Euclea crispa is a very hardy, drought resistant, small evergreen tree has a white stem and beautiful blue-green or olive-green leaves.
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.
Bersama lucens is a fairly hardy, evergreen, small, compact tree with a well-developed crown and beautiful blotchy, wrinkled, grey bark.
The young leaves are a brilliant glossy russet brown, turning dark green when mature.
The small greenish white flowers, in long narrow heads, appear from September to June and are followed by green capsules that split to reveal scarlet seeds that attract birds.
The bark is sought after in traditional medicine and this species is becoming increasingly rare.
It is a beautiful, decorative tree for a shady to semi-shady part of the garden.
Canthium gilfillanii is a very hardy, evergreen, drought resistant tree with interesting, angular branching patterns and beautiful silver bark.
It has small greenish flowers from August to December. which attract insects.
Catha edulis is a small, hardy, fast-growing, evergreen to semi deciduous tree that has a lovely slender shape.
The glossy green leaves and young branches droop, giving the tree a graceful, weeping look.
Combretum krausii is a hardy, fast growing, semi-deciduous tree with glossy dark green leaves that turn vivid red and purple in autumn.
Cordia caffra is a hardy, fast growing small to medium sized deciduous tree with attractive, distinctive, mottled and flaky bark.
The attractive, drooping, glossy leaves have long petioles and wave in the slightest breeze, adding movement to the garden.
It has creamy-white, sweetly scented flowers in September and October that attract insects to the garden.
Dais cotinifolia is a very hardy, fast growing, deciduous, small tree with attractive slightly blue green leaves.
In spring it has scattered pink leaves in the crown adding to the interest.
Deinbollia oblongifolia is a hardy, briefly deciduous, shrub or small tree with large decorative, dark green leaves crowded at the ends of the branches.
The pyramids of white flowers, which stand out above the leaves, are borne from March to June and are followed by white, fruit that is much favoured by birds.
Lichens readily grow on the bark giving it a lovely mottled effect.
One of the best plants for attracting butterflies, moths, other insects and birds to the garden.
An attractive garden plant for shady areas that also makes a good container plant for indoors.
Traditionally the seeds are used to make soap, the leaves eaten as spinach and the roots used medicinally.
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.
Loxostylis alata is a fairly hardy, evergreen, small to medium sized decorative tree with corky grey bark.
It bears sprays of pretty white, scented flowers from October to April.
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.
Freylinia tropica "Blue" is a very hardy, evergreen, slender shrub that has spreading branches, smooth grey bark and shiny, bright green leaves.
It blooms profusely in late winter when little else is flowering but does bear some bright blue flowers throughout the year.
It makes a good screen plant and can be clipped into a formal hedge or used in an informal hedge. It also makes a beautiful container plant.
It grows in sun or semi-shade.
Attracts insects and butterflies to the garden.
Size 1 to 3m
Pappea capensis is a hardy, evergreen, very attractive, small to medium sized, neatly shaped, dense tree.
Pittosporum viridiflorum is a very hardy, evergreen, small to medium-sized, well-shaped tree with glossy leaves that have a resinous smell when crushed.
The bark has small pits in it and is an attractive feature of this tree. It is grey in young trees and becomes darker, rough and slightly fissured in mature specimens, and smells slightly of liquorice.
The dense clusters of sweetly scented, cream flowers are borne from September to November and are followed by brilliant red, sticky fruit in yellow-green capsules, that attracts birds.
A beautiful garden tree, which can be grown in sun or semi-shade, and can be used in forest and bush clumps as well as being used as a hedge plant. Wonderful shade tree, and with its non-aggressive root system is ideal for small gardens and containers.
Size 3 to 10m
Searsia (Rhus) chirindensis is a hardy, deciduous, fast growing tree that is sometimes multi-stemmed and has a spreading rounded crown. The bark is rough and darker on the mature main stems, and smooth and somewhat shiny on the young stems. Both sometimes have woody spines, but particularly the young stems.
The large glossy, dark green leaves are tri-foliate and reddish when young and turn beautiful red autumn colours.
Sprays of small flowers are borne from August to March. (male and female flowers on separate plants, therefore only female plants bear fruit). These are followed by heavy bunches of round fleshy, pink to red-brown fruit that attracts birds.They are said to be edible but are sour.
Plant in full sun or semi-shade for a lovely spreading shade tree. It needs regular pruning to maintain its beautiful mushroom shape. If left un-pruned it makes a good addition to a tall shrubby back-planting or screen.
It is used both for furniture and in traditional medicine.
Size 3 to 20m
Leucosidea sericea is a decorative, very hardy, evergreen, fast growing, low branching small, tree with aromatic leaves that have silvery hairs.
The yellowish-green flowers that are borne from August to December are sticky with nectar and held in candle-like spikes. The flowers attract many insects with their pollen and nectar.
It has attractive, dark, fissured, peeling stem bark. One can make the most of this by pruning them up to have clean stems or trunks and lower branches. It makes a beautiful specimen tree in a small garden.
Requires regular watering or plant in damp areas to keep it looking good.
Gloriosa superba is a hardy, deciduous, trailing or scrambling plant with shiny light green leaves that taper to tendrils at the tips, which help it to climb.
It grows from a ‘U’ shaped tuber that is deeply buried.
Tinnea barbata is a pretty but little-known shrub that deserves a lot more attention as a great garden subject.
It is evergreen with dark bluish-green leaves that are slightly hairy, and paler underneath. Tinnea is considered semi-hardy (probably frost tolerant due to it's high altitude natural habitat). It bears many blueish purple flowers that hang from the branches like little jewels.
Tinnea should be pruned to keep a neat shape, as its natural growth habit is to climb or scramble over other plants.
semi-shade in well composted soil.
Streptocarpus formosus is a hardy, evergreen perennial with clumps of long, quilted, strap shaped leaves that are arranged in a basal rosette.
It bears one or two large, purple, trumpet-shaped flowers that have dark purple streaks and are carried at the tips of long, delicate flowering stems from late spring to early autumn. The name "Streptocarpus" refers the the twisted fruiting bodies / seed capsules ("Strepto" meaning twisted and "karpos" meaning fruit). As they mature and dry out, they twist to realease the tiny seeds.
This beautiful plant grows naturally in forest that are hot and humid in summer and warm and dry in winter. Water thoroughly only when the plants are dry. Water less during winter. Streptocarpus should rather be under watered than over watered.
Plant in a well-composted medium with good drainage in a shady position, where the soil is moist, rather than wet.
Looks beautiful planted alongside a shady pond or in containers.
Size: up to 15cm tall
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.
Plectranthus ciliatus is an outstanding fairly hardy, evergreen groundcover with attractive quilted leaves that have purple undersides and purple stems.
It has spikes of white or mauve flowers from September to May, that attract insects and butterflies to the garden.
Coleus livingstonei (=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
Jamesbrittenia grandiflora is a hardy, evergreen, fast-growing small shrub with multiple stems.
This form of Scadoxus puniceus is much taller, more robust and has larger flowers with a less intense red colour than our Highveld form.
It is a very hardy, deciduous, beautiful, bulbous plant that varies hugely in size, depending on where it comes from.
Crassula multicava is a hardy, evergreen, mat-forming, broad-leaved succulent plant.
It bears many sprays of dainty, star-shaped, pink flowers from May to November that attract a whole host of tiny insects.
Hypericum revolutum is a hardy, evergreen, medium-sized to large, fast-growing, moisture-loving shrub with reddish-brown, scaly bark.
Senecio tamoides is a hardy, evergreen, succulent climber that has lovely, glossy, green leaves.
Chlorophytum krookianum is a robust, hardy, deciduous, perennial groundcover with a rosette of large broad, soft, grey green, strap-like leaves.
The flowering stem is long and strong (up to 2m) with a large branched flowering head covered with shiny, white, starry flowers from December. to April.
It occurs naturally in grasslands where its large flowering head is carried well above the grasses.
It is ideally suited to full sun in mixed borders or grassland gardens.
Attracts insects and thus birds to the garden.
Size 30 to 50cm
Setaria megaphylla is a hardy, evergreen, shade- and moisture-loving grass that has beautiful, broad, bright-green, ribbed leaves.
Long spikes of brown seeds follow the dainty flowers that are borne from September to June.
Helichrysum splendidum is a hardy, evergreen, small, sprawling shrub that grows in moist though well-drained areas.
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 tenuior is a hardy, pretty, dainty, rambling Aloe has bright red or yellow flowers.
It has long narrow sheathing leaves, crowded in a loose rosette at the tip of the branches.
Hypoestes aristata 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 deep purple flowers with darker purple spots 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.
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 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
Freylina tropica is a very hardy, evergreen, slender shrub that has spreading branches, smooth grey bark and shiny, bright green leaves.
It blooms profusely in late winter when little else is flowering but does bear white or lilac flowers throughout the year.
Attracts insects and butterflies to the garden.
Hibiscus pedunculatus is a hardy, evergreen, small to medium-sized shrub whose delicate, dainty look belies the fact that it is hardy and easy to grow. The lobed leaves feel like sandpaper.
From October to May the delightful, large, pale pink, hibiscus-like flowers are borne on long stalks.
The abundant pollen offered by the flowers attracts insects while Charaxes butterflies use it as a host plant. It is used in traditional medicine.
Group a few together for a gorgeous display or plant in amongst other shrubs as a border or screen where the flowers peeping through the other shrubs give the border a whimsical look.
Carissa macrocarpa "Green Carpet" is a hardy, evergreen, drought-resistant, dense, spiny, dwarf spreading shrublet with leathery, dark-green, glossy leaves.
It has beautiful, quite large, scented, white flowers and large edible red fruits on and off throughout the year.
It attracts butterflies and fruit-eating birds to the garden. The fruits make a delicious jelly that is sold as ‘Amatungulu Jelly’. This useful plant can be used to cover large areas or clipped into an attractive small formal hedge. It also looks great in a container.
Erect shoots should be clipped to keep the dwarf habit. Plant in shade, semi-shade or sun, in well-drained, well-composted soil.
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.
Ehretia rigida is a very hardy, deciduous, drought resistant, attractive shrub with an interesting shape.
Felicia erigeroides is a very hardy, mound-forming, evergreen perennial has small, bright green leaves and delicate pink to lilac flowers.
It flowers profusely from July to September. but does have some flowers all year round if deadheaded after flowering.
Polygala myrtifolia is a hardy, large, evergreen shrub with glossy green leaves.
It bears abundant, mauve pea-like flowers almost all year round with a flush in late winter.
It makes a decorative small tree if pruned into a standard and makes a beautiful floriferous screening plant. It can also be pruned into a formal hedge.
Attracts Carpenter Bees to the garden.
The seeds are relished by laughing doves and other seed-eating birds.
Grows in sun or semi-shade but flowers best in full sun and makes an excellent container plant.
Size 1 to 4m
Psychotria capensis is a fairly hardy, evergreen shrub or small tree that is nicely shaped with leathery, glossy leaves.
It is a great foliage plant.
Rhamnus prinoides is a very hardy, evergreen, very fast growing, large shrub with beautiful glossy almost mirror-like leaves.
The small inconspicuous greenish-yellow flowers are borne all year round and attract insects.
The black berries which follow provide food for fruit eating birds almost all year round.
Rhoicissus tridentata is a very hardy, deciduous, fast-growing, drought-resistant, vigorous climber or scrambling shrub with attractive, dark-green foliage that turns red in autumn.
The small, greenish-yellow flowers are borne in tight clusters on a densely-hairy inflorescence from November to April. The decorative clusters of edible, red, grape-like berries become black and attract birds to the garden.
It has many medicinal and traditional uses. The trailing stems are lovely in flower arrangements. Ideal for screening on a fence or cascading down a bank. It also makes a good subject for a large hanging basket.
Plant in well-drained soil in sun, semi-shade or shade.
Size: 1 to 3m
Schrebera alata is a fairly hardy, evergreen, scrambling shrub or small tree that branches low and has a sparse narrow crown.
Sclerochiton harveyanus is a hardy, evergreen, shade loving, small to medium sized scandent shrub.
It has attractive, slightly variegated, small, almost heart-shaped leaves that add texture to the garden.
Sclerochiton odoratissimun is a hardy, evergreen, small, shrub with attractive, glossy, small dark green leaves.
It bears masses of pretty white flowers that are streaked with red or purple lines and are wonderfully fragrant in late summer and autumn.
The flowers are like little hands facing the sun.
Scutia myrtina is a hardy, evergreen, drought resistant, thorny shrub with beautiful glossy, tiny leaves.
The new growth of leaves is a pretty bronze colour.
Calodendrum capense is a hardy, semi-deciduous, large tree.
Bauhinia tomentosa is a hardy, fast growing, drought resistant, deciduous, scandent shrub with deeply lobed leaves, like butterfly wings.
It bears masses of lemon yellow, bell-like flowers with a purple blotch at the base of one petal and flowers throughout summer.
Plant in full sun or partial shade.
Seasia (=Rhus) pyroides is a very hardy, deciduous, drought-resistant tree that tolerates extreme conditions of drought and cold and makes a wonderful pioneer. Depending on how harsh the conditions are it can grow anything from 1m in very dry cold conditions and up to 6m in more temperate conditions.
Large, stout, woody thorns are borne along the stems which make this a good addition to a security hedge. The bark on mature stems is dark brown. It has attractive, velvety, light grey-green, trifoliate leaves that turn a lovely shade of yellow in autumn.
The inconspicuous sprays of tiny white flowers are borne from August to March, and attract insects and birds. These are followed by a profusion of large attractive bunches of edible fruit that turn reddish brown. They are so heavy that they make the tips of the thin branchlets droop, giving the female plants a ‘weeping’ shape when in fruit.
Only female plants bear fruit as male and female flowers are on separate plants. The profusion of fruit attracts birds to the garden. In fact, I battle to collect seeds on the many specimens on the farm as the birds seem to beat me to them most of the time.
It is the host plant to the Foxtrot Copper butterfly. In natural areas elephant, impala and kudu browse on the tree. For cattle farmers, it makes a useful fodder tree.
Plant in sun or semi-shade.
Size: 2 to 6m
Rotheca myricoides (= Clerodendrum myricoides) is a fairly hardy, medium sized, evergreen, very decorative shrub with beautiful foliage.
It has massed spikes of purple flowers in spring and summer which attract the beautiful Carpenter Bees.
The edible fruit attracts birds to the garden.
Miscanthus capensisis a very hardy, evergreen, clump-forming, large grass that has beautiful autumn colours.
The flowering stalks are topped with plumes of pink seed-heads in late summer and early autumn. The clumps of leaves are about 1m tall and the flowering stalks are up to 2m tall.
Weavers choose this grass above other plants for nesting material. They use the leaves to weave the nest and the seed to line it.
Use as a backdrop to a garden bed or as a screening plant in narrow beds. It is effective planted as a single, sculptural, feature plant in a garden. Plant into window-box type containers where they can be used as a screen on a balcony. This tall grass is beautiful moving in the lightest of breezes in the garden.
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 damp or normal garden conditions.
Size: Flowering stem up to 2m
Volkameria glabra (=Clerodendrum glabrum) is a very hardy, semi-deciduous, fast-growing, small tree or large shrub with a dense crown. It has shiny, dark-green leaves that are pungent when crushed.
From December to June it bears profuse, dense clusters of white to pinkish flowers that have long stamens. In some specimens the flowers are wonderfully scented, whilst in others the scent can be pungent.These are followed by tightly packed yellowish-white berries that attract birds to the garden.
An important host plant of moths and butterflies – an absolute must for a butterfly garden. The flowers also attract a whole host of pollinating insects and the nectar in the flowers is an important food source for bees.
It is extensively used for medicinal and traditional purposes.
Plant in sun or semi-shade in well-composted soil.
Size: 2 to 6m
Helichrysum petiolare is a hardy, evergreen, dense, very fast growing perennial with beautiful, silvery-grey velvety, rounded, aromatic leaves. A lovely foliage and textural plant.
It has cream flowers from November to January which can be used in dry arrangements.
The lovely grey colour of the foliage adds colour and texture to a mixed border.
It can also be pruned into a small hedge.
The leaves are used as bedding hence the common name. Campers believe the smell aids a peaceful nights sleep.
Needs to be pruned regularly to keep in shape.
A good plant in sun or semi-shade in larger gardens in well-drained soil.
Size 30 to 50cm
Nuxia floribunda is a hardy, evergreen, fast-growing, neat and attractive tree that is quite small in drier conditions, but if its roots find water it can get quite big.
Pale grey, smooth bark contrasts beautifully with the glossy, dark-green leaves that turn quite purple in winter.
Its huge heads of showy, sweetly-scented, white flowers cover the tree from May to September. The flowers attract a whole host of small pollinating insects, moths and butterflies that in turn attract birds.
It has many magical and medicinal uses.
It grows well in a container, and is also a lovely tree with which to create a small forested area in the garden.
Plant in either full sun or semi-shade and water regularly.
Size: 3 to 10m
Syncolostemon densiflorus is a hardy, evergreen, medium-sized, herbaceous, multi-stemmed shrub. It has velvety, white stems with bright-green leaves.
Polygala virgata is a very hardy, evergreen, fast-growing, slender shrub with long, narrow, dark-green leaves.
From October to July it bears tall terminal spikes of massed purple to mauve pea-like flowers that attract insects.
Although not particularly long-lived, they readily seed themselves around the garden. The flower spikes last well as cut flowers. Used medicinally.
For the best effect, plant 3 or more of these slender shrubs together, in sun or semi-shade, in compost-rich soil. Prune from when they are young to encourage them to bush out; this will help create an amazing display of flowers.
Maytenus undata is a very hardy, evergreen large or small tree. Its height is very variable, and depends on the area in which it is growing. The colder it is the smaller the tree. The bark is grey-brown with patches flaking off and leaving pinkish blotches.
One can tell the hardiness by the foliage form - the smaller and more leathery the leaves, the hardier the tree. The foliage is variable in size and colour from pale to dark-green and gives off a musty scent when rubbed.
It bears creamy-white flowers all summer (from September to May).
In April the tree produces black seeds covered with orange flesh that attract birds.
Makes a good garden subject or container plant and is a must for a wildlife garden.
Plant in semi-shade or sun.
Size: 1 to 6m
Kalanchoe rotundifolia is a hardy, evergreen, erect, brittle, succulent groundcover. The petioles are pink and the edges of the leaves are pinkish.
It bears spikes of small tubular bright yellow flowers on branched flowering stems from March to December.
The nectar-rich flowers attract many butterflies and other pollinating insects
Plant in amongst grasses or as an element of a rocky succulent garden.
Size: up to 50cm when in flower.
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.
Buddleja auriculata is a very hardy, beautiful, evergreen, fast growing shrub with a weeping habit and beautiful black-green glossy leaves that are white on the underside.
From July to August, it bears beautifully fragrant creamy white flowers with an orange centre. The flowers of the Weeping Sage are borne profusely in small rounded clusters that are densely packed along the stems towards the ends of gracefully arching branches.
When planted close together or with other shrubs it makes an effective windbreak. It also makes a beautiful, large informal hedge.
It can be planted as a specimen but prune fairly regularly to keep it in shape. It attracts insect-eating birds and many pollinating insects including butterflies to the garden.
Planted in conjunction with B. saligna and B. salviifolia it ensures a long fragrant blooming season.
Plant in sun or semi-shade, in well composted, well drained soil.
Size 2 to 4m
Zantedeschia rehmannii is a hardy, deciduous plant with a thickened, tuber-like rootstock from which lance shaped, lush green leaves arise. Most Arum Lily species have a lobed base but The Pink Arum has a tapering leaf base.
The flower is a slender, elongated spathe of varying shades of pink (light pink through to deep maroon) which turns green as it matures. Flowering is from October to March, (mostly November to January).
The fruit is green, and as it matures and gains weight along the spathe, it bends the flower stem downwards.
It is a prized cut flower, container plant and garden plant world-wide.
For best results, care for Z. rehmannii by lifting dormant plants and storing them dry until the following growing season when they need to be watered well. Add plenty of rich compost to the soil.
Plant in sun or semi-shade.
Size: up to 50cm
Stachys aethiopica ‘Pink’ is a hardy, evergreen, spreading groundcover, with beautiful pale-green, almost quilted leaves.
It bears spikes of small, pink, tubular flowers mainly in spring but with a few flowers almost all year round.
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.)
Greyia radlkoferi is a small, gnarled, hardy, deciduous tree that has a crooked main stem and rough fissured bark.
The bright green leaves are velvety and turn red in autumn.
The striking orange red flowers that adorn the tree from July to November are laden with nectar and attract insects and birds.
Remove the dead leaves to keep looking neat and show off the flowers.
A very decorative garden subject for a sunny or semi-shade position. Protect from frost when young.
Size: 3 to 6m
Helichrysum crispum is a hardy, evergreen, dense, very fast-growing, compact perennial with beautiful, small, dainty, silvery-grey velvety, rounded, aromatic leaves.
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.
Noltea africana is a very hardy, evergreen, very fast growing, small to medium sized tree.
The glossy leaves are darker above and paler underneath, and have purple petioles. The branchlets are also purplish-red.
The flowers are pretty, small, white sprays borne in the axils of the leaves from August to September. The black seeds are encased in a three-lobed, brown woody capsule that splits to release them when ripe.
A decorative tree that is ideal for the smaller garden but should be kept as a single stem.
Grows well in sun and semi-shade.
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
Rothmannia globosa is a hardy, evergreen (sometimes briefly deciduous) well-shaped, small tree with attractive bark that becomes neatly squared with age.
It has dark green glossy leaves.
Clusters of magnificent, white, bell-shaped, sweetly scented flowers adorn the tree from August to November. The large, round, leathery green fruits are sweet and juicy, but become hard and woody when dry.
The juice of the fruits, that stains blue, is used to heal wounds and burns.
Plant as an understory shrub under larger trees with light shade, such as Acacia species.
Plant in semi-shade in compost-rich, well-drained soil.
Size: 4 to 7m
Cassinopsis ilicifolia is a hardy, evergreen, decorative large shrub with glossy, bright green leaves and green stems.
The branchlets have a zigzag pattern and single spines.
Podranea ricasoliana is a hardy, evergreen scrambler or climber with lush, bright, compound leaves.
The masses of gorgeous, large, scented, lilac-pink flowers are borne in loose clusters on and off throughout the year.The flowers attract insects to the garden.
This fast-growing plant is ideal for covering pergolas, along walls and on embankments.If pruned regularly and kept in shape it makes a great container plant.
Regular pruning will also ensure that it flowers well the following season.Plant in compost-rich soil but do prune regularly to keep it neat and of a reasonable size.
Size: 1m or as tall as its support
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
Senecio macroglossus is a fairly hardy, evergreen, slender, fast-growing creeper with attractive, glossy, semi-succulent, ivy-shaped foliage.
The lemon-yellow, daisy-like flowers are borne from March to July and attract insects to the garden.
Allow it to climb or use it as a beautiful groundcover.It is also beautiful planted in hanging baskets and containers.
It grows in sun or semi-shade, although doesn't do well in hot, dry areas. Plant in well-composted, well-drained soil.
Size: 20cm as groundcover / 2m as climber
Stachys aethiopica is a very hardy, evergreen, spreading groundcover with beautiful pale green almost quilted leaves.
It bears spikes of small, white tubular flowers mainly in spring but with a few flowers almost all year round. They attract a myriad of tiny insects to the garden which provide food for lizards and frogs.
An attractive groundcover that grows in both sun and shade. Prune lightly and regularly to keep in shape. As this is a widespread species it is variable and the form that we grow is not rampant but rather stays in neat little clusters. Plant in sun or semi-shade, in well-drained soil in hanging baskets, along borders or in containers.
Size 25 to 35cm
Grewia lasiocarpa is a hardy, evergreen, large shrub or small tree with smooth, grey bark and dense foliage. The leaves are large, almost circular, rough-haired above, and densely covered with soft hairs below.
The attractive, large star-shaped pale pink flowers occur from January to March, followed by 4-lobed, furry, reddish fruit from March to July.
The fruit attracts birds and, in the wild, warthogs and baboons. These fruits may often remain on the tree for long periods, eventually turning black.
Although this plant tolerates most climates, it does best in areas of high rainfall. Plant in sun or semi-shade.
Size up to 3.5m
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
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
Gymnosporia harveyana is a hardy, evergreen, spiny shrub that is densely leafy and has long, slender, straight spines. The beautiful, glossy, dark-green foliage is a distinctive feature of this plant.
From October to May it bears clusters of small, white flowers that attract insects. These are followed by white berries on slender stalks. From November to June the berries turn ruby-red and adorn the tree. When these split, birds are attracted to the food source.
As it is either in flower or fruit all year round it is a great addition to a wildlife garden.
It has many uses – it can be pruned to form a small tree, trimmed into a formal hedge, left as an informal hedge or planted in a security barrier. It also makes a beautiful container and accent plant.
This stunning plant grows in deep or filtered shade. Plant in shade to semi-shade, in compost-rich, well-drained soil and give it moderate water.
Size: 1 to 4m
Acacia ataxacantha (=Senegalia ataxacantha) is a hardy, deciduous Acacia that can grow as a scrambling shrub or medium sized tree with many hooked prickles. It is drought resistant and fairly fast-growing.
The fine leaves are either bright green or blue green and are densely hairy.
It bears spikes of creamy flowers from November to February. These are followed by attractive, flattened deep red to maroon pods.
The Satyr Charaxes butterfly uses it as a host plant. It is used in traditional medicine, and the wood is split to weave baskets.
This tree is ideal to plant as a security hedge, as its tangled thorny branches will climb through other plants and create an impenetrable barrier.
It requires well drained soil and full sun, but can tolerate light, dappled shade to semi-shade.
Size: 5 to 10m
Croton sylvaticus is a semi-hardy, occasionally deciduous trees with a dense crown of attractive large, bicoloured leaves that smell of almonds when crushed.
The spikes of creamy coloured flowers are carried long stalks are from September to January. Although the flowers are fairly nondescript they are followed by long bunches of apricot-orange coloured fruit that adorn the tree for many months.
Plant in well-drained soil in a protected position.
The seeds attract birds and it is also an important butterfly host plant.
Size: 7 to 13m
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 virgatus is an extremely hardy, evergreen, erect, stiff shrublet with long slender stems. This drought-resistant, attractive plant forms quite large and attractive clumps. The dark-green leaves are fine and almost threadlike.
It bears tiny white flowers that hang below the foliage in summer. These are followed by red berries that look as if they are floating in mid-air. Birds love these berries.
The foliage is useful for flower arrangements and lasts for ages in a vase. It is used for medicinal and magical purposes, and is also as a protective charm.
It grows in deep shade, semi-shade or sun and requires very little attention. A useful plant in those dark difficult areas under trees.
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
Kalanchoe rotundifolia is a hardy, evergreen, erect succulent groundcover. The petioles are pink and the edges of the leaves are pinkish-red.
It bears spikes of small tubular bright orange to red flowers on branched flowering stems from March to December.
The nectar-rich flowers attract many butterflies and other pollinating insects
Plant in amongst grasses or as an element of a rocky succulent garden.
Size: up to 50cm when in flower.
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.
Allophylus dregeanus is an attractive small tree or large shrub with beautiful dark, glossy leaves and greyish bark which wrinkles with age.
In autumn and winter, it bears spikes of sweetly scented white flowers followed by profuse, edible shiny red berries.
These features seem to glow in the shade where it thrives.
Up to 6 metres
Dietes grandiflora is a very hardy, evergreen, clump-forming plant with sword-shaped leaves arranged in a fan and arising from a rhizome.
It bears beautiful Iris-like white flowers with mauve and yellow markings in spring and summer.
Duvernoia aconitiflora is a fast growing, hardy, evergreen shrub with glossy, light green leaves.
Aloe tenuior Orange is a hardy, pretty, dainty, rambling Aloe that bears spikes of bright orange flowers. It has long, narrow, sheathing leaves, crowded in a loose rosette at the tip of the branches. In cultivation, it flowers freely, for most of the year, but mainly from May to August.
A good ‘bee plant’ that has many traditional uses. It will form large bush clumps, making it a useful landscape plant.
This Aloe grows well in a normally-irrigated garden that has well-drained soil and will grow in full sun or semi-shade.
Size: Up to 3m
Vigna vexillata is a hardy, deciduous herbaceous climber or scrambler that has long, hairy stems that arise from a tuberous underground root. The dark green leaves divide into three leaflets, and are covered in flattened hairs, giving them a rough texture. Pink to purplish flowers are borne in Spring and early summer, and attract pollinating insects. These are followed by long thin seed pods that split to release the small hard seeds.
Looks lovely trailing through a grassland garden or planted were it can climb up a short trellis or fence. The leaves and tubers are eaten as a food plant.
Plant in full sun in well drained soil.
Size: climbs to 3m
Dactyloctenium australe is a hardy, evergreen, creeping, mat-forming grass that spreads by means of stolons. It is the most popular lawn grass in South Africa. The light green leaves mat well, resulting in this grass forming a good, dense lawn.
This grass gets its common name from the digitate inflorescence that resembles the upturned foot of a bird. Suitable as a stabilizer of sand and is palatable to game and livestock. Host plant of the Squinting Bush Brown butterfly.
It can be grown in semi-shade or full sun, on a wide variety of soil types.
Size: 30cm up to 50cm
Thunbergia alata is a hardy, evergreen, twining climber that has attractive, bright-green, heart-shaped leaves.
Throughout the year, but particularly in summer and autumn, it produces masses of orange, trumpet-shaped flowers with a dark, purple-brown tube.
Dovyalis zeyheri is a hardy, deciduous, small to medium-sized, tree with spines on the young branches. The tree is very decorative with interesting grey-green foliage. The leaves have a distinctive pungent smell. The spines make this a good addition to a security hedge. From December to March it has small greenish-yellow flowers, followed by bright orange, edible but sour fruit that make a delicious jelly. Male and female flowers are on separate trees, therefore only female plants will bear fruit.
A great bird tree, as the flowers attract insects which, in turn, attract birds as do the fruits.
Plant in sun or semi-shade.
Size: 2 to 13m
Dovyalis caffra is a hardy, evergreen, fast growing, drought resistant, large, shrub or small tree.
Long spines make it an excellent addition to a security hedge.
It has small, creamy-green, nectar laden flowers from November to January.
The edible, plum-like, yellow fruits are rich in vitamin C are refreshing and make a delicious jelly preserve.
They are also much sought after by birds.
Plant in sun or semi-shade.
Plectranthus species Pink Surprise is a fairly hardy, evergreen, fast-growing, flat creeping, groundcover with soft, fleshy, round leaves that have scalloped edges.
The dainty spikes of white-mauve flowers that are borne from January to May attract a whole host of butterflies and insects. Prune back after flowering.
It is ideal for hanging baskets and tumbling down shady banks. Grow in shade or semi-shade in well-drained, well-composted soil in moist conditions.
Size: 15 to 25cm
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
Senecio tamoides 'Variegated' is a hardy, semi-succulent climber that grows in semi-shade or sun. It is evergreen and has lovely glossy, subtle pale-yellow, and green large leaves.
Huge flower heads of bright yellow daisy-like flowers are borne from March to July, are sweetly scented and attract insects to the garden.
It makes a beautiful container plant and is beautiful cascading over retaining walls or create a gorgeous climber. Once a year, they should be pruned lightly to keep them looking neat and tidy.
This easy beautiful plant is best planted in semi shade.
Size: Up to 4 meters
Thunbergia alata Orange, Pink, Yellow, Colorado Glow is a hardy, evergreen, twining climber that has attractive, bright-green, heart-shaped leaves.
Throughout the year, but particularly in summer and autumn, it produces masses of orange, pink, yellow or 'colorado glow' trumpet-shaped flowers with a dark, purple-brown tube. These flowers attract tiny insects to the garden. Both pink and yellow forms of this plant are available.
This useful plant can be used as a groundcover, to cover a fence, climb a trellis, to tumble over a terraced wall or out of a hanging basket. When in flower this is an exceptionally attractive plant for semi-shade or shady areas.
Prune back quite hard once a year to encourage flowering.
It is fast-growing and requires well-drained soil and only moderate water.
Size: 1 to 4 meters or as tall as the support.
Rhoicissus digitata is a hardy, evergreen, robust, woody climber that has attractive foliage. The three or five-partite glossy leaves have russet colored new growth and tendrils for climbing. It can climb up to 10 meters or more or make a mounding shrub about 1.5
Barleria obtusa 'White' is a hardy, evergreen, small, drought resistant, herbaceous shrublet that tends to sprawl.
It blooms profusely with white flowers in autumn and has a few flowers most of the year round. It is a butterfly host plant, as well as being heavily browsed by both stock and game animals.
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.
Size: 30 to 75cm
Dissotis princeps is a fairly hardy soft herbaceous shrub that has gorgeous mauve or white flowers in summer and autumn.Its stems are angular when young and the whole plant is covered in short, bristly hairs.
It is a must for any kind of water garden, planted in damp soil e.g. in the overflow from a pond or beside a stream. It can be planted in the regular garden or herbaceous border but to perform at its best it must be well-watered.
It makes a good container plant but must be well fed and well watered.For best results prune back hard in winter and make sure it has sufficient water.
Carissa macrocarpa Variegated Green Carpet is a hardy, evergreen, drought resistant, dense, spiny, dwarf spreading shrublet. This particular variety has leathery, striking dark green and yellow variegated, glossy leaves. It has beautiful, quite large, scented, white flowers and large edible red fruits on and off throughout the year.
It attracts butterflies and fruit-eating birds to the garden.
This versatile plant can be used to cover large areas or clipped into an attractive small formal hedge. It also looks great in a container. Erect shoots should be clipped to keep the dwarf habit.
Plant in shade, semi-shade or sun, in well-drained, well-composted soil.
Size: up to 40cm