Search Indigenous Plant Attributes

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  1. Delosperma lydenbergense

    Delosperma lydenbergense is a hardy, evergreen, fast-growing, prostrate, succulent groundcover.

  2. Crassula multicava

    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.

  3. Polygala myrtifolia Riviersonderend

    Polygala myrtifolia "Riviersonderend" has narrow almost needle-like leaves. This is a hardy, evergreen, drought-resistant shrub.

    The magenta flowers are borne in lax terminal heads throughout summer and autumn, and attract Carpenter Bees, butterflies and other tiny, pollinating insects to the garden. The seeds are relished by Laughing Doves.

    This graceful form is an ideal alternative for the garden that is too small for the large tree-like form of the Polygala myrtifolia. It makes a beautiful, floriferous screening plant. A useful garden and container plant.

    Prune lightly and regularly.

    Plant in well-drained soil in a sunny or lightly shaded position.

    Size: 1m up to 2m

  4. Aloe cooperi

    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.

  5. Aloe cooperi

    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.

  6. Aponogeton distachyos

    Aponogeton distachyos is a fast growing aquatic herb with glossy oblong leaves that float on the waters surface. 

    Sweetly scented, edible flowers stand up out of the water above the leaves, attracting attention. The flower is interesting in that it is a forked inflorescence bearing tiny, white, one-petalled flowers with brown anthers.

    Bees are very attracted to the flowers and may be one of the main pollinators. Waterblommetjies flower in profusion during winter and spring. Large areas of water in the Western, Southern and Eastern Cape are covered with their sweetly scented, white flowers.

    An excellent plant for ponds and dams, although where growing conditions are good, it needs cutting back and splitting to keep it from taking over. Rhizomes can be lifted in autumn and divided. Replant them immediately in good soil, in shallow water, and as they begin to grow in summer they can be moved into deeper water.

    Plant in pots, in good soil, and place in full sun to partial shade for some of the day.

    This is a well known local delicacy for the cold winter months. It has become so popular that many commercial plantings have been made in ponds around the western Cape. Cooked with onions, mutton or lamb and a few leaves of the local sorrel/suring (Oxalis pes-caprae), it makes a delicious stew.



  7. Aristea ecklonii

    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.

  8. Cyperus alternifolius flabelliformis

    Cyperus alternifolius subsp. is a hardy, evergreen, medium-sized sedge that forms large clumps.Long, green stems are topped with a circle of flat green bracts.

    The clusters of brown flowers stand out above the green bracts in summer.Attracts many birds such as Weavers, Waders and other water birds. Ideal for water edges, wetland gardens and the cleaning of grey water.

    Remove the dead stems regularly to keep it looking neat.This Cyperus is a fast spreader and the rhizomes will cover an area rapidly.

    (It may need to be thinned out periodically.)Plant in sun or semi-shade.

    Size: up to 1,3m

  9. Markhamia zanzibarica

    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

  10. Acacia robusta subsp robusta

    Acacia robusta subsp robusta (=Vachellia robusta) is a very hardy, deciduous, drought-resistant, medium to large, handsome Acacia. It is fast-growing once planted in the ground. The black bark is rough and fissured. It also has thick, robust branches and twigs hence the name robusta. It has beautiful, bright-green foliage that is borne on distinctive woody ‘cushions’.

    The white sweetly-scented puffball flowers are clustered above the thorns and appear in profusion from July to October. They are the harbinger of spring and warmer days to come. The common name ‘Splendid Thorn’ is very apt; when it is in bloom with its white flowers in spring it is indeed a splendid sight.

    It attracts bees and butterflies. The bark is used for tanning and the tree is also used for magical purposes. It is not fussy and will grow in most soil types.

    A handsome tree for a larger garden. Plant in sun or semi-shade. 

    Size: 6 to 12m