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.
Scilla natalensis is a very hardy, deciduous, bulbous plant with a basal rosette of attractive, broad, grey-green leaves.
The long flowering spikes carry flowers in shades of misty blue and are borne from September to December.
Plant in full sun or light shade, either solitary as a form plant or in clumps to make a show when flowering. Bulbs should be planted half above the ground.
It is ideal for rockeries and is a lovely container plant. Makes a wonderful display when planted with Bulbine natalensis that flowers at the same time with yellow flower spikes.
One of our most important medicinal plants.
Size 30 to 40cm
Helichrysum splendidum is a hardy, evergreen, small, sprawling shrub that grows in moist though well-drained areas.
Agathosma ovata is a very hardy, evergreen, small shrub that has small dainty, leathery leaves that are aromatic, and when crushed they have a lovely citrus scent.
It bears profuse sprays of star-shaped, pale pink to white flowers that almost obscure the leaves at their peak flowering time in winter, although they have a few flowers throughout the year. They attract a myriad of insects to the garden.
Makes a good cut flower and container plant.
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 ferox is a hardy, drought-resistant, single stemmed Aloe with a crown rosette of large, fleshy, succulent bluish-green leaves that have thorny margins.
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.
Aloe greatheadii var. davyana is a very hardy, fairly robust, drought-resistant, stemless Aloe that grows singly or in groups. The leaves are shiny green with white spots arranged in bands. They have sharp, dark-brown teeth along the leaf margins.
The plant itself may be a bit drab but it is spectacular when in flower. Pale-pink to bright-red, attractive flowers are arranged on a branched flowering stem in June and July and attract insects and Sunbirds.
Aptenia cordifolia is a hardy, evergreen groundcover that is fast-growing,it has a spreading growth habit and roots as it creeps along.
It has light-green, succulent leaves and deep rose-pink flowers from September to July.The flowers attract bees to the garden.
It has many medicinal uses.This is a useful plant for stabilizing banks or as living mulch in the garden as it spreads rapidly.
It grows well in either sun or semi-shade.
Size: 5 to 10cm
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 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.
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
Crassula arborescens is a hardy, evergreen, succulent, tree-like Crassula, which is unusual for this genus as they are usually relatively small plants.
It has a thick, fleshy trunk with smooth, grey-green bark.The leaves are also fleshy and are an attractive, blue-grey colour with a red rim. They have a waxy, powdery bloom which helps to keep them cool.
The attractive clusters of pink or white flowers are carried in densely-packed, rounded, branched, flowering heads from August to December.The flowers are nectar-rich and attract birds and insects to the garden.
It has many medicinal uses.This unusual tree makes a great form and container plant.Plant as an element of a rock garden, on slopes or in a succulent garden.Flowers best in full sun but also grows well in semi-shade.
Plant in well-drained soil.
Size: up to 3m
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
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
Cryptocarya transvaalensis is a hardy, evergreen tree with beautiful glossy dark green foliage.
Anchusa capensis is a drought hardy annual or bi-annual that grows vigorously, is upright, and has bright green, rough leaves and stems. It has a fairly weedy appearance.
The stems of brilliant blue flowers are borne throughout Spring and Summer and into Autumn. Each little blue flower is beautiful when looked at closely. They have a white feathery centre (these are actually scales that protect the reproductive parts of the flower).
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.
Sutherlandia frutescens (=Lessertia frutescens) is a very hardy, evergreen, fast growing, sun-loving shrub with lovely silver-grey foliage. The striking, large, luminous orange pea-like flowers are borne from September to December.
They attract Sunbirds and insects to the garden. These are followed by inflated green to pink, papery pods that are so light they are dispersed by wind. The pods and flowers are decorative in a vase. It is an important medicinal plant and has traditional uses as well.
This beautiful slender shrub is a must for any garden. Plant several together for effect and use as a textural plant. It makes a beautiful container plant. It is both wind and drought resistant. This is a short-lived plant but it seeds itself freely.
Prune regularly to encourage it to bush out. This unfussy plant tolerates many different soil types and tolerates dry conditions but thrives with sufficient water (do not overwater). Plant in full sun.
Size: to 50cm to 1m
Vangueria infausta is a hardy, deciduous, drought-resistant, large shrub or small tree with big, velvety leaves that have prominent veins on the under-surface.
Clusters of small, greenish-white, sweetly-scented flowers are borne from September to November, usually before the leaves appear.
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.
Berula erecta is a hardy, evergreen plant, easy to grow in marshy areas. It has attractive, bright-green, upright, fern-like foliage.
It flowers from December to March and it bears heads of many delicate, white flowers that are approximately 60 to 80mm in diameter that make good cut flowers. The flowers attract a variety of pollinating insects to the garden.
A portion of the plants in a waterside planting will ramble & root their way and 'float' attractively onto the water surface, providing good habitat for fish fry. An excellent plant for filtration of fishpond water and grey water.
Used in traditional medicine where the roots are held in the mouth to relieve toothache.
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
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
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.
Clivia robusta is a fairly hardy, evergreen perennial with dark, strap-shaped leaves.
It sends out side shoots to form quite large robust clumps that can reach up to 1.6m tall and produce buttress roots.
Spirostachys africana is a hardy, deciduous to semi deciduous, medium sized, tree with a dense round crown. It has distinctive, dark, thick, rough bark cracked into rectangular sections which helps to identify the tree. The foliage turns beautiful yellow to deep red in autumn. Small spikes of pinkish flowers are borne from July to Sept. before the new leaves appear. These are followed by fruit, which splits explosively.
It attracts birds and many animals that feed off the fallen leaves. It is host to a moth larva, which causes the seeds that it has parasitized to jump around on the ground.
It is extensively used as a medicinal plant, but the sap and smoke from the wood is poisonous. The wood is prized for furniture making and pieces can be used as an insect repellant.
Plant in sun or semi-shade, in well-drained soil.
Size: 4 to 8m
Markhamia zanzibarica is a fairly hardy, small, evergreen Bushveld tree with smooth or rough grey bark. It has compound, glossy, fresh green leaves. The really attractive feature of this small tree is its beautiful, bell-shaped, yellow and deep maroon flowers that are borne in clusters from September to February. They are followed by long, twisted pods (40cm) that turn dark brown. This is a significant feature of this tree.
Flowers attracts pollinating insects to the garden.
Plant in well-drained, well-composted soil, in sun or semi-shade.
Size: Up to 6m