Albizia versicolor is a fairly hardy, large, (in warm areas), beautifully shaped, deciduous tree.
The large, velvety compound leaves and grey-brown bark that becomes rough with age are also attractive features of this tree.
It bears large half-spherical, puffball flowers that appear from October to December with the new leaves.
Ziziphus rivularis is a hardy, rare, evergreen to semi-deciduous, fast growing small tree with attractive glossy, olive green foliage with interesting but quite variable venation.
It bears small, yellowish, inconspicuous flowers in November.
Croton gratissimus is a hardy, deciduous, small to medium sized, drought resistant tree with lovely pale grey bark.
Syzygium cordatum is a fairly hardy, large, evergreen tree with a dense, spreading, rounded crown.
It has smooth bark with bands and blotches on it - smooth and white whilst young and turning darker grey and rough with age.
It has attractive thick, leathery, round, bluish-green leaves which are red when young.
The scented, creamy-white to pink flowers with conspicuous fluffy stamens are borne in heads at the end of branches throughout summer, and are followed by edible, purple, fleshy fruits, which attract birds, and also make a good wine.
A lovely, decorative shade tree for the larger garden that needs water to grow its best. It has aggressive roots and should be kept away from walls and pools.
The flowers have copious nectar and attract birds, bees, butterflies and other insects. It is said to be an indicator of ground water and is fire resistant. Added to this, it also has many medicinal and magical uses.
Size 8 to 15m
Brachylaena discolor is a hardy, evergreen, fast growing tree or large shrub with beautiful silver and dark green leaves. White, nectar rich flowers are borne from July to September.
Male and female flowers on separate plants. Ideal as a windbreak and screening plant.
Milletia grandis is a hardy, decorative, medium sized, briefly deciduous tree that has a dense spreading crown.
The new growth of the large leaves is a beautiful bronze colour when they first unfurl in spring and then turn almost lime green, darkening with age.
It has large, magnificent, erect spikes of purple pea-like flowers that stand out well above the leaves from November to March – a sight to behold.
These are followed by attractive, large velvety, brown pods - another striking feature of this beautiful tree.
Galpinia transvaalica is a hardy, decorative, thickset, small to medium sized, sometimes multi-stemmed, evergreen tree. It has waxy, glossy, wavy-edged leaves that flush an amazing red in spring.
Showy white flowers are borne from December to April which attract insects to the garden.
It is also a butterfly host tree. A quick growing small to medium sized tree that makes a good container plant.
It can also be pruned into an attractive, formal hedge in sun or semi-shade.
Size 3 to 10 m
Heteromorpha trifoliata is a slender, very hardy, deciduous, drought resistant, fast growing tree.
Ilex mitis is a hardy, small to medium sized, evergreen tree with almost white bark. It has a graceful rounded crown of glossy, dark green leaves that are purplish-red when they first flush.
Indigofera frutescens is a hardy, semi-deciduous, graceful, small tree with delicate compound leaves and attractive bark.
Kirkia wilmsii is a fairly hardy, deciduous, often multi-stemmed tree with beautiful, fine, feathery foliage.
Buddleja saligna is a very hardy, evergreen, fast growing, drought resistant tree with silver-grey leaves and beautiful twisted bark that looks almost woven.
It bears profuse panicles of sweetly scented, white flowers from August to January that attract insects and birds.
Calpurnia aurea is a hardy, evergreen, fast growing, graceful shrub or small tree with bright, emerald green foliage.
Celtis africana is a very hardy, deciduous, graceful, drought resistant, large tree.
Cryptocarya transvaalensis is a hardy, evergreen tree with beautiful glossy dark green foliage.
Cussonia thyrsiflora is a hardy, evergreen scrambling shrub or small tree that tends to creep along the ground.
It has large dark green glossy leaves.
Diospyros whyteana is a large, hardy, very decorative, evergreen shrub or small tree with glossy, almost mirror-like, dark green leaves.
The clusters of small, fragrant, bell-like white flowers are borne from July to October The fruits are red when ripe, enclosed by bladder-like structures.
Ekebergia capensis is a fairly hardy, semi-deciduous, lush, medium sized, good shade tree with decorative berries that are much favoured by birds.
The small, scented greenish-white flowers appear from August to December.
Euclea natalensis is a hardy, evergreen, very attractive shrub or small to medium sized tree (depending on where in grows).
Harpephyllum caffrum is a fairly hardy, large evergreen tree. It has attractive dark foliage with the odd red leaf in the crown.
The small yellowish-green flowers are borne in terminal sprays from October to February. Male and female flowers are on separate trees, therefore only female plants bear fruit
Fleshy red berries follow the flowers and attract many fruit eating birds to the garden.
Heteropyxis natalensis is a hardy, slender, upright, narrow, semi-deciduous tree with truly beautiful, pale creamy bark that, with age, develops beautiful apricot coloured patches on it.
Mimusops zeyheri is a semi-hardy, drought resistant, fairly fast growing decorative tree that has a spreading, densely rounded, evergreen crown and deeply grooved bark.
Podocarpus falcatus is a large, very hardy, evergreen forest tree. It is the fastest growing of the Yellowwoods.
The small leathery, narrow, dark green leaves are sometimes slightly sickle-shaped.They often have a greyish bloom to them, making this a beautiful foliage tree, particularly when the light catches the leaves and the grey-green forms "highlights" on parts of the canopy.
Mature trees have beautiful, dark purplish-brown and flaking bark.
Rapanea melanophloes is a hardy, small to medium sized, evergreen tree with dark leaves that have a purplish cast to them. It also has really attractive bark.
The small greenish-white flowers from May to July attract insects and bees.
Grewia occidentalis is a very hardy, fast growing, evergreen shrub with attractive, rough, glossy, quite dark green leaves and trailing stems.
It bears gorgeous star-like pink flowers with a cluster of prominent, bright yellow stamens from October to January
It also bears distinctive, edible fruits that are clustered together in a square or cross shape.
Lobelia anceps is a hardy, fast growing ground-cover with small bright green leaves.
Aloe arborescens yellow is a very hardy, drought resistant, branched Aloe with narrow curved, bluish-grey leaves that form rosettes.
Three to four flowering stems of yellow flowers arise from each rosette and bloom all winter.
Chlorophytum modestum is a hardy, small, evergreen, perennial with short, strap-like leaves that form a tiny rosette.
Chloris gayana is a hardy, evergreen very leafy tufted perennial grass.
It has finger-like (digitate) flowering heads from November to May.
Halleria elliptica is a hardy evergreen shrub, with very showy, orange-red, broadly tubular flowers in summer and winter.
The olive green foliage turns purple in winter which contrasts beautifully with the orange-red flowers.
Haplocarpha scaposa is a very hardy, fast growing, deciduous perennial plant with a basal rosette of attractive large, grey-green leaves that have white woolly undersides.
In its first season it starts to bear large yellow flowers on long stalks resembling the well-known Barberton Daisy.
It blooms from September to March (remove the old flower stems before they seed).
It attracts insects to the garden.
Aloe cooperi is a very hardy, stemless Aloe with long, narrow, yellow-green leaves arranged in a fan shape and distinctively keeled with white spots beneath.
It has spikes of apricot or yellow coloured, tubular flowers from December to March.
The flowers attract nectar feeding birds such as Sunbirds and White Eyes.
It grows solitary or in small groups and thrives in a variety of soil types and unusually for an Aloe, grows in marshy places.
It is also very frost tolerant and grows in cold areas.
The flowers and leaves can be cooked and eaten.
Aloe cryptopoda wickensii is a hardy Aloe that has a single, large stemless, densely packed rosette of grey-green succulent leaves.
The flowers are variable and may be red, yellow or bi-coloured, with yellow and red flowers. Depending on conditions, flowering time can vary between May and July.
This popular, easy garden plant provides a spectacular display when in full flower.
Gardenia cornuta is a small, evergreen, decorative tree. It is multi-stemmed with grey-green mottled bark on erect, stiff branches.
The leaves are clustered at the ends of the hard twigs, and are shiny light green with wavy margins.
Scented, star-like white flowers adorn the tree from December to March, making it a sight to behold. They fade to creamy yellow as they get older.
These are followed by oval woody fruit that turn yellow. The fruit is eaten by monkeys when it is young, and nyala also relish the fruit.
Plant in a spot that is protected from frost, in sun or very light, dappled shade.
Size up to 5m
Pycnostachys urticifolia is a hardy, evergreen, herbaceous perennial with angular pinky-brown stems and bright green, toothed leaves that are roughly triangular. The leaves are aromatic when crushed.
The flowers are borne in autumn (April to June) in spikes at the ends of branches. The beautiful deep blue to mauve flowers attract bees and other pollinating insects to the garden.
Hedgehog Sage is an ideal ingredient to a cottage garden, and contrasts beautifully with other plants flowering at this time of the year (for example: orange flowers of Leonotis leonurus and pink flowers of Hypoestes aristata and Syncolostemon densiflorus)
To make sure that one can benefit from the lovely flowers in late autumn, it needs to be planted in a spot that is protected from frost. It prefers well-drained, well-composted soil in sun or semi-shade.
Size: 1 to 2m tall
Strelitzia reginae is a hardy, evergreen shrub with large, ornamental, banana-like leaves.
The brilliant orange and shimmering peacock-blue flowers have an interesting structure resembling an exotic bird and flower from May to Dec. The nectar attracts sunbirds while the black seeds with an orange aril attracts many seed eating birds to the garden.
The blade-shaped leaves and flowers are widely used for flower arranging. This beautiful shrub makes a stunning accent and container plant.
On the Highveld and in other dry regions it grows best in partial shade.
Size 1 to 1.75m
Jamesbrittenia grandiflora is a hardy, evergreen, fast-growing small shrub with multiple stems.
Ruttya fruticosa is a fairly hardy, evergreen, beautiful rounded shrub with glossy dark green foliage.
It bears unusual, exceptionally attractive two-lipped tubular orange or yellow flowers that have a shiny black in the throat.
It blooms from spring to late summer and attracts bees, birds and butterflies.
Plant in compost rich soil – it also tolerates slightly acidic soil.
Prune back after flowering to keep in shape.
Senecio tamoides is a hardy, evergreen, succulent climber that has lovely, glossy, green leaves.
Aloe castanea is a hardy, very distinctive, tree-shaped Aloe that has spreading branches and long, succulent leaves that can reach up to 1m long.
It bears unusual, curled, snake-like inflorescences from June to August.
Acokanthera oppositifolia ia a hardy, evergreen, drought-resistant, medium to large upright, woody, shrub with brown, deeply fissured bark on the old wood.
Andrachne ovalis is a fairly hardy, deciduous shrub or small tree that has smooth, light grey bark and attractive dark-green leaves with bluish undersides.
It bears tiny clusters of white flowers in the axils of the leaves from November to March.
Aloe rupestris is a hardy, drought-resistant, single-stemmed Aloe with spreading, bright-green leaves that are reddish along the edges.
It has a branched raceme of tubular, densely-packed, bright-orange to yellow, cylindrical flowers with protruding dark red stamens.The flowers, which look like bottlebrushes, are borne from July to September.
This is a lovely garden plant that should be positioned in amongst trees and shrubs, as it doesn’t grow too well in harsh sunlight.
Plant in well-drained soil to which a little lime has been added.
Size:up to 8m
Bulbine frutescens is a very hardy, evergreen, vigorous, spreading, succulent shrublet or groundcover with grey-green, smooth, short, succulent, quill-like leaves.
Throughout the year it bears spikes of pretty, star-shaped, yellow or orange flowers that attract insects.They also make good cut flowers.
It is an important medicinal plant as the juice of the leaves has excellent healing properties, and will relieve stings, burns and rashes.
Plant in large groups or in between rocks for good effect Plant in full sun or light shade.It is drought-resistant but also grows well in normal garden conditions.
Size: 30 to 50 cm
Bulbine natalensis is a hardy, evergreen, drought-resistant, succulent plant with bright-green, softly-fleshy leaves that form a basal rosette.
Star-shaped, yellow flowers are held in densely-packed spikes at the ends of long, gracefully-arching, flowering stems throughout the year.The pollen- and nectar-rich flowers attract pollinating insects to the garden.
It is an ideal rockery or bedding plant and also makes a worthwhile container plant.It has many medicinal uses, particularly for quick relief when used on stings and bites.
Plant in well-drained soil in full sun or semi-shade.
Size: up to 60cm
Carpobrotus edulis is a very hardy, evergreen, succulent, drought-resistant, spreading groundcover that has triangular-shaped, fleshy leaves.
In spring and summer, (August to October.)it bears large, vygie-like, yellow flowers that fade to pink.The large, fleshy fruits that follow become yellowish and wrinkled when ripe.They are edible and make good jams and preserves.
A useful plant for retaining soil on embankments as it grows fast and roots at the nodes.It is often at its best for only 3 to 4 years, therefore interplanting with other robust plants that can take over from it over time is recommended.It has many medicinal uses.The juice of the leaves has excellent healing properties, and will relieve stings, burns and rashes.
Plant in well-drained soil in full sun.
Size: up to 20cm
Aloe hybrid ‘Little Easy’ is a hardy, fast-growing, multistemmed, hybrid Aloethat makes an attractive scrambling shrub with dark-green foliage.
It is free-flowering with orange flowers tipped with yellow throughout the year.It is drought-resistant and attracts numerous birds and insects to the garden.
Prune back every few years to keep it looking neat and tidy.
Plant in well-drained soil.It prefers full sun but will tolerate some shade during the day.
Size: 1m x 1m
Carpobrotus muirii is a hardy, evergreen, succulent, drought-resistant, spreading groundcover that has narrow, triangular-shaped, fleshy leaves.
It bears large, vygie-like, purple flowers in spring and summer (August. to February).The large fruits are edible and used in curries, jams and preserves.
This plant provides habitat for lizards and toads, attracts butterflies and is good tortoise food.It also has many medicinal uses.This plant is becoming increasingly rare due to habitat destruction.It is useful for retaining soil on exposed embankments and for soil stabilisation as it grows fast and roots at the nodes.
Although this is a Western Cape plant it grows well in Gauteng.Plant in well-drained soil in full sun.
Cotyledon barbeyi is a hardy, evergreen, branched, succulent shrub with very variable leaves, the one we grow at Random Harvest has finger-like, fleshy leaves.
It bears masses of long-lasting, pendulous, satiny, red, tubular flowers in clusters at the tip of the flowering stalks from Mar. to Sept.They attract birds and bees.Reputed to be toxic to livestock.
This drought-hardy shrub makes a good addition to a succulent garden or rockery and is lovely in a container.
Plant in well-drained soil in full sun or semi-shade.
Kniphofia praecox is a very hardy, herbaceous perennial which is thought to be a garden hybrid.
Cotyledon orbiculata (var. flanaganii) is a hardy, evergreen, drought-resistant, stemless, succulent groundcover is the Karoo form of Cotyledon orbiculata and has finger-like leaves that are edged with red.
The umbels of pendulous, apricot-coloured flowers grow on long stalks and are borne in mid-summer.The flowers attract insects and Sunbirds to the garden.
This versatile plant looks great in containers, in pockets in a rock garden or planted en masse.Also useful for planting in retaining walls and on embankments.
Plant in sun or semi-shade in well-drained soil.
Size: 30 cm
Crassula multicava 'Purple' is a hardy, evergreen, mat-forming, broad-leaved succulent plant. The leaves are purple on the underside, making this an attractive, colourful plant all year round, even when not in flower.
From May to November it bears many sprays of dainty, star-shaped, pink flowers that attract a whole host of tiny insects.
Crassula ovata is a hardy, evergreen, erect, succulent shrublet of which two subspecies are recognised.It has a tree-like appearance, with a single, light-brown to greyish-brown main stem, from which many small branches arise.The small, fleshy, dark-green leaves are slightly flattened and narrow.
The tiny, honey-scented, creamy-white to pink flowers are carried in many rounded inflorescences on the plant almost all year round but mainly April to September.The flowers attract a whole host of tiny insects which are the staple diet of lizards and frogs.
Used in traditional medicine.It is beautiful planted in amongst rocks or in a container.
Plant in sun or semi-shade in well-drained soil.
Size: up to 1m
Crassula sarcocaulis is a hardy, evergreen, erect, succulent shrublet with a number of varieties.It has small, dark- to bright-green, narrow, very succulent leaves.
The creamy-white flowers are carried in a round inflorescence almost all year round.The flowers attract a whole host of tiny insects which are the staple diet of lizards and frogs.
It is beautiful planted in amongst rocks or in a container and also makes a great, easy-to-grow bonsai subject.Used in traditional medicine.
It grows in sun or semi-shade.
Size: 60 cm
Crassula spathulata is a very hardy, evergreen, succulent, creeping, fast-growing, mat-forming groundcover with glossy, almost lime-green, round little leaves.When grown in sun and not watered much, the leaves turn a pinky-red on the margins.
Sprays of tiny, pink and white flowers are borne in spring and summer.The flowers are visited by many tiny pollinating insects.
It can be planted as a living mulch to help keep moisture in and weeds out.Mass plant under trees and along borders as well as in containers and hanging baskets where it will cascade happily over the edges.This pretty plant is tough, easy to grow and rewarding.One of its many uses is that it helps to stabilise banks.
Grows well in shade and sun and, although it is a succulent, it thrives in a normally irrigated garden.
Size: 10 to 15 cm
Crassula tetragona is a hardy, evergreen, succulent shrub with rows of bright-green, sword-shaped leaves.These are evenly arranged in crossed, opposite pairs along the stems, which are held upright in a vertical position.
In summer and early autumn, it bears masses of tiny, creamy-white flowers in an inflorescence carried above the shrub.
The compact, upright habit makes this an attractive plant.Makes a beautiful bonsai, or container plant in drier spots in the garden.
Plant in sun or semi-shade.
Size: up to 1m
Curio [=Senecio] rowleyanus is a hardy, evergreen, mat-forming, succulent groundcover with long creeping, trailing stems.Pea-like, perfectly round leaves with a translucent stripe spaced along their entire length hang along the stems, hence the common name ‘String of Pearls’.When the stems lie on the ground they will root at the nodes and spread into quite large patches.
From spring to autumn it bears masses of pretty, brush-like white flowers on and off that attract tiny, pollinating insects.The flowers are faintly cinnamon-scented.
A beautiful plant for hanging baskets, window boxes or a variety of other containers, where the dense bunches of trailing stems hang gracefully over the edge.
Plant in semi-shade in well-drained soil.
Size: 1m Trailing stems
Acacia gerrardii (=Varchellia gerrardii) is a hardy, fairly fast-growing, drought-resistant, deciduous Acacia.It has a long, straight stem that starts branching high up to form a flattish crown.As it is sparsely branched and throws little shade, many plants and lawn grass will grow underneath it.
The bark is dark grey and fissured, with red under-bark appearing in the cracks.The bark on the young branches is red and young growth is covered in hairs.
From October to February the tree is literally covered in masses of large, creamy-white, scented puffball flowers that attract many pollinating insects.It is the host plant of the Black-striped Hairtail butterfly.The flowers are followed by nutritious, sickle shaped pods.
Bark contains tannin that is used for medicinal purposes.It tolerates a wide variety of soil types.This Acacia can be used in fairly small gardens as it is tall but not bulky.
Plant in full sun.
Size: 5 to 7m
Pelargonium quercifolium "Royal Oak" is a hardy, drought resistant shrublet with striking, oak-like foliage that is worth planting just for its beautiful maroon veined leaves. The foliage is balsam-scented.
It also bears gorgeous dark pink to red flowers almost all year round. The flowers attract insects to the garden.
Looks beautiful in either a mixed bed, mass planted or as a container plant. Plant in full sun or half day shade and, importantly, plant them in well-drained soil.
Size 30 to 50cm
Albuca shawii is a hardy, deciduous bulb with very thin, dark-green leaves that are covered in short, sticky hairs.The leaves have a faint smell of liquorice when crushed.
The flowering spikes bear a spray of beautiful, nodding, delicately-scented yellow and green flowers from September to February.
A beautiful addition to a rockery, short grassland garden or meadow of delicate, bulbous plants.
They prefer full sun but can take light semi-shade. Plant in well-drained, loamy soil and do not over-water. If planting in a grassland, make sure that they are not swamped by too many tall grasses.
Size: up to 40cm
Strophanthus speciosus is a semi-hardy, evergreen small tree, shrub or climber with greenish bark that has raised white dots. The leaves are leathery and, like the rest of the plant, contain a poisonous, water sap.
The flowers, borne from September to December, are striking – with long spidery tepals that are creamy yellow to orange, with a brighter orange marking towards the centre of the flower.
The greenish yellow, two-horned fruit that develops after flowering becomes brown, and splits to release seeds attached to silky hairs that assist with dispersing them by wind.
The seeds, leaves and latex of this plant are poisonous, and are nevertheless used in traditional medicine – particularly in the treatment of snakebites.
An interesting container plant, that can be grown as a woody climber or planted and pruned up to remain a small tree or large shrub. It requires well-composted soil, moderate watering and plant in a semi-shade to shady position.
Size: can climb up to 10m if supported
Thunbergia natalensis is a hardy, deciduous, herbaceous shrublet with large, attractive, heart-shaped leaves that sometimes have wavy margins.
From October to March, it bears beautiful, sky-blue, trumpet-shaped flowers with yellow centres. They attract insects to the garden.
Traditionally it is used as a charm to ensure a happy marriage.
It is a particularly useful size for planting under trees and shrubs.
Plant in well-drained soil in shady or semi-shade areas of the garden for a splash of colour under trees.
Size 0,5 to 1m
Ochna serrulata is a hardy, small, semi-deciduous shrub with glossy, mirror-like leaves that flush red in spring.
The profuse, bright yellow, scented flowers are borne from September to December.
The flowers are short lived but are followed by black fruit on an enlarged red calyx that looks like a flower and persists on the shrub for months.
As with Ochna natalitia this plant deserves pride of place in any garden. The seeds attract birds to the garden.
Erythrophysa transvaalensis is a rare, hardy, semi-deciduous, drought resistant shrub or small tree is mostly multi-stemmed.
Falkia repens is a hardy, evergreen, flat, mat-forming, perennial groundcover with lovely rounded leaves.
It bear large, white to pinkish paper-like flowers (like miniature poppies) from September. to December.
Ficus abutilifolia is a hardy, deciduous, small to medium sized fig tree that has beautiful, large, heart-shaped leaves.
Geranium incanum is a hardy, fast growing, evergreen groundcover has beautiful, fine, feathery foliage.
It bears masses of purple flowers nearly all year round that attract insects to the garden.
It is a very versatile plant that does well planted on banks, in hanging baskets and containers.
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.
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.
Portulacaria afra prostrata is a fairly hardy, pretty, succulent groundcover is a variety of P. afra but instead of being a large upright shrub it has a creeping habit and stays low.
It has attractive round, glossy leaves on long arching succulent branches.
Sclerochiton kirkii is a hardy, upright, evergreen shrub with bright green, glossy foliage.
It bears clusters of beautiful large sky-blue flowers which look like a hand in summer and autumn.
Plant in semi shade or shade in compost rich soil.
Sideroxylon inerme is a hardy, evergreen, small to medium or large tree with a beautiful, round, dark-green, lush crown. A feature of this tree is the grey-brown bark that cracks into rectangles. The leathery, dark-green leaves are smooth and shiny and turn red with age.
From November to April it bears small greenish-white, strongly-scented flowers which Mousebirds love to eat. The flowers are followed by attractive, juicy, black berries that attract birds and other wildlife to the garden.
This species has been declared a protected tree and some old specimens are National Monuments. It has many traditional and medicinal uses.
The White Milkwood makes a good garden and container subject, and grows well on the Highveld in sun or semi-shade if protected from wind.
Size: 4 to 15m
Dracaena aletriformis is a fairly hardy, evergreen, shade loving, Yucca-like accent plant.
Plectranthus verticillatus is a fairly hardy, evergreen, flat, creeping, fast growing groundcover with soft, fleshy, round leaves.
The spikes of white-mauve flowers that are borne from January to May attract a whole host of butterflies and insects.
It is ideal for hanging baskets and prefers to grow in shade or semi-shade in well-drained, well-composted soil in moist conditions.
Prune back after flowering.
Size 15 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.
Acacia brevispica (=Senegalia brevispica) is a hardy, semi-deciduous, robust, prickly, scrambling Acacia that can be trained into a large beautiful shrub.
It has feathery, large, soft, bipinnate leaves with small hook thorns along the ribs on the underside.
Thunbergia neglecta is a very hardy, evergreen, low-growing, scrambling perennial with attractive, heart-shaped leaves.
In summer it bears beautiful, round, open, creamy-yellow flowers with a darker-yellow centre. They attract insects to the garden. Pretty planted in a grassland garden scrambling through the grasses, out of a hanging basket, creeping up a trellis or tumbling over retaining walls.
Prune after flowering to keep in shape and ensure masses of flowers in the next season.
It is fast-growing, requires well-drained soil and only moderate water. It can be planted in sun or semi-shade.
Size: up to 1m
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.
Ficus craterostoma is a fairly hardy, semi-decidious, medium sized strangler fig with a rounded, spreading crown and pale grey bark. It has fairly small leaves for a fig, which are dark glossy green, blunt tipped like a fish’s tail, and spirally arranged, making them an exceptionally attractive feature of this plant.
The stalkless, hairless figs, which are inverted flowers, are borne in the axils of the leaves. The small figs turn yellowish red when ripe from May to December.
The figs attract many fruit-eating birds to the garden. Makes a wonderful container plant or bonsai.
Plant in sun or shade.
Figs should not be planted close to walls and paving as they have aggressive root system.
Size: 5 to 10m
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
Kniphofia uvaria is a hardy, evergreen, herbaceous perennial found in marshes, on streambanks and in mountain grassland.The long, strap-like leaves are folded in a clump and are quite hard.
The beautiful flower spikes are borne on long stems in December and January.The buds are orange, then open in succession into yellow flowers.
These attract pollinating insects and butterflies as well as Sunbirds to the garden.Plant in a water garden or amongst grasses for the natural look.
They are also beautiful when planted en masse especially when in flower.Grows best in full sun with plenty of water.
Size: up to 1m
Begonia dregei is a hardy, deciduous perennial with glossy, beautiful, small semi- succulent leaves that have white spots at times. It bears masses of white flowers throughout the summer. In winter, when it is leafless, is when the beauty of its golden, swollen stems are seen.
Plant in semi shade or shade in those difficult spots where little else grows and it thrives in marshy areas as well. It also makes a great container plant with something of interest about it all year round.
Size 15 to 25cm
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.
Lachenalia hybrids belong to a group of small, fairly hardy, hyacinth-like, deciduous bulbous plants. In winter they produce attractive, strap-shaped, bright green leaves that are sometimes dotted with deep purple markings.
Between May and October, a spike of tubular to bell-shaped flowers arises from the centre of the bulb. The flowers range in colour from yellow tinged with orange or red, to greenish yellow and even mauve. They produce copious amounts of pollen, which is sought after by pollinating insects such as bees.
Lachenalia hybrids are particularly suited to being ornamental, indoor container plants, or put on a patio. Plant en masse in a container or in dappled shade, in a protected flower bed for seasonal colour.
Plant in semi-shade, light shade or dappled shade, in a good mix of sand and loam, so that they get nutrients but water drains away well. Do not water in summer, once the flowers have died.
Size to 20cm
Lampranthus aureus ‘Orange' is an extremely hardy, evergreen, succulent, spreading shrublet.It has an attractive, neat shape and masses of small grey-green, succulent, finger-like leaves.
From about August, all the way through spring, this Vygie puts on a show of magnificent, vibrant-orange flowers.
Bees and other important pollinating insects are attracted to these bright, pollen-rich flowers.
Plant in full sun, and well-drained, sandy to loamy soil. Plants need little care and can tolerate long periods of hot, dry conditions
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
Pelargonium betulium is a hardy, evergreen, rounded, bushy perennial with attractive, aromatic leaves that have purplish-red edges.
The large, showy, pink to white or purple flowers with dark purple streaks are borne from August to October and are beautifully marked with magenta margins on the upper two petals.
It grows in full sun or semi-shade but requires sandy, well-drained, well-composted soil and adequate water in winter.
Use as a border, an element of a cottage garden, in containers and hanging baskets.
The leaves contain essential oils.
Size 30cm to 1m
Diospyros lycioides is a very hardy, deciduous, drought resistant, fast growing shrub or small tree.
It bears sweetly scented, white, bell-shaped flowers from September to December that attract butterflies and other insects.
The edible berries are large, red and decorative and also attract birds. As with all Diospyros spp. sexes are on separate plants, therefore only female plants bear fruit.
Plant in sun or semi-shade.
Makes a beautiful small tree when pruned as a standard.
Dodonaea viscosa var angustifolia is a very hardy, evergreen, drought resistant, fast growing, multi-branched shrub with attractive light green leaves.
It flowers from May to September with insignificant greenish-white flowers.
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.)
Watsonia borbonica is a semi-hardy, deciduous (summer dormant) clump-forming plant that sends out fans of up to eight long, glossy, bright green leaves in autumn, from a large underground corm.
Magnificent, tall spikes of beautiful showy pink flowers in late winter to spring (mid July to end September) adorn the plant and command attention. Flowering stems are sometimes branched. The fruit is a capsule that splits three-ways to release the hard seeds. In the natural habitat, fire seems to increase the seed yield.
The flowers provide nectar and pollen (both before midday only) for nectar and pollen-feeding insects and birds.
Valuable garden plant as the lush clumps of leaves provide contrast and visual texture, even when the plant is not in flower. Makes an attractive, large container plant and beautiful planted en masse in the garden.
Lift and divide clumps during their dormant season (February to March) every three to five years for best flowering. Plant in compost rich, well drained, sandy soil, in full sun.
Size: flowering stem up to 2m in height.
Juncus inflexus is a very hardy, evergreen, tufted, perennial rush with stiff, erect, grey-green stems.
In spring and summer, brown, dry, scaly flowers are crowded at the tips of these stems. The little seeds that follow the flowers are reddish to golden brown.
This rush is used traditionally to weave baskets.
This is a wetland plant that will add a feeling of authenticity when planted on the edges of a pond. It can also be used in boggy areas, among wet pebbles and in grey-water systems.
Plant in full sun and prune and remove dead stems once a year.
Size: up to 1m
Tabernaemontana elegans is a hardy, deciduous, upright small tree that has beautiful, large, shiny, dark green leaves and a lovely rounded shape.
The clusters of beautiful white flowers are sweetly scented and borne from October to February and attract bees to the garden.
These are followed by interesting, large, paired fruits with raised, corky dots like the skin of a toad, hence the common name. These lovely fruits split to reveal seeds covered with bright orange pulp.
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
Helichrysum crispum is a hardy, evergreen, dense, very fast-growing, compact perennial with beautiful, small, dainty, silvery-grey velvety, rounded, aromatic leaves.
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
Trimeria grandifolia is a hardy, deciduous small tree with beautiful, large, shiny round leaves.
It has small sprays of densely hairy, white flowers from August to February and tight clusters of small red and yellow berries that look like mulberries. Male and female flowers on separate trees therefore only the female trees bear seeds.
It is a butterfly host plant and has many medicinal uses.
This is a very useful foliage plant that adds texture to the garden.
Grows in semi-shade, in compost rich soil.
Size: 4 to 10m
Plectranthus chimanimaniensis is a hardy, evergreen shrublet (protect the first winter) with small, semi-succulent, soft-textured and aromatic, dark-green leaves.
The numerous individual flowers are a delicate pink, with soft, pink wings that have a white lip. They are carried on strikingly long pink flower spikes which are borne in such abundance that they ensure that the flower-to-foliage ratio is particularly high. It appears that this gem is never out of flower, but is mainly in flower from spring to early winter.
Attracts butterflies and tiny insects to the garden. This is a useful garden and container plant.
Prune regularly. Tolerates light frost and drought. Plant it in compost-rich soil in full sun or semi-shade.
Size: up to 80cm
Virgilia oroboides is a hardy, evergreen beautiful tree with smooth, silver-grey bark in young trees that becomes grey and rough with age. It has feathery, grey-green, Acacia-like leaves.
The scented pea-like flowers are pink, and, when the tree is in full flush from January to April, it is a sight to behold. They are rich in nectar and attract many pollinating insects and birds.
It is the host plant for the Lucerne Blue butterfly – Lampides boeticus.
As it is so fast-growing, it is an ideal plant for new gardens.
Plant in sun or light semi-shade, in well-drained soil.
Size: up to 10m
Warburgia salutaris is a fairly hardy, medium sized tree or large shrub with brown bark that has slightly raised, yellowish lenticels and a peppery smell. The attractive glossy green leaves also smell strongly of pepper when crushed. The young leaves are blue green and resemble the Silver Cluster Leaf (Terminalia sericea).
The greenish-yellow flowers are borne in the axils of the leaves from July to December and are inconspicuous. They are followed by large green berries.
The bark of this tree is collected extensively for medicinal purposes and the over harvesting of the bark has killed off the majority of these trees making it highly endangered.
This beautiful, neatly shaped tree with a non-aggressive root system makes a great garden plant. It makes a dense and effective hedge and grows exceptionally well in containers.
Plant in sun or semi-shade, in well-composted, well-drained soil
Size 3 – 8M
Zaluzianskya katharinae is a hardy, evergreen, drought-resistant, herbaceous shrublet with coarsely-toothed, sticky, grey leaves.
It bears masses of sweetly-scented, bicoloured flowers, mainly in summer and autumn. The flowers are white on top and cerise pink on the underside. During the day, the flowers are closed and resemble small, pinky-red drumsticks, hence the common name. They then open into beautiful white flowers in low light conditions, at dusk and are pollinated by an Emperor Moth.
Lovely in a rockery or in a grassland garden.
Occurs naturally on the Witwatersrand.
This plant will tolerate light shade but does best in a sunny position. Plant in well-drained soil with little to moderate watering.
Size: up to 60cm
Sclerochiton apiculatus is a hardy, evergreen, drought-resistant, scrambling shrub for sun or semi-shade.
It takes well to pruning, so Blue Lips is useful for smaller gardens, and can be used as a backdrop to a bed, a screening plant or in a mixed herbaceous border.
It also makes an attractive container plant.
From November to April it bears beautiful, scented, blue flowers with silvery undersides.
Size: Up to 2 metres
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
Aloe parvibracteata is a hardy, evergreen, stemless Aloe that suckers freely. The leaves are carried in a compact rosette and have spots in bands.
The branched flower stem bears dull-red or coral-red flowers on tall stems and are borne in winter, June to August. Insects and sunbirds are attracted to its copious nectar.
Use in a grassland garden or plant en masse for a stunning display. Unusually this Aloe thrives in swampy areas so can be planted around a pond with great success. It also makes a wonderful container plant.
It is not fussy about the soil and will grow in clay soils. Plant mainly in full sun but it will tolerate a little shade during the day.
Size 20 to 40cm
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
Barleria prionitis subsp. delagoense is a fairly hardy, evergreen, fast-growing, drought resistant shrublet or groundcover with opposite pairs of bright green leaves. It bears beautiful, clear apricot flowers in the axils of the leaves.
These make a lovely show in the garden from as early as December, but mainly January to March. The flowers attract many pollinating insects, including butterflies to the garden.
Makes a lovely container plant or small shrub for the open garden. Prune back after flowering to encourage compact growth. Plant in well drained, compost rich soil and water regularly. Grows well in frost-free areas, in semi shade or sun.
Size: up to 1m
Barleria obtusa is a hardy, evergreen, small, drought resistant, herbaceous shrublet that tends to sprawl.
It blooms profusely with violet flowers in autumn and has a few flowers most of the year round.
It grows well in sun or semi-shade but blooms more profusely in the sun. Prune back hard after flowering to keep it in shape and encourage flowering the next season.
It is a butterfly host plant, as well as being heavily browsed by both stock and game animals.
Size 30 to 75cm
Azanza garckeana is a fairly hardy, deciduous, small to medium-sized tree with greyish-black, fibrous bark. This drought-resistant little tree has palmate-shaped attractive foliage.
From December to May it bears large, showy, solitary bell-shaped yellow flowers with a purplish brown centre. The large round fruits are sweet and edible but quite glutinous.
This tree makes a beautiful container plant. Although it is drought-resistant it will thrive with adequate water. Plant in well-drained soil in full sun.
Size: 3 to 13m
Carissa macrocarpa is a hardy, drought resistant, dense, spiny shrub to small tree with large leathery, dark green, glossy leaves.
It has large, beautiful, scented, white flowers that are followed by large edible red fruits on and off throughout the year.
It attracts butterflies and fruit eating birds to the garden.