Hypoestes aristata little pink is a hardy, evergreen, small to medium sized, rounded shrub with grey-green leaves that have lighter veins giving them a variegated look.
It bears abundant spikes that are densely packed with 2-lipped pink flowers with purple spots in the middle of winter, from March to August.,
Eragrostis gummiflua is a very hardy, evergreen to semi-deciduous, perennial grass with sparse, hard, tough leaves.
It bears attractive, large racemes of pink to purple flowers and seeds on stiff branches from November to May.
Parts of this grass are quite sticky, hence the common name.
Plant in a meadow garden where its attractive seed-heads add texture. It is quite unpalatable to grazers. This hard grass is used to make durable brooms.
As with all grasses, to keep it healthy, it should be cut back once a year and raked to remove the thatch. Plant in sun or semi-shade in well-drained, sandy or gravelly soils. Water well to keep it looking its best.
Size: Flowering stem up to 90cm
Mentha longifolia is a hardy, evergreen to semi-deciduous, perennial herb which grows in damp areas and has long, thin, bright-green leaves with slightly serrated margins. When crushed they are strongly mint-scented.
It has slender spikes of white to pale-mauve flowers from December to February. It is an essential element of a butterfly garden and also attracts other pollinating insects and thus insectiverous birds to the garden.
Makes a delicious herbal tea and can be added to cordials and other cold drinks.
Excellent for moist areas of the garden or wetland features. It spreads rapidly, so cut off excess shoots and prune regularly to keep in shape. Although it does best in full sun it tolerates a little light shade.
Size: up to 1m
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.
Hypoestes aristata white is a hardy, evergreen, small to medium sized, rounded shrub with grey-green leaves that have lighter veins giving them a variegated look.
It bears abundant spikes of 2-lipped white flowers in the middle of winter, from March to August, when very little else is in flower.
The flowers attract butterflies and other insects to the garden which is a boon to the insect eating birds.
Helichrysum cymosum is a hardy, evergreen small, leafy, scandent shrub with beautiful silvery, small leaves that are woolly below.
It bears compact heads of yellow, papery flowers at the tips of each branchlet from September to April.
Cyperus prolifer is a hardy, evergreen, small sedge. Each green stem is topped by a cluster of grass-like flower spikelets.
These very decorative stems can be used in flower arrangements. An attractive little plant that is ideal for planting in a small pond or wet area.
Helps to filter and keep water clean and healthy.Will gradually colonise a wet area through the repeated emergence of adventitious shoots.
Plant in sun or semi-shade.
Size: 30 to 40cm
Berula erecta is a hardy, evergreen plant, easy to grow in marshy areas. It has attractive, bright-green, upright, fern-like foliage.
It flowers from December to March and it bears heads of many delicate, white flowers that are approximately 60 to 80mm in diameter that make good cut flowers. The flowers attract a variety of pollinating insects to the garden.
A portion of the plants in a waterside planting will ramble & root their way and 'float' attractively onto the water surface, providing good habitat for fish fry. An excellent plant for filtration of fishpond water and grey water.
Used in traditional medicine where the roots are held in the mouth to relieve toothache.
Cyperus alternifolius subsp. is a hardy, evergreen, medium-sized sedge that forms large clumps.Long, green stems are topped with a circle of flat green bracts.
The clusters of brown flowers stand out above the green bracts in summer.Attracts many birds such as Weavers, Waders and other water birds. Ideal for water edges, wetland gardens and the cleaning of grey water.
Remove the dead stems regularly to keep it looking neat.This Cyperus is a fast spreader and the rhizomes will cover an area rapidly.
(It may need to be thinned out periodically.)Plant in sun or semi-shade.
Size: up to 1,3m
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.
Hyparrhenia tamba is a very hardy, evergreen to semi-deciduous, impressive, tall grass with blue, almost turquoise, leaves and thick stems.
They also display beautiful colours of yellow and red as they mature, when planted in full sun. The tangled flower- and seed-heads also have a turquoise hue and are borne from January to June.
Plant in containers, or as a backdrop to a grassland garden. It is beautiful planted in pots as a screen on balcony gardens or in small gardens. It is also useful as a soil stabilizer, especially in damp areas.
Plant in sun or light semi-shade areas. This grass should be cut back every two or three years and raked to remove the thatch.
Size: 2 to 2.5m
Sparrmannia africana is a hardy, mostly evergreen, fast growing large shrub that branches fairly low down. Although a fairly scraggly shrub, it has dense foliage of heart-shaped, light green, very hairy leaves.
The lovely white flowers with a crown of tufted yellowish orange stamens are borne in heads throughout spring (August to October). The stamens are sensitive to touch – spreading out when they sense being touched / landed on. Seeds are released when the spiky small fruit dries and splits open.
The fibres from the stems are used to make rope. It is well known as a house and container plant overseas, and can be used as an interesting tall backdrop to a flower bed.
Plant in shade or semi-shade, in well-composted soil. Water regularly.
Size to 4m
Cyperus albostriatus is a hardy, evergreen sedge with its tuft of basal leaves. The bare stem carries a terminal umbrella of what look like bright-green, grass-like leaves with a faint white stripe.
These are actually bracts from which the flowers are borne. A spray of delicate green flowers that turn brown when mature, are borne from July to May.
Used traditionally to make mats. Plant alongside pools and ponds where it will add delicacy and texture.
Use as a pretty indoor plant as well. It is a good plant to include in grey-water filtering systems. The Forest Sedge is a shade-loving groundcover that can tolerate the dry shade under trees. It is a vigorous grower and should be thinned out every now and again.
Size: 30 to 50cm
Setaria sphacelata var. sericea is a hardy, evergreen, beautiful, neatly-tufted grass.
It bears dense, golden inflorescences of hairy flowers from October to May that look like miniature bulrushes.
It attracts birds to the garden and is the host plant of various butterfly species.
Although this is a tall grass, it is neat and narrow and does not go wild.
It makes a lovely form plant and can be planted in a grassland garden, as a backdrop to a colourful bed or mass-plant for a beautiful effect.
As with most grasses, it should be cut back once a year and the thatch removed.
It grows in sun or semi-shade, and needs regular watering.
Size: 70cm to 1.2m