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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.)
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
Cyrtanthus mackenii Pondo Gold is a hardy, evergreen bulbous plant that has attractive glossy, dark green, narrow, strap-like leaves.
It bears umbels of bright yellow, narrow tubular flowers, in profusion, from July to February.
It prefers semi-shade and moist, compost rich soil.
It is a beautiful addition to any garden, and makes a wonderful container subject.
Euphorbia ingens is a hardy, massive, tree-like succulent with a dense crown and a dark green stem. The branches have 4 wing-like angles with spines on the wing margins. The plant is shaped like a hot-air balloon. The yellow-green flowers are clustered around the spines from April to July and attract bees, butterflies and insects and are followed by reddish to purple fruit, which are relished by birds.
Birds will nest in this tree. Hole-nesting birds will nest in dead sections. This very drought-resistant tree makes a good container plant or accent plant in a succulent garden but must have well-drained soil.
Where the tree is damaged it will exude milky sap which is poisonous and can cause extreme skin irritation. This plant has many traditional and medicinal uses.
Plant in sun to semi-shade, in extremely well drained soil.
Size: up to 7,5m
Cotyledon orbiculata is a very hardy, evergreen, drought-resistant, succulent shrublet that has smooth, round, grey-green leaves that are edged with red.
The umbels of pendulous, orange-red flowers grow on long stalks and are borne from June to August. The nectar in the flowers attracts birds, bees and other insects.
It is also an important medicinal plant. This plant needs well-drained soil and looks great planted in pockets in a rock garden. It is a very variable plant and there are many different sub-species and forms.
Plant in sun or semi-shade in well-drained soil.
Size: 40 to 80cm
Metarungia galpinii is a large shrub that has beautiful, quilted foliage. This rare and endangered shrub is not often found in cultivation. The flower spikes are held upright at the tips of the stems like candles. They are borne in February and March and, at other times, only after rain. The flower spike has green bracts with dense white hairs on the margins, giving quite a pale colour in contrast to the dark leaves. The light terracotta flowers are carried along the length of the spike.
These features make this a truly beautiful plant for use as a backdrop in shade or as a magnificent single specimen. It grows well in containers as well.
Prune lightly after flowering.
Plant in shade or semi-shade in well composted soil.
Size: up to 3m
Dioscorea dregeana is a fairly hardy, vigorous, deciduous climber that has long angular stems. The beautiful large leaves are carried on slender stalks giving the plant a weeping habit.
The male flowers are green, and the female flowers are white, each borne on separate plants. When the seed pods open, they reveal blue seeds. A decorative plant that is beautiful climbing up a trellis and also makes a decorative pot subject.
Plant in sun or semi-shade, in well drained, well composted soil.
Aloe tenuior Orange is a hardy, pretty, dainty, rambling Aloe that bears spikes of bright orange flowers. It has long, narrow, sheathing leaves, crowded in a loose rosette at the tip of the branches. In cultivation, it flowers freely, for most of the year, but mainly from May to August.
A good ‘bee plant’ that has many traditional uses. It will form large bush clumps, making it a useful landscape plant.
This Aloe grows well in a normally-irrigated garden that has well-drained soil and will grow in full sun or semi-shade.
Size: Up to 3m
Melianthus major is a hardy, evergreen, decorative shrub with large, neatly serrated, blue-green, compound leaves that are strongly aromatic when touched. From July to October the maroon flower spikes are carried above the foliage, and their dripping nectar attracts Sunbirds and insects to the garden. The black seeds are carried in decorative, pale-green translucent bladders.
Used medicinally. Needs to be pruned back hard after flowering. The plant will then send up beautiful new shoots and look neat and tidy. Prefers a damp situation and makes a good accent plant in sun or semi-shade particularly near water. Plant in well-composted soil and ensure adequate watering for best results.
Size: up to 2,5m
Stapelia leendertziae is a very hardy, evergreen, drought-resistant, sprawling succulent. The upright, fleshy, prominently-angled, dark-green stems have sharply-pointed teeth on the margins. Clusters of large, bell-shaped, reddish to dark-purple flowers are borne from November to January. As with all Carrion Flowers, they smell foul in order to attract their pollinators. The seedpods that follow resemble paired horns.
An excellent succulent for a sunny rockery, but also makes an unusual container plant. Shallow containers are most suitable for planting these succulents in.
Plant in sun or semi-shade in rich, porous, well-drained soil and water sparingly.
Size: up to 30cm
Crocosmia aurea "Golden Fleece" is a hardy, deciduous, perennial, bulbous plant with sword-shaped leaves that are arranged in a fan. The golden yellow, star-shaped spikes of flowers are borne from January to June.
They do not need to be lifted annually, and if left in the soil, will multiply rapidly, forming large colonies. Interplant with evergreen, clump-forming plants such as Dietes bicolor or Anthericum saundersiae.
It is an easy, rewarding garden plant that also makes beautiful cut flowers. The flowers attract insects and, as the birds relish the seeds, you will find volunteer seedlings popping up in the garden where the seeds have been distributed by the birds.
Best planted in well-composted soil in semi-shade but, it tolerates shady conditions and some sunny areas if it is not too hot.
Size: up to 1m
Barleria elegans is a hardy, evergreen small shrub with oval shaped, dark green leaves that are paler beneath. The reduced leaves are hardened and spiny-toothed. Flowers profusely in late summer and autumn (February to July) with clusters of pure white trumpet-shaped flowers. The flowers attract butterflies and pollinating insects to the garden.
It is adaptable in the garden, making a good rockery subject and helps to stabilise the soil on embankments. Due to its thorny nature, it can form an effective barrier.
Prune back after flowering to keep in shape and ensure mass flowering the following year. Can tolerate a light frost. Plant in sun or semi-shade in well drained and well composted soil.
Size: up to 1m
Salvia dolomitica is a very hardy, evergreen, small shrub with attractive, grey-green, aromatic leaves. The spikes of beautiful pale lilac spikes of flowers are borne in spring and summer (September to February). They attract bees and other pollinating insects to the garden. The calyx persists on the plant and turns a deep purple and only drops when the seeds are ready to be dispersed.
Plant in an herbaceous border, or use as a small screening plant. It is a beautiful subject in a container.
Prune back hard after flowering to encourage bushiness. Grows in full sun but requires well-drained, well-composted soil.
Watsonia pillansii is a very hardy, robust, evergreen, clump-forming, bulbous Watsonia with pale green, slightly twisted strap-like leaves.
It bears spikes of orange flowers on and off all year with its peak flowering time from September to April.
It grows and flowers best when it has compost rich soil, sufficient water and sun, although it tolerates semi-shade as well.
It makes a good accent plant, but is also beautiful for mass planting and retaining soil on banks. It adds structure and form on the dry edges of ponds.
A popular garden plant and a good cut flower.
Size: Up to 1 meter
Aristida congesta subsp. congesta is a very hardy, delicate, perennial, tufted grass with long white hairs where the leaf meets the stem.
It bears compact spikelets at the tips of the stems from Dec. to Jun.This tough pioneer grass can be used to stabilise soil or cover bare patches to protect the soil. It is pretty planted amongst flowering plants in a meadow garden or in a grassland garden.
It is unfussy about the soil type it is planted in and will thrive in all but waterlogged soils. As with all grasses it should be cut back once a year and raked to remove the thatch.
Size: Flowering stem up to 90cm
Eucomis pallidiflora subs. pole-evansii is a very hardy, deciduous, tall, robust plant with broad, shiny, strap-shaped leaves that have finely crimped edges near the base and form a large tuft on the ground, standing up at an angle to the soil.
A thick, tall flower stalk bears masses of greenish white open flowers in a spiral from December to April. These are followed by purple seed capsules. The flower stem often needs staking as it falls over from the weight of the flowers.
It continues to be decorative while the large fruit develop in the middle of the flowers.
Size: Up to 2m
Aloe burgersfortensis is a hardy, quite small, drought resistant stemless aloe that grows singly or in groups. The leaves are variable and can be from dull brownish-green to bright green with few white spots.
Red flowers are arranged on a tall, branched flowering stem in June and July and attract insects and sunbirds.
This is a common Aloe in the Burgersfort, Steelpoort and Barberton areas. Planted in well-drained soil in large numbers in full sun or partial shade they will brighten up a winter garden.
Size: 20 to 30cm
Buxus macowanii is a hardy, evergreen, slow growing, small tree that has a slender upright stem and a dense, rounded crown of stiff, leathery, shiny leaves.
The clusters of small flowers are borne from July to October. Only one flower of each cluster is female and bears a seed. The beautiful wood was used to such an extent that it was a protected species, but is no longer be exploited for its timber.
Very attractive garden or container plant. It can also be clipped into a low hedge, and often grows in pure stands in nature.
It tolerates deep shade, so is a suitable indoor plant. Plant in shade to semi-shade, in well-drained, loamy soil.
Dissotis princeps is a fairly hardy soft herbaceous shrub that has gorgeous mauve or white flowers in summer and autumn.Its stems are angular when young and the whole plant is covered in short, bristly hairs.
It is a must for any kind of water garden, planted in damp soil e.g. in the overflow from a pond or beside a stream. It can be planted in the regular garden or herbaceous border but to perform at its best it must be well-watered.
It makes a good container plant but must be well fed and well watered.For best results prune back hard in winter and make sure it has sufficient water.
Ledebouria ovalifolia is a bulbous plant that is common in grasslands. The interestingly oval, spotted leaves grow prostrate on the ground, usually sending up delicate sprays of scented flowers, before the rain.
These are followed by a rosette of leaves with purple undersides and a myriad of different patterns on the foliage.
As this plant is very flat and small it is best suited to container growing planted in between interesting rocks or in a rockery bed or retaining wall where its foliage and tiny flowers can best be displayed. Requires full to partial sun.
Clematopsis scabiosifolia-Clematis villosa is a deciduous shrub that grows to roughly 1m tall and is found in grassland where sandy soils and rock outcrops are present. The plant has a woody rootstock to enable it to survive fires and frost.
In spring it flushes with feathery leaves and has striking pendulous pink to mauve tinged flowers. The upright, fluffy, silver white fruiting heads are very characteristic of this species making it very conspicuous in the landscape when in seed.
This plant is an interesting addition to a hot dry bed, suitable for poor sandy soils. Requires full to very light shade.
Crasssula lanuginosa is a compact small, hardy, flat succulent plant with dainty, blue-green leaves covered with fine white hairs, that turn red in full sun.
The delicate flat-topped clusters of white flowers are borne in summer and attract insects.
Create beautiful containers and miniature gardens with this plant which looks good all year round. It can also be used in a succulent bed or rock garden.
Plant in full sun or light-filled semi-shade, in well drained soil.
Size: 5 to 15 cm
Chasmanthe floribunda subsp. ducketti is a beautiful winter flowering bulb with tall, sword-shaped, light-green leaves arranged in a fan-shape. It grows well in summer rainfall areas although it occurs naturally in winter rainfall areas. The leaves die back in summer and start growing again in autumn. In winter, it bears spikes of numerous, narrow, tubular, bright lemon-yellow, oppositely arranged flowers which are pollinated by Sunbirds.
Mix with deciduous Agapanthus sp. or Crocosmia sp. for a lovely effect of complementary plantings that give colour to the garden in winter and summer.
Plant in sun or shade, in well-drained, compost-rich soils. Water well in winter.
Size: up to 1m