves.
As its name suggests, the flowers are a bright, salmon pink. They are held above the leaves on a flowering stalk that bears up to 20 flowers. Peak flowering times are between June and December.
It makes an excellent container plant and does very well in open ground in the garden as well. It is the perfect height as a "mid-shrub", to plant taller shrubs behind it and shorter bedding plants in the front.
Size up to 75cm
Gazania gazoo Citrus Mix is a hardy, evergreen, drought resistant, sun loving groundcover with glossy leaves.
This vigorous Gazania produces large flowers on strong stems in spring and summer. They are free flowering with a long flowering season.
This hybrid mixture of orange and yellow flowers even open under low light conditions. Needs well-drained soil and moderate water.
Ideal for a rockery and for stabilizing soil on banks as well as for mass planting and containers.
Size 15 to 30cm
Albuca shawii is a hardy, deciduous bulb with very thin, dark-green leaves that are covered in short, sticky hairs.The leaves have a faint smell of liquorice when crushed.
The flowering spikes bear a spray of beautiful, nodding, delicately-scented yellow and green flowers from September to February.
A beautiful addition to a rockery, short grassland garden or meadow of delicate, bulbous plants.
They prefer full sun but can take light semi-shade. Plant in well-drained, loamy soil and do not over-water. If planting in a grassland, make sure that they are not swamped by too many tall grasses.
Size: up to 40cm
Salvia 'Beautiful Blue' is a very hardy, evergreen, small shrub with aromatic, bright-green leaves that grow in clumps along the stems.
Clusters of sky-blue, funnel-shaped flowers are borne en masse from June to December. When the flowers fall off, the decorative calyx remains and is an added feature.
The flowers of Wild Sage can be used as a good cut flower. It is an attractive, easy plant to grow. As with all Salvia’s they attract pollinating insects and Sunbirds to the garden.
Plant in well-drained soil in full sun or semi-shade and water well in winter. This tough plant tolerates very dry conditions and should not be over-watered. Prune back hard once a year.
Size: 0,5 to 0,75m
Carissa macrocarpa "Green Carpet" is a hardy, evergreen, drought-resistant, dense, spiny, dwarf spreading shrublet with leathery, dark-green, glossy leaves.
It has beautiful, quite large, scented, white flowers and large edible red fruits on and off throughout the year.
It attracts butterflies and fruit-eating birds to the garden. The fruits make a delicious jelly that is sold as ‘Amatungulu Jelly’. This useful plant can be used to cover large areas or clipped into an attractive small formal hedge. It also looks great in a container.
Erect shoots should be clipped to keep the dwarf habit. Plant in shade, semi-shade or sun, in well-drained, well-composted soil.
Size: up to 40cm
Strophanthus speciosus is a semi-hardy, evergreen small tree, shrub or climber with greenish bark that has raised white dots. The leaves are leathery and, like the rest of the plant, contain a poisonous, water sap.
The flowers, borne from September to December, are striking – with long spidery tepals that are creamy yellow to orange, with a brighter orange marking towards the centre of the flower.
The greenish yellow, two-horned fruit that develops after flowering becomes brown, and splits to release seeds attached to silky hairs that assist with dispersing them by wind.
The seeds, leaves and latex of this plant are poisonous, and are nevertheless used in traditional medicine – particularly in the treatment of snakebites.
An interesting container plant, that can be grown as a woody climber or planted and pruned up to remain a small tree or large shrub. It requires well-composted soil, moderate watering and plant in a semi-shade to shady position.
Size: can climb up to 10m if supported
Ochna serrulata is a hardy, small, semi-deciduous shrub with glossy, mirror-like leaves that flush red in spring.
The profuse, bright yellow, scented flowers are borne from September to December.
The flowers are short lived but are followed by black fruit on an enlarged red calyx that looks like a flower and persists on the shrub for months.
As with Ochna natalitia this plant deserves pride of place in any garden. The seeds attract birds to the garden.
Ehretia rigida is a very hardy, deciduous, drought resistant, attractive shrub with an interesting shape.
Eriocephalus africanus is a hardy, attractive, fast growing evergreen, aromatic, small shrub, with fine, soft, grey, heavily scented leaves.
It flowers from autumn to winter with white, daisy-like flowers that have a purple centre and are followed by attractive, white, woolly seed heads.
Plant in a well-drained, sunny position and ensure it is well watered.
Eucomis autumnalis is a very hardy, bulbous, deciduous plant with a rosette of attractive, broad strap-like leaves.
The spikes of greenish-white flowers have a tuft of green bracts on top which gives the flower the look of a pineapple or - with a bit of imagination - little green men from Mars.
Eucomis vandermerwii is a very hardy, deciduous bulb with a rosette of beautiful leaves that are tinged wine red, have masses of dark maroon spots and wavy edges.
In summer it bears spikes of long lasting wine red flowers topped with dark green, maroon blotched Pineapple-like bracts.
Euphorbia mauritanica very hardy, evergreen, quick-growing, well-rounded shrub with thin, cylindrical, grey-green stems.The many stems that sway beautifully in the wind arise from a thick rootstock.
Each stem produces a small, yellow flower at the tip, and the entire bush appears butter-yellow for 2 or 3 months from August to October.Attracts pollinating insects.
Excellent feature plant for rockeries and mixed succulent beds.It makes a particularly attractive container plant.It is very tolerant of a wide range of conditions and is particularly useful for difficult gardens which have low rainfall and harsh, cold conditions.
Plant in well-drained soil in sun or semi-shade.Water moderately.
Size: up to 1.5m
Euryops pectinatus is a very hardy, attractive, fast growing, evergreen, free flowering shrub that has soft grey-green foliage.
It bears bright yellow daisies all year round but in profusion in spring.
It grows best in well-drained, well-composted soil in the full sun and flowers most of the year if deadheaded regularly. Water well in winter as this is its main growing season.
The flowers attract butterflies and insects to the garden.It makes a particularly beautiful, informal hedge.
Size 1m x 1m
Euryops virgineus is a very hardy, fast growing, evergreen shrub that is both drought and wind resistant.
It has attractive, dense, fine bright green leaves and is covered in masses of small, golden-yellow flowers in winter and early spring.
The sweetly scented flowers attract insects to the garden.
Plant in full sun and prune back at least once a year after flowering and make sure it is watered in winter .
Felicia bergeriana is a hardy, attractive, clump-forming perennial develops to a dense carpet of bright green leaves.
The masses of blue daisies are borne on long stems nearly all year round and attract butterflies to the garden.
Remove the dead flowers regularly to encourage flowering.
Plant in full sun in compost rich but well-drained soil.
Ficus abutilifolia is a hardy, deciduous, small to medium sized fig tree that has beautiful, large, heart-shaped leaves.
Gomphocarpus fruticosus is a very hardy, deciduous perennial shrub with clusters of complex, yellow-green flowers that are borne intermittently throughout the year.
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
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
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.