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.