Malephora purpurea-crocea is a hardy, evergreen, spreading, succulent groundcover that has pale-green to blue-green, triangular leaves.
It bears the most beautiful, glistening coppery-orange flowers with a purple underside, which open in bright sunlight. The flowers are borne en masse in spring, but there are some flowers on this lovely succulent all year round.
Attracts butterflies and bees.
Use it in dry areas in the garden, as they flourish with very little care, and will rot if overwatered. Plant in a succulent bed, rockery or container.
Remove the dead flowers regularly to encourage further flowering. Plant in full sun in very well-drained soil and water sparingly.
The dispersal of seeds in the Mesembryanthemaceae family is fascinating. If you put a few drops of water on the top of the tough seed capsule it opens to disperse the seed.
In nature, this happens after rain has wet the capsule, giving the seeds a better chance at germination. They always hold some seeds back, and when it dries out, the capsule closes, waiting for the next rain.
Pachypodium saundersiae is a semi hardy, deciduous succulent shrub that has a large, irregularly swollen stem with thick branches and a silvery-grey bark with hard white spines.
From April to June it bears large, attractive, frilly, white, tubular flowers that are suffused with reddish-purple. The fruit is a grey, two-lobed pod that resembles horns.
A lovely garden or container plant for full sun and well-drained soil.
Size: Up to 1m
The Trumpet thorn, Cactophractes alexandri, is a hardy, semi-deciduous, much-branched succulent shrub, or small tree with long slender spines. The small, pale grey leaves are quite wooly and clustered around and sometimes, even on the spines. They give the plant a silvery look. It bears beautiful large, showy, trumpet-shaped flowers that are white and at times tinged with pink. They are sweetly scented and, as they grow in arid areas, bloom after rain from September to November. The flowers are followed by a thick woody capsule which splits to release winged, papery seeds. The empty, woody pods click together in the slightest breeze adding sound to the beauty of this plant.
Plant in a succulent garden, on banks, in containers or in small groups for a stunning display.
Plant in full sun or semi-shade.
Size: up to 3m