Euphorbia tirucalli 'Firesticks' is a hardy, evergreen, tough, drought-resistant, succulent shrub or small tree with rarely-seen, tiny leaves that fall very early as this plant uses its green stems to photosynthesise.In this form the tips of the branches turn yellow, red and orange giving the impression that the tips of the plant are on fire.
Tiny, yellow flowers appear from September to December at the end of the new growth.These flowers attract masses of insects and butterflies.
The seed capsules that follow are prized by everything from ants to birds and even monkeys.The dense branches make ideal nesting sites for birds.Traditionally it is utilised as a living hedge to provide a nocturnal kraal for livestock.The plant is reputedly an effective banisher of moles. Although it is thornless, the dense, angular structure of the branchlets makes it fairly impenetrable, especially in older specimens.
Sansevieria pearsonii is a hardy, evergreen succulent with a fan of cylindrical, hard, ribbed leaves that overlap near the base. The leaves end with a hard, sharp spine.
It bears a tall spike of pinkish-brown flowers on and off for most of the year. The scented flowers generally open at night. The orange berries that follow are relished by birds.
This plant multiplies at the base by producing offshoots, and forms large clumps which add a structural element to a shady, dry garden or rockery. It also makes an attractive container plant.
Plant in semi-shade or shade in well-drained, sandy soil. Water sparingly.
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.
Argyrolobium tomentosum is a hardy, evergreen shrub that can be scrambling or upright. The trifoliate leaves are an attractive feature of this shrub.
The bright, yellow pea-like flowers are orange or red as they age and are borne profusely in spring and summer although there are a few flowers all year round.
It attracts insects and birds to the garden.
It is used extensively as a medicinal plant.
Use as a screen or a small bushy shrub in a mixed border or allow to scramble up trees where its bright-yellow flowers will brighten up a shady bed.
Plant in semi-shade and prune once a year to keep in shape. It only requires moderate watering once established.
Asparagus plumosus (=Asparagus setaceus) is a very hardy, evergreen, drought-resistant climber with twining branches.The branchlets spread on one plane and have small, fine leaves in compressed clusters. Red berries, that attract birds, follow the starry, white flowers that are borne from February to May.
The foliage is extensively used in flower arrangements. Good filler plant for shady areas.It makes a beautiful container plant.
Over time this plant will scramble and cover nearby plants so should be controlled by pruning and removing runners once or twice a year. Plant in shade or semi-shade.
Size: up to 3m
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
Schotia brachypetala is a hardy, semi-deciduous (deciduous in cold areas), very decorative tree with interesting branching patterns and a rugged look. The bark is rough and grey. The beautiful foliage is bronze when it first flushes and goes through many different colours and textures in the different seasons.
From August to November it bears massed bunches of magnificent scarlet-red cup-like flowers filled with so much nectar that it drips out, hence the common name. The flowers attract all manner of birds. Some, like Sunbirds, will sip the nectar. Others, like Weavers, will make holes in the bottoms of the flowers and rob them of their nectar without pollinating them. The flowers also attract a whole host of insects. The pods, that are initially bright-green with a dark margin, turn beautiful glossy brown.
The large seeds are edible after they have been roasted and have been used as a coffee substitute. The pods and seeds readily absorb fragrant oils and so are included in potpourri. It has many medicinal and traditional uses.
An excellent and ornamental garden subject for sun or semi-shade and one of our most beautiful and shapely trees. Suitable for containers and bonsai.
Size: 3 to 16m