Milletia grandis is a hardy, decorative, medium sized, briefly deciduous tree that has a dense spreading crown.
The new growth of the large leaves is a beautiful bronze colour when they first unfurl in spring and then turn almost lime green, darkening with age.
It has large, magnificent, erect spikes of purple pea-like flowers that stand out well above the leaves from November to March – a sight to behold.
These are followed by attractive, large velvety, brown pods - another striking feature of this beautiful tree.
Crinum macowanii is a very hardy, deciduous, large bulbous plant with long strap-like leaves that have undulating margins and can reach up to 1 metre.
It bears a head of spectacular, huge trumpet-like flowers that are sweetly scented from October to February.
Pterocarpus rotundifolius is a fairly hardy, decorative, multi-stemmed small to medium sized, deciduous tree that grows naturally in Bushveld and on rocky hillsides.
Rothmannia capensis is a hardy, evergreen, small to medium sized tree.
Agapanthus praecox Blue is a well-known hardy, evergreen plant has attractive strap-like leaves and umbels of sky-blue flowers that are borne on long stalks from December to April.
Agapanthus hybrid nana blue is a hardy, evergreen perennial has narrow strap-like leaves.
Agapanthus praecox white is a well-known hardy, evergreen plant that has attractive strap-like leaves and umbels of white flowers that are borne on long stalks from December to April.
They make good cut flowers.
Boophane disticha is a very, hardy, deciduous plant with a huge bulb. In warm areas the bulb is held above the soil while in colder areas it is kept below ground level as a protection against frost.
The grey-leaves are held in a twisted fan shape and are most attractive. (the species name disticha means in 2 rows, referring to the leaves).
The large deep pink to red flower head appears in early spring before the leaves. Fire induces this plant to flower. Once the flowers have been pollinated each flower stalk elongates and carries the seed on the end to form a tumbleweed. This is the plants strategy for distributing its seeds.
Plant in full sun or semi-shade with an exposed bulb.
Extensively used in traditional medicine but with caution as it is poisonous.
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.
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.
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
Monopsis unidentata is a fairly hardy, fast growing, dainty, evergreen groundcover with tiny leaves. It bears masses of delicate, deep purple flowers almost all year round. It prefers sunny damp spots and is pretty growing with smaller grasses such as Eragrostis capensis (Small Heart Seed Grass).
The flowers attract insects to the garden. It grows in sun or semi-shade and is attractive planted around ponds, along borders and in hanging baskets. It is at its best in an irrigated garden and requires regular feeding to keep it looking its best.
Size 10 to 15cm
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
Galpinia transvaalica is a hardy, decorative, thickset, small to medium sized, sometimes multi-stemmed, evergreen tree. It has waxy, glossy, wavy-edged leaves that flush an amazing red in spring.
Showy white flowers are borne from December to April which attract insects to the garden.
It is also a butterfly host tree. A quick growing small to medium sized tree that makes a good container plant.
It can also be pruned into an attractive, formal hedge in sun or semi-shade.
Size 3 to 10 m
Brilliantasia subulugurica is a fairly hardy, semi-deciduous, vigorous, fast growing shrub with large, glossy, attractive leaves.
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.
Nymphaea nouchali is a hardy, deciduous waterlily.
It has glossy, circular, floating leaves that turn lovely colours in autumn.
The flowers are a beautiful sky blue through pale lilac to pink flowers with masses of yellow stamens in the centre. These are carried on longish stems above the surface of the water from September to May.
This is a submerged plant that should be planted to a depth of no less than 25cm in sun or light shade.
Used in traditional medicine for coughs and colds.
In habitat the fruit is eaten by the Purple Gallinule.
Size: Floating parts spread to 1m diameter
Lapeirousia sandersonii is a very hardy deciduous bulbous plant with narrow pleated leaves.
It bears branched stems of spectacular mauve flowers with dark purple streaks in delicate, many flowered heads that are borne from November to March.
They attract tiny insects to the garden.
This beautiful grassland plant can be planted amongst grasses in rockeries and in containers.
You can also plant a group together in a cottage garden but make sure they are planted in an area where their beauty can be appreciated.
Plant in full sun to very light shade in well composted, well drained soil.
This plant is seldom offered for sale as seed is quite hard to come by.
Size 20cm to 30cm
Plectranthus hereroensis is a hardy, attractive, fast growing, evergreen but short-lived shrub. It's broad, bright green leaves contrast beautifully with darker foliage planted behind it.
It is a particularly floriferous shrub, and if pruned regularly will bush out with many flowering stems. The deep bluish-purple flowers are borne in long tapered spikes from about April through to the end of May.
It is a host plant to a number of butterfly species, and an attractive food plant to bees and other insects.
This shrub will flower and grow best in full sun, which is unusual for most Plectranthus species. Plant in well-drained soil, and add plenty of compost for healthy plants.
If left unpruned, it can grow to 2m.
A most worthwhile addition to any garden, as it's lovely blue flowers contrast beautifully with other colourful plants flowering at this time of the year.
Some examples are Leonotis leonurus and some Aloe species, as well as Syncholostemon densiflorus and Euryops pectinatus. Although very drought hardy, it is suitable for gardens where frost is not too severe.
Plectranthus hereroensis is being investigated further for compounds found in its roots that have shown anti-bacterial activity.
Occurs in hilly terrain in sandy, dry savannah.
Size: up to 2m, but generally about 1m
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
Strelitzia reginae is a hardy, evergreen shrub with large, ornamental, banana-like leaves.
The brilliant orange and shimmering peacock-blue flowers have an interesting structure resembling an exotic bird and flower from May to Dec. The nectar attracts sunbirds while the black seeds with an orange aril attracts many seed eating birds to the garden.
The blade-shaped leaves and flowers are widely used for flower arranging. This beautiful shrub makes a stunning accent and container plant.
On the Highveld and in other dry regions it grows best in partial shade.
Size 1 to 1.75m
Leonotis leonurus is a very hardy, drought and frost resistant, evergreen perennial shrub.
This well-loved, decorative shrub has masses of showy, compact clusters of orange or white, velvety flowers repeated in circles up the length of every long stalk from February. to July.
An important food and nectar plant for sunbirds, bees and butterflies during autumn and winter.
Plant in sun or semi-shade and cut back severely after flowering for best results and mass flowering the next season.
It has been grown as a garden plant in Europe since the 1600s.
It is extensively used as a traditional medicinal and magical herb.
Jamesbrittenia grandiflora is a hardy, evergreen, fast-growing small shrub with multiple stems.
Petalidium oblongifolium is a very hardy, evergreen, drought resistant small shrub with firm, broadly lanceolate silver-grey leaves that point upwards.
It bears attractive blue flowers on and off all year round.
Cyrtanthus mackenii is a hardy, evergreen bulbous plant has attractive glossy, dark green, narrow, strap-like leaves.
It bears umbels of narrow tubular flowers, in profusion, from July to February. in a variety of colours ranging from white and yellow to pink and even red.
It prefers semi-shade and moist, compost rich soil.
It is a beautiful addition to any garden, and makes a wonderful container subject.
Scabiosa columbaria "Butterfly Pink" is a hardy, evergreen, soft, clump-forming, herbaceous perennial with attractive, deeply-lobed, grey-green foliage.
This hybrid, free-flowering perennial has large, showy, pink flowers carried on slender erect stems all year round.
Scadoxus puniceus is a very hardy, deciduous, beautiful, bulbous plant that varies hugely in size, depending on where it comes from. The large, glossy leaves have wavy margins and are speckled at the base.
It bears a large inflorescence of red, powder-puff-like flowers on a long stem, which appears before the leaves, from July to October.
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.
Gladiolus crassifolius is a very hardy, deciduous, bulbous plant with erect, robust leaves that have a yellow midrib and margin and are carried in a fan (crassifolius = thick-leaved).
The tall spikes of flowers are borne mainly in spring and summer. The flower colour is very variable, but they all have a dark blotch in the throat.
This is a particularly beautiful plant for a grassland garden with its rigid flowers held up above the waving grasses. The insects that visit the flowers attract birds to the garden.
Used in traditional medicine.
Plant in compost-rich soil in sun or light shade.
Size: up to 75cm
Thespesia acutiloba is a hardy, semi-deciduous small tree or large shrub with pale grey bark that becomes furrowed with age.
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
Calodendrum capense is a hardy, semi-deciduous, large tree.
Zantedeschia aethiopica is a very hardy, evergreen, clump-forming perennial with big, heart-shaped leaves.
The Arum Lily inflorescence has one distinctive large, white, cone-shaped petal and a central column which carries the tiny flowers and the yellow pollen.
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
Virgilia oroboides is a hardy, evergreen beautiful tree with smooth, silver-grey bark in young trees that becomes grey and rough with age. It has feathery, grey-green, Acacia-like leaves.
The scented pea-like flowers are pink, and, when the tree is in full flush from January to April, it is a sight to behold. They are rich in nectar and attract many pollinating insects and birds.
It is the host plant for the Lucerne Blue butterfly – Lampides boeticus.
As it is so fast-growing, it is an ideal plant for new gardens.
Plant in sun or light semi-shade, in well-drained soil.
Size: up to 10m