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
Chlorophytum modestum is a hardy, small, evergreen, perennial with short, strap-like leaves that form a tiny rosette.
Plectranthus madagascariensis aliciae is a fairly hardy, evergreen, semi-succulent, aromatic, herbaceous plant that has attractive, variegated leaves with white margins which are carried on long trailing stems.
It bears white, mauve or purple flowers from February to November. A useful groundcover in semi-shade or shade. It makes an attractive hanging basket.
It attracts insects and butterflies and therefore also birds to the garden.
Prune back after flowering. Plant in semi-shade or shade in well-drained, well composted soil.
Used in traditional medicine.
Size Up to 40cm
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.
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.
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.
Dracaena aletriformis is a fairly hardy, evergreen, shade loving, Yucca-like accent plant.
Crinum moorei is a hardy, evergreen or semi-deciduous, very fast-growing bulb with beautiful broad, flat, bright-green leaves in a rosette on the end of a short stalk.
The long, flowering stalk carries a head of large, tubular flowers that form a beautiful umbel of pink to almost white flowers from October to January.
Hypoestes aristata white is a hardy, evergreen, small to medium sized, rounded shrub with grey-green leaves that have lighter veins giving them a variegated look.
It bears abundant spikes of 2-lipped white flowers in the middle of winter, from March to August, when very little else is in flower.
The flowers attract butterflies and other insects to the garden which is a boon to the insect eating birds.
Metarungia pubinervia is a hardy, deciduous to semi-deciduous, fast growing, medium or large sized shrub with attractive, large, almost quilted, dark green leaves.
The beautiful, bright red flowers that resemble snap-dragons, are borne along the tops of the stems from April to June. Their nectar attracts Sunbirds, which are their pollinators, as well as a whole host of insects that find it irresistible.
It makes a lovely understory shrub.
Plant in semi-shade or shade, in compost rich soil.
Size: up to 4m
Begonia dregei is a hardy, deciduous perennial with glossy, beautiful, small semi- succulent leaves that have white spots at times. It bears masses of white flowers throughout the summer. In winter, when it is leafless, is when the beauty of its golden, swollen stems are seen.
Plant in semi shade or shade in those difficult spots where little else grows and it thrives in marshy areas as well. It also makes a great container plant with something of interest about it all year round.
Size 15 to 25cm
Clivia gardenii is a hardy, fairly slow growing perennial with dark, strap-shaped leaves.
It sends out side shoots to form quite large clumps.
Crassula expansa subsp. fragilis is a hardy, evergreen, spreading succulent. It is delicate-looking but a vigorous ornamental groundcover with small oval leaves and stems of either green or purple.
This pretty plant bears masses of tiny, star-like, white flowers from November to April. These flowers attract a large variety of small, non-honey-bee pollinating insects.
Suitable for containers and for planting between stepping-stones or cascading over rocks in rockeries. Makes a great hanging basket subject for shaded areas. It is also suitable as an indoor office plant.
Thrives in those difficult, dry, dark, shade areas under trees, where other plants struggle to grow. It grows well in either semi-shade or shade in well-drained soil.