Schotia brachypetala is a hardy, semi-deciduous (deciduous in cold areas), very decorative tree with interesting branching patterns and a rugged look. The bark is rough and grey. The beautiful foliage is bronze when it first flushes and goes through many different colours and textures in the different seasons.
From August to November it bears massed bunches of magnificent scarlet-red cup-like flowers filled with so much nectar that it drips out, hence the common name. The flowers attract all manner of birds. Some, like Sunbirds, will sip the nectar. Others, like Weavers, will make holes in the bottoms of the flowers and rob them of their nectar without pollinating them. The flowers also attract a whole host of insects. The pods, that are initially bright-green with a dark margin, turn beautiful glossy brown.
The large seeds are edible after they have been roasted and have been used as a coffee substitute. The pods and seeds readily absorb fragrant oils and so are included in potpourri. It has many medicinal and traditional uses.
An excellent and ornamental garden subject for sun or semi-shade and one of our most beautiful and shapely trees. Suitable for containers and bonsai.
Size: 3 to 16m
Kalanchoe rotundifolia is a hardy, evergreen, erect succulent groundcover. The petioles are pink and the edges of the leaves are pinkish-red.
It bears spikes of small tubular bright orange to red flowers on branched flowering stems from March to December.
The nectar-rich flowers attract many butterflies and other pollinating insects
Plant in amongst grasses or as an element of a rocky succulent garden.
Size: up to 50cm when in flower.
Greyia sutherlandii is a hardy, deciduous, drought resistant, rugged looking shrub or small tree with attractive round leaves that turn bright red in autumn. The tree is often still leafless when it starts to bear densely packed spikes of magnificent, brilliant red flowers at the tips of the branches from August to October. When blooming en masse they are a sight never to be forgotten.
The flowers are rich in nectar, which attracts sunbirds and insects to the garden. The dead leaves often persist on the tree and should be removed to gain the full benefit of the flowers.
Makes a good container plant and a wonderful tree for a small garden. The soft pale pink wood is used for household items.
Plant in a sunny or semi-shade position, in well-drained soil. Thrives in rocky soils.
Size: Up to 7m
Euphorbia ingens is a hardy, massive, tree-like succulent with a dense crown and a dark green stem. The branches have 4 wing-like angles with spines on the wing margins. The plant is shaped like a hot-air balloon. The yellow-green flowers are clustered around the spines from April to July and attract bees, butterflies and insects and are followed by reddish to purple fruit, which are relished by birds.
Birds will nest in this tree. Hole-nesting birds will nest in dead sections. This very drought-resistant tree makes a good container plant or accent plant in a succulent garden but must have well-drained soil.
Where the tree is damaged it will exude milky sap which is poisonous and can cause extreme skin irritation. This plant has many traditional and medicinal uses.
Plant in sun to semi-shade, in extremely well drained soil.
Size: up to 7,5m
Cotyledon orbiculata is a very hardy, evergreen, drought-resistant, succulent shrublet that has smooth, round, grey-green leaves that are edged with red.
The umbels of pendulous, orange-red flowers grow on long stalks and are borne from June to August. The nectar in the flowers attracts birds, bees and other insects.
It is also an important medicinal plant. This plant needs well-drained soil and looks great planted in pockets in a rock garden. It is a very variable plant and there are many different sub-species and forms.
Plant in sun or semi-shade in well-drained soil.
Size: 40 to 80cm
Aloe tenuior Orange is a hardy, pretty, dainty, rambling Aloe that bears spikes of bright orange flowers. It has long, narrow, sheathing leaves, crowded in a loose rosette at the tip of the branches. In cultivation, it flowers freely, for most of the year, but mainly from May to August.
A good ‘bee plant’ that has many traditional uses. It will form large bush clumps, making it a useful landscape plant.
This Aloe grows well in a normally-irrigated garden that has well-drained soil and will grow in full sun or semi-shade.
Size: Up to 3m
Melianthus major is a hardy, evergreen, decorative shrub with large, neatly serrated, blue-green, compound leaves that are strongly aromatic when touched. From July to October the maroon flower spikes are carried above the foliage, and their dripping nectar attracts Sunbirds and insects to the garden. The black seeds are carried in decorative, pale-green translucent bladders.
Used medicinally. Needs to be pruned back hard after flowering. The plant will then send up beautiful new shoots and look neat and tidy. Prefers a damp situation and makes a good accent plant in sun or semi-shade particularly near water. Plant in well-composted soil and ensure adequate watering for best results.
Size: up to 2,5m
Erythrina lysistemon 'Pink' is a hardy, deciduous tree with pale, grey-brown bark and large trifoliate leaves.
The spikes of showy dusky pink flowers appear in early spring (July to October) before the leaves. This tree is spectacular when in bloom and would make a wonderful avenue tree alternated with the white flowered, Dombeya rotundifolia, that also blooms in early spring. Its copious nectar attracts many species of birds and insects to the garden, even Weaver Birds which make holes in the base of the flowers to rob the nectar.
The pods are like a ‘string of beads’ and enclose red and black seeds, which are used in jewellery making. Game browse on the leaves. It has many magical and medicinal uses.
Plant in full sun or semi-shade.
Size : Up to 6m
Aloe ecklonis is a very hardy evergreen to deciduous, grass Aloe that has broad leaves with white-toothed margins. The rosettes of leaves alone are most attractive. It flowers in summer from November to January, with characteristically short flowering stems. The flowers vary in colour from yellow or orange to salmon-pink and even rarely red.
It is an attractive garden subject as a large number of inflorescences are borne simultaneously. Plant in amongst grasses in a grassland garden or as an attractive form plant in garden beds or containers.
It has medicinal and magical uses and the leaves can be eaten as a vegetable.
Plant in full sun or light semi-shade, and if not in moist soil, water well and regularly.
Size up to 40cm
Kraussia floribunda is a fairly hardy, evergreen, scrambling shrub or small tree with beautiful dark green, glossy foliage. The profuse clusters of delicate creamy-white, scented flowers are borne from October to January. It then bears sweet tasting, edible, purple fruits that the birds love. Butterflies are attracted to the sweet nectar in the flowers. It is also the host of the Pellucid Hawk Moth with its lovely transparent wings.
This is an attractive element of a forest garden. It can be pruned it into a lovely small, glossy-leafed tree, keep it as a shrub or even trim it into an attractive informal hedge. It also makes an attractive container plant.
Plant in semi-shade or shade in compost rich soil.
Size: 2 to 6m
Syzygium guineense is a hardy, small to medium sized, fast-growing, very attractive, evergreen tree with a weeping habit, that can be grown in wet areas and even in shallow water. The bark on young trees is silver becoming pale-grey and patched with many different lichens with age. The grey-green leaves are red when they first appear.
The heavily scented white flowers with copious nectar have conspicuous, fluffy stamens and are borne in large heads on the tips of the branches from October to May.
The decorative, edible, shiny, bright-purple fruit are borne in December which turn the tree into a natural Christmas tree. Birds such as bulbuls, starlings, mousebirds and barbets relish the fruit while the fallen fruit is eaten by guinea fowl and francolin. Fruit bats and bush babies also feast on the fruit.
It is the host plant to the Apricot and Brown Playboy Butterflies.
The plant also has many traditional and medicinal uses.
This very variable species can be grown near water as a single specimen or in clumps to create a forest feel.
Plant in sun or semi-shade.
Size up to 10 meters.
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.
Chasmanthe floribunda subsp. ducketti is a beautiful winter flowering bulb with tall, sword-shaped, light-green leaves arranged in a fan-shape. It grows well in summer rainfall areas although it occurs naturally in winter rainfall areas. The leaves die back in summer and start growing again in autumn. In winter, it bears spikes of numerous, narrow, tubular, bright lemon-yellow, oppositely arranged flowers which are pollinated by Sunbirds.
Mix with deciduous Agapanthus sp. or Crocosmia sp. for a lovely effect of complementary plantings that give colour to the garden in winter and summer.
Plant in sun or shade, in well-drained, compost-rich soils. Water well in winter.
Size: up to 1m