Search Indigenous Plant Attributes

Searching for plants with the Slow Growing attribute.

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  1. Acacia burkei

    Acacia burkei (=Senegalia burkei) is a hardy, deciduous, medium sized Acacia that has attractive, large round leaflets.

    Spikes of white flowers from October to January are followed by bright red seed pods.

    This beautiful specimen tree gives dense shade, but is a little slow growing.

  2. Acacia caffra

    Acacia caffra (=Senegalia caffra) is a very hardy, deciduous, drought resistant, graceful tree with feathery foliage that gives the tree a weeping shape.

  3. Acacia davyi

    Acacia davyi (=Vachellia Davyi) is a hardy, drought resistant, deciduous, small Acacia with distinctive yellow or light brown, corky bark on the stems and branches.

    It has clusters of bright yellow puffball flowers on the ends of the branches from December to February, which attract insects to the garden.

  4. Acacia mellifera

    Acacia mellifera (=Senegalia mellifera) is very drought resistant, hardy, thickset, deciduous Acacia with vicious, hook thorns.

  5. Acacia rehmanniana

    Acacia rehmanniana (=Vachellia rehmanniana) is a hardy, drought resistant, semi-deciduous Acacia with small, attractive grey-green, velvety leaves.

    The beautiful red bark on the young stems glows in the sunlight while the mature bark has dark brown rough strips with a red background.

    Try to plant the tree where it either catches the rising or setting sun, when the glowing stems are a sight to behold.

  6. Acacia tortilis

    Acacia tortilis (=Vachellia tortilis) is a hardy, deciduous, drought resistant, slow growing umbrella-shaped Acacia.

  7. Aloe barberae bainesii

    Aloe barberae (bainesii) is a surprisingly hardy, large, evergreen, tree-like Aloe, which can tolerate high rainfall.

  8. Bolusanthus speciosus

    Bolusanthus speciosus is a hardy, graceful, briefly deciduous, drought resistant tree with graceful grey-green almost weeping foliage.

    The huge, pendulous bunches of beautiful mauve pea-like flowers that are born in September and October are truly spectacular.

  9. Diospyros whyteana

    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.

  10. Euclea crispa

    Euclea crispa is a very hardy, drought resistant, small evergreen tree has a white stem and beautiful blue-green or olive-green leaves.

  11. Euclea natalensis

    Euclea natalensis is a hardy, evergreen, very attractive shrub or small to medium sized tree (depending on where in grows).

  12. Olea europaea africana

    Olea europaea africana is a very hardy, evergreen, drought resistant tree with gorgeous silvery foliage and a rounded crown.

    It bears scented, greenish flowers from October to December followed by delicious edible small black Olives (these can be eaten directly from the tree and need no treatment to make them edible).

    It is an excellent bird and insect tree that is much favoured by wildlife.Birds love to probe under the rough dark bark for insects.

  13. Rothmannia capensis

    Rothmannia capensis is a hardy, evergreen, small to medium sized tree.

  14. Gardenia thunbergia

    Gardenia thunbergia is a hardy, evergreen shrub has glossy green leaves, silvery bark and wonderful branching patterns. 

    The sweet scent of the magnificent, large, white flowers will permeate the garden from October to February.

  15. Mundulea sericea

    Mundulea serica is a very hardy, semi-deciduous, decorative, large shrub that always stands out in its natural habitat of grassland and rock.

    The fissured corky bark is a protection against fires which are frequent in its habitat.

  16. Ochna serrulata

    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.

  17. Clivia gardenii

    Clivia gardenii is a hardy, fairly slow growing perennial with dark, strap-shaped leaves.

    It sends out side shoots to form quite large clumps.

  18. Crinum graminicola

    Crinum graminicola is a very hardy, deciduous bulbous plant that has large, robust grey-green strap-like leaves and a huge bulb.

    It bears huge umbels of deep pink, pendulous, lily-like flowers on a long stem from October to February.

  19. Aloe brevifolia

    Aloe brevifolia is a fairly hardy, dwarf Aloe with dense rosettes of broad, triangular and distinctly grey-green leaves which form clumps.

    It bears cone shaped spikes of flowers in shades of red and yellow during October and November.

    It is restricted to the Western Cape which has winter rainfall therefore this Aloe should be kept dry in summer.

  20. Aloe peglerae

    Aloe peglerae is a very hardy, slow-growing, beautiful Aloe that occurs only on the Witwatersrand and Magaliesburg, but due to fires and the loss of habitat. It is now critically threatened.It has grey-green, toothed leaves that curve inwards making it look like a ball.

    It blooms in July and August bearing spikes of dull-red and yellow flowers with purple stamens.They are densely-packed, very large and robust.Bees and other insects are irresistibly attracted to the pollen and nectar of the flowers.

    It requires minimal water as it normally grows on rocky ledges.Plant in amongst rocks or in very porous containers.

    It requires well-drained soil and full sun.Keep dry in winter.

    size: 40 m

  21. Acacia gerrardii

    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

  22. Acacia nilotica

    Acacia nilotica (=Vachellia nilotica) is a hardy, semi-deciduous, small to medium-sized, mushroom shaped tree with dark blackish-brown, fissured bark when mature and a dense crown.This fissured bark is home to many invertebrates and therefore attracts Woodpeckers and other insectivorous birds.

    The masses of yellow puffball flowers adorn the tree on and off from September to April.The fragrant, distinctive ‘string of beads,’ decorative pods have a fruity smell and are excellent fodder.The edible gum makes a good quality glue.

    Yellow, red or black dye can be made from the pods.The wood is easily worked for furniture and the whole tree has many medicinal and traditional uses This tree is a little slow-growing but is tough and very drought-resistant.

    It grows in both well-drained and clayey soils in sun or semi-shade.

    Size: 3 to 10 m

  23. Zanthoxylum capense

    Zanthoxylum capense is a hardy, deciduous to semi-deciduous small to medium-sized tree, with smooth, dark grey bark and broad, cone-shaped knobs that are topped with a short spine. The leaves are divided into leaflets, that are shiny and dark green above, and paler beneath. When crushed they are somewhat brittle and have a strong Citrus scent.

    From October to February, the tiny, white, scented flowers are clustered at the ends of the branches. The male and female flowers are borne on separate trees. Female trees develop clusters of tiny orange-red fruits that split to release oil-rich black seeds. The fruit is edible but cause a burning sensation in the mouth.

    Both flowers and fruit attract many insects and birds to the garden. It is a host plant to the Citrus Swallowtail and other Swallowtail Butterflies. This tree is widely used in traditional medicine remedies, and the wood is used for implements.

    It makes an excellent container plant, or part of a forest garden or plant singly as a specimen tree to prune up and expose the interesting, knobbly stem.

    Plant in semi-shade or full sun, in well-drained, compost rich soil.

    Size: 2 to 15m

  24. Podocarpus latifolius

    Podocarpus latifolius is a very hardy, evergreen, large, beautifully-shaped tree. It is slow growing, but makes an outstanding shade or specimen tree for bigger gardens. The yellowish to greyish-brown bark flakes off in thin, vertical strips. It has beautiful dark-green leaves that are carried more or less horizontally.

    The sweet, edible, fleshy, reddish-purple, female cones carry 1 or 2 seeds that ripen from green to pink to red during December and February.

  25. Podocarpus henkelii

    Podocarpus henkelii is a very hardy, evergreen, large decorative, beautifully-shaped tree and is one of our best-known indigenous trees. The bark is khaki brown that, when it matures, flakes into long, thin strips which expose the attractive reddish underbark. It has long, drooping, narrow, dark-green leaves.

    The female cones develop into olive-green seed that ripens in May.

    Although it is quite slow-growing it does develop into a huge forest tree that is only suitable for large gardens. For small gardens plant it in a large container to limit its size. In a container, it makes a great Christmas tree when decked out in its finery.

    Plant in either east- or south-facing areas as it prefers damp, cool and shady conditions. If planted as a single specimen in the middle of lawn, remove at least 1.5m diameter of lawn around the tree, as its roots cannot compete with lawn. Mulch and water well or it will not grow properly. Always mulch the soil around the trees as this it keeps the roots cool.

    Size: 20 to 30m

  26. Strychnos madagascariensis

    Strychnos madagascariensis is a hardy, deciduous, large shrub or shrubby, multi-stemmed small tree with pale grey bark and quite thick, shiny leaves that are blue-grey-green below.

    The small greenish-yellow flowers are borne on the old wood from October to December. These are followed by large (80 to 100mm diameter), spectacular, bluish-grey fruits with a hard, woody shell. These fruits adorn the tree for up to a year before they fall. They will keep for up to 5 years, and during this time, the seed will turn dark brown.

    The fruits can be polished and used as decorations. The pulp is edible but the seeds are said to be poisonous. All parts of the plant are utilised by game and cattle.

    A good tree for a small garden.

    Plant in sun or semi-shade in well-drained soil.

    Size: 3 to 6m

  27. Combretum imberbe

    Combretum imberbe is a hardy, slow growing, bulky, deciduous tree which can grow to tremendous old age. The silvery-green leaves are unusually small for a Combretum.

    The small, white, puffball flowers, borne from September to March, are very fragrant and attract a myriad of insects and birds.

    Plant in sun or semi-shade to give a garden that Bushveld feel. Protect from frost when young.

    The wood of this tree is extremely heavy and makes wonderful coals but should never be collected from the wild as it is an important part of the ecology of the bushveld and it is now illegal to collect it.

    Size: up to 15m

  28. Euclea natalensis capensis

    Euclea natalensis subsp. capensis is a hardy, evergreen, very attractive shrub or small to medium sized tree (depending on where in grows). It has a dark, spreading crown of shiny, hard and leathery leaves with red undersides.

    The strongly scented small, creamy white flowers are borne from August to March and are followed by edible round red to black fruit from March to December.

    It attracts birds and insects to the garden. With its dense crown it makes a good screening plant and can be planted singly as a beautiful specimen tree.

    It has many traditional, medicinal and magical uses. Twigs are used as toothbrushes.

    It is a little slow growing and should be planted in sun or semi-shade.

    Size: 3 to 10m

  29. Baphia racemosa

    Baphia racemosa is a hardy, evergreen, quite slow growing shrub or small tree with a dense, rounded crown of dark green, glossy leaves.

    It bears sprays of pure white pea-like flowers with a yellow honey-guide spot on the upper petal from August to November. The flowers fill the air with a strong violet scent and attract bees and a whole host of insects to the garden.

    It is also the host plant of the Blue-spotted Charaxes and Orange-barred playboy butterflies.

    It is an ideal tree for a small garden and should be planted in well-composted soil in shade or semi-shade.

    Size 3 to 6m

  30. Celtis mildbraedii

    Celtis mildbraedii is a fairly hardy, evergreen, medium-sized to large, slow-growing tree with light brown bark that flakes off in discs and contrasts beautifully with the leaves. The stem becomes fluted with buttress roots over time. As it is quite a slow-growing tree, the fluting could take time in cultivation.  The glossy, leathery leaves are a lovely dark almost bluish-green.

    The small, inconspicuous flowers are borne from August to April and are followed by red, fleshy fruits which attract birds.

    Taking into account that my trees are planted in a protected position, they have never been affected by frost even though we have occasionally had black frost, so I think they are a lot hardier than most people think. This is one of the rarest trees in South Africa and maybe in the world.

    It thrives in very low light conditions and can be used successfully as an indoor plant.

    Plant in well-composted soil in a shady position.

    Size: Up to 30m

  31. Acacia luederitzii

    Acacia luederitzii var. luederitzii is a very hardy, deciduous, quite slow-growing Acacia that can tolerate harsh conditions as it grows in desert and semi-desert areas. It develops a flat crown, typical of African Acacias, with age. It has fine, feathery, grey-green foliage.

    A combination of straight and hooked thorns make this Acacia a formidable security barrier when allowed to branch low and individual plants are planted close together.

    The creamy-white puffball flowers are borne from October to February and attract a whole host of insects. The nutritional, elongated, purple-brown pods will split and persist on the tree - another interesting feature.

    A perfect Acacia for smaller gardens. Once established it requires very little attention.

    Plant in well-drained soil in sun.

    Note: in Acacia luederitzii var. retinens, which occurs in Kwazulu Natal, Swaziland and Mozambique, the inflated, paired spines look like miniature buffalo horns and are an interesting feature of this tree. These do not occur in var. luederitzii.

  32. Acacia erioloba

    Acacia erioloba (= Vachellia erioloba) is a very hardy, beautiful Thorn Tree from South Africa that is slow growing but tolerates harsh growing conditions. It has typical fine, feathery leaves and straight white spines. The bark is deeply furrowed and goes very dark to almost black with age. It bears sweetly scented, bright yellow ball-like flowers from July to December. The half-moon shaped pods are woody, and persist on the tree. Acacia erioloba grows in desert and semi-desert areas and offers a host of opportunities for nesting and feeding for the many birds and insects that they attract. The half-moon shaped silvery grey pods are highly nutritious. They sustain a number of animal species that feed on them, including Rhino, Elephant, Gemsbok and Eland. Giraffe browse on the leaves and flowers.

    Kameeldoring trees prefer sandy well-drained soil as their roots can reach as deep as 60m in search of water.

    It has many traditional and medicinal uses and as the pods don’t split, they can be used in many crafts. This is a protected tree that makes a striking specimen tree in the garden and is used as a street tree in Mokopane (Potgietersrus). A valuable fodder tree in very dry areas.

    Plant in full sun in very well drained, sandy soil and don't overwater.

    Size: Up to 10m

  33. Turraea obtusifolia

    Turraea obtusifolia is a hardy, semi-evergreen to briefly-deciduous scrambling shrub or small tree.  It tends to be more of a scrambler in shady conditions.  The leaves are a beautiful, dark glossy green.  It bears masses of very showy, pure white, star-shaped flowers that flush on and off all summer. They are pollinated by moths. The fruit looks like a green miniature pumpkin and, in late summer, as they ripen they split to reveal pretty orange-red seeds. The orange seed coat attracts birds to the garden, which disperse the seeds.

    Use as a scrambler over rocks, as a container plant or focal point in the garden. This plant is a little slow-growing but its beauty makes it a worthwhile choice.

    Plant in sun or semi-shade in well-drained soil and water well in summer.

    Size: 1 to 3m