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
Barleria greenii is a very hardy, deciduous, spiny, small shrub. It has masses of gorgeous, huge pink, Petunia-like flowers in summer.
They are sweet smelling at night which suggests that they are moth pollinated and have copious nectar that attracts Carpenter Bees and other insects to the garden.
A beautiful garden plant that is stunning when planted in groups. Rare in cultivation.
Plant in full sun but it can also tolerate partial shade. Prune back in winter to ensure masses of flowers in summer.
Size 30 to 80cm
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.
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