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.
Dracaena aletriformis is a fairly hardy, evergreen, shade loving, Yucca-like accent plant.
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.
Metarungia pubinervia is a hardy, deciduous to semi-deciduous, fast growing, medium or large sized shrub with attractive, large, almost quilted, dark green leaves.
The beautiful, bright red flowers that resemble snap-dragons, are borne along the tops of the stems from April to June. Their nectar attracts Sunbirds, which are their pollinators, as well as a whole host of insects that find it irresistible.
It makes a lovely understory shrub.
Plant in semi-shade or shade, in compost rich soil.
Size: up to 4m
Podocarpus henkelii is a very hardy, evergreen, large decorative, beautifully-shaped tree and is one of our best-known indigenous trees. The bark is khaki brown that, when it matures, flakes into long, thin strips which expose the attractive reddish underbark. It has long, drooping, narrow, dark-green leaves.
The female cones develop into olive-green seed that ripens in May.
Although it is quite slow-growing it does develop into a huge forest tree that is only suitable for large gardens. For small gardens plant it in a large container to limit its size. In a container, it makes a great Christmas tree when decked out in its finery.
Plant in either east- or south-facing areas as it prefers damp, cool and shady conditions. If planted as a single specimen in the middle of lawn, remove at least 1.5m diameter of lawn around the tree, as its roots cannot compete with lawn. Mulch and water well or it will not grow properly. Always mulch the soil around the trees as this it keeps the roots cool.
Size: 20 to 30m
Dracaena mannii is a hardy, evergreen small to medium-sized tree with long, linear leaves that are clustered at the tips of the branches. This growth habit makes it a wonderful form plant.
In September and October, it bears spikes of sweetly scented, pure-white to cream flowers at the tips of the branches. The scented flowers open at night implying that they are moth pollinated. These are followed by large brown berries that, as they ripen, become bright-orange and then red.
This is another attractive feature of a stunning plant as is the white papery bark. Birds relish the seeds.They also make beautiful container plants.
Plant in shady areas in the garden to create some form.
Size: up to 5m
Turraea obtusifolia is a hardy, semi-evergreen to briefly-deciduous scrambling shrub or small tree. It tends to be more of a scrambler in shady conditions. The leaves are a beautiful, dark glossy green. It bears masses of very showy, pure white, star-shaped flowers that flush on and off all summer. They are pollinated by moths. The fruit looks like a green miniature pumpkin and, in late summer, as they ripen they split to reveal pretty orange-red seeds. The orange seed coat attracts birds to the garden, which disperse the seeds.
Use as a scrambler over rocks, as a container plant or focal point in the garden. This plant is a little slow-growing but its beauty makes it a worthwhile choice.
Plant in sun or semi-shade in well-drained soil and water well in summer.
Size: 1 to 3m
Seemanaralia gerrardii is a fairly hardy, evergreen, rugged looking tree that resembles a Cabbage Tree. The grey corky bark is somewhat resinous and cracks into squares as it matures. It has beautiful large Maple shaped leaves with pink petioles. The cluster of flower buds are red-brown and out of each bud pops a tiny, yellowish-green, star shaped flower (Mar. to Jun.).
Use as a striking, textural form plant in sun or semi shade. It looks particularly attractive planted amongst rocks.
This plant is endemic to South Africa and occurs in rocky ravines. The wood is used for carving.
Plant in sun or semi shade where it is protected from frost and do not overwater.
Size: to 20m
Xylotheca kraussiana is a hardy, evergreen, multi-stemmed shrub or small tree. It has attractive foliage but the spectacular feature is its flowers. The brilliant white flowers with a mass of bright yellow anthers in the centre can be up to 70mm in diameter. It flowers en masse in spring and summer with a few flowers all year found. These are followed by oval woody pods which split into a star shape with black and red seeds - another beautiful feature of this plant.
It is a great butterfly host plant, including being the host plant for the Blood-red Acraea (Acraea petraea) and attracts many birds who relish the seeds as well as insects to the flowers.
Use as a feature plant, in a mixed bed in a forest garden or even as component of a bush clump. It also makes a beautiful container plant.
Grow in semi-shade, dappled shade or in a sunny spot that does not get too hot.
Size: 1 to 5m
Psydrax obovata is a hardy, evergreen, medium sized, fairly fast-growing tree with angular branching patterns and almost white bark which becomes fissured with age.
It bears dense clusters of small, white, tubular flowers from November to January which are sweetly scented and attract insects to the garden. These are followed by bunches of black, edible fruit that attract fruit eating birds.
Although this tree can grow up to 12 meters tall with a fluted stem in forest conditions - in dry, cold places it is only a shrub. If allowed to branch from the bottom, it makes a wonderful dense screen. The beautiful stems make them perfect for planting in groves.
It is an import element of the coastal dune forest, helping to stabilize the dunes.
I will never forget these trees as I saw my first Bar-Throated Apalis hopping around in them, searching for insects.
Plant in full sun or semi shade in well-drained compost rich soil.
Size: 3 to 12m
Chionanthus peglerae is a fairly hardy, rare, medium to large sized tree with a straight stem, grey-brown bark and glossy, stiff leathery leaves.
It bears inconspicuous sprays of white or cream flowers from August to February. The attractive, fleshy black fruits have white dots on them with a ridge across them which makes them look a bit like a duck's bill. The fruits attract birds to the garden.
Plant in a forest garden or a single specimen in the cooler part of the garden where it gets morning sun, not the hot afternoon sun. It requires well-drained, compost rich soil.
Size: 5 to 30 meter
Allophylus natalensis is a hardy, evergreen shrub or small tree with smooth or wrinkled, greyish-brown bark. It has a dense crown of firm, shiny, dark green, Searsia (Rhus)-like, trifoliate leaves.
Massed clusters of small whitish green, sweetly scented flowers are borne from March to July and attract butterflies and other insects.
The clusters of conspicuous shiny red, edible berries can weigh the branches down. They make a lovely show from June to August and attract birds.
A beautiful tree for small gardens as well as a great screening plant that can also form a decorative, specimen shrub once established.
Plant in sun or shade, in well drained soil.
Size: 2 to 5 meter