Scolopia mundtii is a very hardy, evergreen to semi-deciduous, medium growing, small or medium sized tree which is rare and even more rare in cultivation.
The coppice shoots of this tree have spines which soon disappear.
Indigofera frutescens is a hardy, semi-deciduous, graceful, small tree with delicate compound leaves and attractive bark.
Euclea crispa is a very hardy, drought resistant, small evergreen tree has a white stem and beautiful blue-green or olive-green leaves.
Buddleja saligna is a very hardy, evergreen, fast growing, drought resistant tree with silver-grey leaves and beautiful twisted bark that looks almost woven.
It bears profuse panicles of sweetly scented, white flowers from August to January that attract insects and birds.
Calpurnia aurea is a hardy, evergreen, fast growing, graceful shrub or small tree with bright, emerald green foliage.
Bersama lucens is a fairly hardy, evergreen, small, compact tree with a well-developed crown and beautiful blotchy, wrinkled, grey bark.
The young leaves are a brilliant glossy russet brown, turning dark green when mature.
The small greenish white flowers, in long narrow heads, appear from September to June and are followed by green capsules that split to reveal scarlet seeds that attract birds.
The bark is sought after in traditional medicine and this species is becoming increasingly rare.
It is a beautiful, decorative tree for a shady to semi-shady part of the garden.
Chionanthus foveolatus is a fairly hardy, evergreen, forest tree that varies hugely in size depending on where it grows.
In forests it is huge but in gardens in Gauteng will probably not grow more than 10m tall.
Canthium gilfillanii is a very hardy, evergreen, drought resistant tree with interesting, angular branching patterns and beautiful silver bark.
It has small greenish flowers from August to December. which attract insects.
Catha edulis is a small, hardy, fast-growing, evergreen to semi deciduous tree that has a lovely slender shape.
The glossy green leaves and young branches droop, giving the tree a graceful, weeping look.
Celtis africana is a very hardy, deciduous, graceful, drought resistant, large tree.
Combretum erythrophyllum is a very hardy, fast growing, deciduous, drought resistant, medium to large tree with dense foliage that has yellow to red autumn colours.
It bears inconspicuous, whitish puffball flowers from September to November, that are wonderfully fragrant.
Combretum krausii is a hardy, fast growing, semi-deciduous tree with glossy dark green leaves that turn vivid red and purple in autumn.
Cordia caffra is a hardy, fast growing small to medium sized deciduous tree with attractive, distinctive, mottled and flaky bark.
The attractive, drooping, glossy leaves have long petioles and wave in the slightest breeze, adding movement to the garden.
It has creamy-white, sweetly scented flowers in September and October that attract insects to the garden.
Cryptocarya transvaalensis is a hardy, evergreen tree with beautiful glossy dark green foliage.
Cunonia capensis is a hardy, evergreen, fast growing, small to medium sized tree.
The beautiful compound leaves have red petioles and large, red, spoon-shaped stipules that give the tree an overall reddish look and make this a beautiful foliage plant.
It blooms profusely with white, sweetly scented, upright ‘bottlebrush’ flowers from February to May that attract a myriad of insects and butterflies. The fruit attracts birds to the garden.
A handsome tree and good garden subject, which needs a cool, moist area.
Curtisia dentata is a medium-sized, hardy, evergreen tree that can grow quite large in moist forested areas.
Dais cotinifolia is a very hardy, fast growing, deciduous, small tree with attractive slightly blue green leaves.
In spring it has scattered pink leaves in the crown adding to the interest.
Deinbollia oblongifolia is a hardy, briefly deciduous, shrub or small tree with large decorative, dark green leaves crowded at the ends of the branches.
The pyramids of white flowers, which stand out above the leaves, are borne from March to June and are followed by white, fruit that is much favoured by birds.
Lichens readily grow on the bark giving it a lovely mottled effect.
One of the best plants for attracting butterflies, moths, other insects and birds to the garden.
An attractive garden plant for shady areas that also makes a good container plant for indoors.
Traditionally the seeds are used to make soap, the leaves eaten as spinach and the roots used medicinally.
Diospyros whyteana is a large, hardy, very decorative, evergreen shrub or small tree with glossy, almost mirror-like, dark green leaves.
The clusters of small, fragrant, bell-like white flowers are borne from July to October The fruits are red when ripe, enclosed by bladder-like structures.
Dombeya rotundifolia is a very hardy, deciduous, drought and fire resistant, upright tree. It has round, leathery, rough leaves, and attractive, rough, fissured bark which is utilized by Woodpeckers.
This is one of the first trees to bloom in spring where it stands out on the bare hillsides in snowy white patches. Showy clusters of sweetly scented white flowers start blooming in profusion on the bare branches in July and continue well into September before the leaves appear.
Ekebergia capensis is a fairly hardy, semi-deciduous, lush, medium sized, good shade tree with decorative berries that are much favoured by birds.
The small, scented greenish-white flowers appear from August to December.
Erythrina latissima is a fairly hardy, medium sized, sturdy, deciduous tree with magnificent, huge, leathery leaves.
The compact, huge spikes of red to scarlet flowers appear on the leafless tree in late winter and early spring. These are followed by long pods, sometimes in bunches, which split to reveal beautiful orange-red seeds.
The bark is rough and corky and completes the picture of a stocky beautiful specimen tree.
It needs well-drained soil and protection from frost when young.
Erythrina lysistemon is a hardy, deciduous tree with large trifoliate leaves.
Agathosma ovata is a very hardy, evergreen, small shrub that has small dainty, leathery leaves that are aromatic, and when crushed they have a lovely citrus scent.
It bears profuse sprays of star-shaped, pale pink to white flowers that almost obscure the leaves at their peak flowering time in winter, although they have a few flowers throughout the year. They attract a myriad of insects to the garden.
Makes a good cut flower and container plant.
Gonioma kamassii is a species that is endemic to South Africa.
It is a fairly hardy, evergreen shrub or small tree with a dense crown of leathery, shiny, dark green leaves. The bark is smooth at first, aging to scale-like fissures.
Clusters of small, white, wonderfully scented flowers are borne throughout the year but with a peak in October.
Gymnosporia buxifolia is a very hardy, drought resistant, semi-deciduous, small tree or large shrub. It is armed with formidable long, straight spines.
Blooms profusely with white flowers that cover the branches from August to March.
Heteropyxis canescens is a rare, hardy, small, semi-deciduous tree that occurs in forested ravines and riverine forests in a restricted area of Mpumalanga and Swaziland.
It has beautiful, sparkling, beige bark that flakes off in patches leaving attractive blotches.
The quite large, decorative leaves have interesting venation and smell of lavender when crushed.
Heteropyxis natalensis is a hardy, slender, upright, narrow, semi-deciduous tree with truly beautiful, pale creamy bark that, with age, develops beautiful apricot coloured patches on it.
Apodytes dimidiata is a hardy, evergreen, beautifully shaped, fairly fast growing tree with dense, glossy, dark green foliage.
Densely clustered spikes of strongly scented, snow-white flowers that are borne from September to April, especially after good rains.
Mimusops caffra is a hardy, medium-sized to large, evergreen tree with a dense neat crown of attractive grey-green leaves.
This tree tolerates heavy salt spray and this same mechanism allows it to tolerate quite a lot of frost even though it is a plant of the dune forest.
It bears creamy white flowers from September to December which attract, bees, carpenter bees and sunbirds.
Mimusops zeyheri is a semi-hardy, drought resistant, fairly fast growing decorative tree that has a spreading, densely rounded, evergreen crown and deeply grooved bark.
Noltea africana is a very hardy, evergreen, very fast growing, small to medium sized tree.
The glossy leaves are darker above and paler underneath, and have purple petioles. The branchlets are also purplish-red.
The flowers are pretty, small, white sprays borne in the axils of the leaves from August to September. The black seeds are encased in a three-lobed, brown woody capsule that splits to release them when ripe.
A decorative tree that is ideal for the smaller garden but should be kept as a single stem.
Grows well in sun and semi-shade.
Ochna natalitia is a hardy, semi-deciduous, large shrub with glossy leaves that flush red in spring.
Freylinia tropica "Blue" is a very hardy, evergreen, slender shrub that has spreading branches, smooth grey bark and shiny, bright green leaves.
It blooms profusely in late winter when little else is flowering but does bear some bright blue flowers throughout the year.
It makes a good screen plant and can be clipped into a formal hedge or used in an informal hedge. It also makes a beautiful container plant.
It grows in sun or semi-shade.
Attracts insects and butterflies to the garden.
Size 1 to 3m
Pappea capensis is a hardy, evergreen, very attractive, small to medium sized, neatly shaped, dense tree.
Podocarpus falcatus is a large, very hardy, evergreen forest tree. It is the fastest growing of the Yellowwoods.
The small leathery, narrow, dark green leaves are sometimes slightly sickle-shaped.They often have a greyish bloom to them, making this a beautiful foliage tree, particularly when the light catches the leaves and the grey-green forms "highlights" on parts of the canopy.
Mature trees have beautiful, dark purplish-brown and flaking bark.
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.
Rapanea melanophloes is a hardy, small to medium sized, evergreen tree with dark leaves that have a purplish cast to them. It also has really attractive bark.
The small greenish-white flowers from May to July attract insects and bees.
Rauvolfia caffra is a hardy, evergreen to briefly deciduous, upright tree with beautiful large, glossy drooping, lanceolate leaves.
The trumpet-shaped, small, white flowers are carried in clusters at the end of the branches from May to October and are sweet smelling, attracting swarms of bees as well as wasps and butterflies.
Plant in a protected position.
Rhus lancea is a very hardy, evergreen, drought resistant tree with a graceful, weeping form. The dark, fissured bark contrasts beautifully with the long, thin, bright, trifoliate leaves.
The inconspicuous yellow-green flowers (male and female flowers on separate plants, therefore only female plants bear fruit) from June to September attract insects and are followed by bunches of edible fruit that attract birds. The small flowers are borne in abundance and give the tree a lacy look when in bloom.
An excellent garden subject that thrives in clay soils and is fast growing if watered regularly. Having said that it is also drought hardy. Extremely popular street tree and a good avenue tree. Makes a great climbing tree for children if the lower branches are not pruned off.
Plant in sun or semi-shade in virtually any soil type.
Size up to 8m
Rhus leptodictya is a very hardy, evergreen, drought resistant, small, decorative tree with a drooping crown of bright green foliage. The bark on young stems is reddish brown, becoming darker and rougher as the tree matures. The lovely reddish wood is used to make beautiful small pieces of furniture.
The inconspicuous flowers (male and female flowers on separate plants, therefore only female plants bear fruit) are borne from January to April.
Rothmannia capensis is a hardy, evergreen, small to medium sized tree.
Maytenus bachmannii is a very pretty evergreen shrub with small, narrow leaves that have pink stalks.
It bears abundant, small, white flowers that have pink stalks from January to March and attract insects to the garden.
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.
Leucosidea sericea is a decorative, very hardy, evergreen, fast growing, low branching small, tree with aromatic leaves that have silvery hairs.
The yellowish-green flowers that are borne from August to December are sticky with nectar and held in candle-like spikes. The flowers attract many insects with their pollen and nectar.
It has attractive, dark, fissured, peeling stem bark. One can make the most of this by pruning them up to have clean stems or trunks and lower branches. It makes a beautiful specimen tree in a small garden.
Requires regular watering or plant in damp areas to keep it looking good.
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.
Albuca nelsonii is a very hardy, robust, evergreen, clump forming bulb with strap-like, bright green leaves.
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
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.
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.
Pelargonium acetosum is a hardy, evergreen, bushy but sometimes straggling ground cover with semi-succulent bright green leaves that are edged in red.
The gorgeous, brilliant, satiny- pink flowers vary from coral pink to almost white. There are two to seven flowers per stalk, and this groundcover bears flowers almost all year round.
The young leaves and buds are edible and have an acidic taste.
Size 20 to 60 cm
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
Stachys aethiopica is a hardy, evergreen, spreading groundcover with beautiful pale green almost quilted leaves.
It bears spikes of small, white tubular flowers mainly in spring but with a few flowers almost all year round. They attract a myriad of tiny insects to the garden which provide food for lizards and frogs.
An attractive groundcover that grows in both sun and shade. Prune lightly and regularly to keep in shape. As this is a widespread species it is variable and the form that we grow is not rampant but rather stays in neat little clusters. Plant in well-drained soil in hanging baskets, along borders or in containers.
Size 25 to 35cm
Pelargonium sidoides is a hardy, evergreen (in culitvation) perennial that has thickened underground root-like branches. These are an adaptation to surviving grassland fires. The leaves are somewhat "frilly" and a beautiful grey-green. They are faintly aromatic and are arranged in a rosette.
The beautiful maroon flowers are borne mostly in spring, and are very decorative.
Can easily be propagated from cuttings. Plant in full sun, and in composted, well-drained soil. Makes a great container plant.
Size up to 20cm
Anthericum saundersiae is a hardy, evergreen, clump forming, grass-like perennial that bears sprays of white flowers and seeds all year round.
It grows in sun or shade and this makes it a good plant for the difficult areas that are in shade for part of the year.
Aristada junciformis is a handsome, very hardy, thick tufted grass with copious wispy seed heads that sway beautifully in the wind.
The seeds persist on the plant for an extended period from November. to May, and the culms are slow to yellow with the onset of winter, making this a good landscape grass.
A particularly good species for providing habitat for Vlei Rats and other grassland or wetland wildlife. Will grow well in wet, clay soil, as well as under normal garden conditions.
It is also well utilized in the making of brooms.
Size up to 60cm
Andropogon eucomis is a very hardy, small upright growing grass with bright green foliage that is concentrated at the base of the plant.
The glistening white seed heads are borne at the tip of reddish stems from November to May.
This widespread grass is ornamental and easy to manage in the garden.
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.
Isolepis cernua is an evergreen, wide-spread, fountain-like, bright green, little flowering sedge that has silvery flower heads on the tips of long stems that make it look like a spray of fibre-optic threads.
Although frost hardy, it requires damp growing conditions. It grows in marshy areas, so needs plenty of water, and will be at its best at the edge of a water feature or in a container that will hold moisture.
Plant in full sun to light shade.
Tinnea barbata is a pretty but little-known shrub that deserves a lot more attention as a great garden subject.
It is evergreen with dark bluish-green leaves that are slightly hairy, and paler underneath. Tinnea is considered semi-hardy (probably frost tolerant due to it's high altitude natural habitat). It bears many blueish purple flowers that hang from the branches like little jewels.
Tinnea should be pruned to keep a neat shape, as its natural growth habit is to climb or scramble over other plants.
semi-shade in well composted soil.
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
Brilliantasia subulugurica is a fairly hardy, semi-deciduous, vigorous, fast growing shrub with large, glossy, attractive leaves.
Arctotis arctoides is a hardy, mat forming ground cover with lovely matt green leaves with wavy margins that have white felted undersides.
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.
Bowiea volubilis is a hardy, deciduous, bulbous plant that has two thin, strap-like leaves.
It climbs by means of its large much-branched inflorescence, the branchlets of which grow downwards.
Chlorophytum modestum is a hardy, small, evergreen, perennial with short, strap-like leaves that form a tiny rosette.
Chloris gayana is a hardy, evergreen very leafy tufted perennial grass.
It has finger-like (digitate) flowering heads from November to May.
Halleria elliptica is a hardy evergreen shrub, with very showy, orange-red, broadly tubular flowers in summer and winter.
The olive green foliage turns purple in winter which contrasts beautifully with the orange-red flowers.
Haplocarpha scaposa is a very hardy, fast growing, deciduous perennial plant with a basal rosette of attractive large, grey-green leaves that have white woolly undersides.
In its first season it starts to bear large yellow flowers on long stalks resembling the well-known Barberton Daisy.
It blooms from September to March (remove the old flower stems before they seed).
It attracts insects to the garden.
Aloe ciliaris is a hardy, climbing Aloe with stems climbing up to 5m if they are supported, but otherwise makes a lovely, clump forming sprawling shrub.
The leaves are in loose rosettes around the stem and fringed with white hairs.
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.
Diascia genta hybrid is a hardy, bushy, evergreen, drought resistant, perennial groundcover with fine round leaves.
This hybrid has massed spikes of flowers ranging in colour from white, pink, orange through red.
The flowers are borne mainly from August. to March. but it does bear some flowers all year round.
Plectranthus ciliatus is a outstanding fairly hardy, evergreen groundcover with attractive quilted leaves that have purple undersides and purple stems.
It has spikes of white or mauve flowers from September to May, that attract insects and butterflies to the garden.
Plectranthus oertendahlii is an evergreen, clump forming groundcover that spreads along the forest floor. Wherever its soft stems touch the ground they root.
The leaves are slightly succulent and beautifully variegated green with silvery white markings along their vein and midrib lines. They are reddish maroon underneath.
The delicate white flowers are borne in spikes from February to June, with most flowers appearing in April and May.
A most worthwhile plant for shady areas and makes a spectacular pot plant.
Plant in loamy, well-composted soil and water regularly.
Size up to 20cm
Lantana rugosa is a hardy, evergreen, much branched perennial shrub with rough stems and leaves.The leaves are small (the drier the conditions, the smaller the leaves), bright green and aromatic when crushed. Little clusters of pinky purple flowers are borne from September to May, and are followed by clustered, juicy, purple fruit. An excellent addition to the wildlife garden.
The flowers attract many pollinating insects, including butterflies. The fruit is eaten by people, monkeys and birds. It has a number of traditional medicinal uses.
Plant in well drained soil, and full sun to semi shade. It will flower and fruit best in full sun, but the more shade and water it receives, the larger the leaves will be. Prune well after flowering for it to maintain a good shape, otherwise it can become scraggly.
Size up to 1.5m
Gardenia cornuta is a small, evergreen, decorative tree. It is multi-stemmed with grey-green mottled bark on erect, stiff branches.
The leaves are clustered at the ends of the hard twigs, and are shiny light green with wavy margins.
Scented, star-like white flowers adorn the tree from December to March, making it a sight to behold. They fade to creamy yellow as they get older.
These are followed by oval woody fruit that turn yellow. The fruit is eaten by monkeys when it is young, and nyala also relish the fruit.
Plant in a spot that is protected from frost, in sun or very light, dappled shade.
Size up to 5m
Turraea floribunda is a hardy, small, deciduous tree with a rounded crown of olive-green leaves that have distinct herringbone design veins.
It drops its leaves in early spring and then the clusters of sweetly scented, large white flowers are borne in profusion along the bare stems (September to November).
The beautiful green and white Honeysuckle-type flowers adorning the tree are a sight to behold and the scent is divine.
The pretty red seeds are borne on large woody star-shaped pods.
It is an important host tree for butterflies and moths and attracts many sunbirds and seed eating birds to the garden.
This attractive tree is ideal for a small garden. Plant in well-drained, compost rich soil. Grows best in full sun.
Size 3 to 5m
Ortosiphon labiatus is a very hardy, semi-deciduous, fast growing shrub. It forms a much branched rounded shrub with aromatic, heart-shaped leaves.
From mid-summer to early winter it is covered in spikes of pinky-mauve tubular flowers that are irresistible to a number of insect pollinators. Butterflies especially enjoy the flowers.
Pruning it back in early spring encourages flowering. Ideal for smaller spaces, plant in sun or semi-shade.
Plant in well-composted soil, and although extremely drought hardy, watering well will keep it at its best.
Size to 1.5m
Melinis repens is a hardy, tufted, weakly perennial grass with greyish green leaves.It has beautiful plumes of hairy, pink flowers that become pale, almost white as they mature. Flowers and seeds from September to June.
This is the grass you see along the roads shining in the sun. It generally grows in disturbed areas, regardless of soil type.It is a good soil stabiliser interplanted with other perennial grasses or groundcovers.
The seeds attract seed eating birds.
Plant in sun or semi-shade.
Cenchrus ciliaris is a tufted, shrubby perennial grass with bright green to blue-green leaves that are up to a metre long.
The grass culms are jointed, and roots often arise at these joints or nodes.
The flower spikes are bristly and cat-tail like, carried on stalks just above the leaves.
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
Lippia javanica is a very hardy, evergreen, erect, small shrub with aromatic leaves.
Tulbaghia violacea is a very hardy, evergreen, tuft forming bulbous plant, with semi-succulent, strap-like, grey-green leaves that are garlic scented when bruised.
Long stalks carrying umbels of delicate lilac to pink flowers are borne mainly from January to April. It will however bloom on and off almost all year in cultivation.
The flowers are sweetly scented at night and make excellent cut flowers. Use in the garden as a companion plant, particularly to deter aphids.
When sitting outside whack some of the leaves on your table or chair and this will deter flies and mosquitoes.
Used medicinally. It can also be used as a garlic substitute in salads, soups and stews. The flowers are a decorative addition to a salad.
An excellent groundcover for difficult areas as it can thrive in very poor soils and with very little watering.
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.
Gazania gazoo fire mix is a hardy, evergreen, drought resistant, sun loving groundcovers with glossy leaves.
This vigorous Gazania produces extremely large flowers on strong stems in spring and summer.
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
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.
Ruttya fruticosa is a fairly hardy, evergreen, beautiful rounded shrub with glossy dark green foliage.
It bears unusual, exceptionally attractive two-lipped tubular orange or yellow flowers that have a shiny black in the throat.
It blooms from spring to late summer and attracts bees, birds and butterflies.
Plant in compost rich soil – it also tolerates slightly acidic soil.
Prune back after flowering to keep in shape.
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.
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.
Jasminum multipartitum is a very hardy, evergreen, fast-growing creeper or scrambler with small, glossy, dark-green foliage.
It bears masses of fragrant, white (with deep pink undersides), star-shaped flowers, from August to January.
Jasminum stenolobum is a hardy, evergreen, scandent, bushy shrub or climber, with glossy, dark-green leaves.
Masses of large, fragrant, white, star-shaped flowers with a pink underside are borne from August to January.
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.
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.
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
Pelargonium ionidiflorum is a very hardy, evergreen, drought-resistant perennial with beautiful, incised leaves.
It bears clusters of gorgeous, violet-pink flowers with wine-red markings all year round.
Polygala fruticosa "Petite" is a hardy, evergreen, shrublet that has shiny, grey-green, heart-shaped leaves that have red margins. The young leaves are a shiny, coppery pink.
The clusters of gorgeous, magenta, pea-shaped flowers appear from August to May and attract bees and other pollinating insects to the garden.
This beautiful plant is great in a mixed border, rockeries, Terraforce walls or containers. Used in traditional medicine.
Plant in compost-rich soil in full sun or semi-shade and water well when planting and until settled. Thereafter it will tolerate quite dry conditions.
Hypericum revolutum is a hardy, evergreen, medium-sized to large, fast-growing, moisture-loving shrub with reddish-brown, scaly bark.
Polygala myrtifolia "Riviersonderend" is a miniature form of the well-known Polygala myrtifolia.
Cotula sericea is a hardy, evergreen, fast-growing, flat, sprawling groundcover with really beautiful, grey-green leaves that have fine hairs that give this plant a soft silky texture.
The single, bright-yellow, button-like flowers are carried on long stems above the leaves.
Gunnera perpensa is a very hardy, deciduous marsh plant, with large tuberous roots that have a nitrogen fixing, symbiotic relationship with blue-green algae. It has beautiful big, round, bluish-green leaves that are carried on long stems and arise from a central point on the roots.
The tiny brown flowers are densely packed in gracefully-drooping spikes from September to February.
Chironia laxa is a hardy, evergreen, many-branched, low-growing, rounded shrublet with slender, linear little leaves.
This delightful plant bears an abundance of satiny, bright pink flowers with centrally-massed, yellow stamens from November to March.
Salvia namaensis is a perennial, evergreen small shrub that is both drought and frost hardy.
It has fine, dissected little leaves that are lime green, tough and aromatic. They, as well as the young branches are covered in tiny little hairs. Young branches are reddish purple.
The small white to pale mauve flowers are borne in spring and summer. Many insects including bees and butterflies are attracted to the flowers.
Plant in full sun, in well composted, well drained soil. Lovely contrasting foliage for bold-leaved plants with the same growing conditions. Makes a good container plant, but prune fairly regularly.
Size to about 1m
Barleria prionitis subsp. delagoense is a fairly hardy, evergreen, fast-growing, drought resistant shrublet or groundcover with opposite pairs of bright green leaves.
It bears beautiful, clear apricot flowers in the axils of the leaves. These make a lovely show in the garden from as early as December, but mainly January to March. The flowers attract many pollinating insects, including butterflies to the garden.
Makes a lovely container plant or small shrub for the open garden.
Prune back after flowering to encourage compact growth. Plant in well drained, compost rich soil and water regularly. Grows well in frost-free areas, in semi shade or sun.
Size: up to 1m
Karomia speciosa is a hardy, deciduous, sparsely-branched shrub or small tree with smooth, pale-grey bark.
Nerine laticoma is a very hardy, deciduous, bulbous plant with a tuft of broad, glossy, strap-shaped leaves and quite a large bulb.
From January to March, each bulb sends up a long, flowering stem that has a rounded head of absolutely beautiful pink flowers that attract pollinating insects.
Senecio tamoides is a hardy, evergreen, succulent climber that has lovely, glossy, green leaves.
Eragrostis capensis is a very hardy, evergreen to semi-deciduous, densely-tufted, small perennial grass.
Chlorophytum krookianum is a robust, hardy, deciduous, perennial groundcover with a rosette of large broad, soft, grey green, strap-like leaves.
The flowering stem is long and strong (up to 2m) with a large branched flowering head covered with shiny, white, starry flowers from December. to April.
It occurs naturally in grasslands where its large flowering head is carried well above the grasses.
It is ideally suited to full sun in mixed borders or grassland gardens.
Attracts insects and thus birds to the garden.
Size 30 to 50cm
Eucomis zambeziaca is a hardy, deciduous, rare, bulbous plant that has a rosette of attractive, broad, strap-like leaves with wavy margins.
During summer, it bears cylindrical spikes of glossy, white flowers with a tuft of green leaves on top, similar to a pineapple.
Acokanthera oppositifolia ia a hardy, evergreen, drought-resistant, medium to large upright, woody, shrub with brown, deeply fissured bark on the old wood.
Setaria megaphylla is a hardy, evergreen, shade- and moisture-loving grass that has beautiful, broad, bright-green, ribbed leaves.
Long spikes of brown seeds follow the dainty flowers that are borne from September to June.
Helichrysum splendidum is a hardy, evergreen, small, sprawling shrub that grows in moist though well-drained areas.
Ruspolia hypocrateriformis is a fairly hardy, evergreen, scrambling woody shrub with bright green foliage. The spikes of showy pink to red flowers with darker spots on their lower petals are borne at the tips of new growth throughout summer and into autumn.
Butterflies are attracted to the garden by the large amount of nectar that these flowers produce. The flowers are followed by a dry capsule which splits with a loud crack to release the seed within.
Makes an interesting garden subject as a shrub and is said to make a good hedge. It is not readily available in nurseries.
Plant in full sun or semi-shade, in fertile, well-drained, loamy soil.
Size: 1m but can climb to about 4m
Asparagus laricinus is a very hardy, evergreen, shrubby Asparagus with fine, feathery foliage and silvery, zigzag branchlets.
It has a myriad of tiny, white, nectar-rich flowers in spring and summer that are fragrant and attract insects and birds.
Asparagus virgatus is an extremely hardy, evergreen, erect, stiff shrublet with long slender stems.
Gomphostigma virgatum is an extremely hardy, evergreen, water-loving, graceful perennial or shrub with small, elongated, attractive grey leaves.
It blooms profusely almost all year round with spikes of white flowers.
Aloe fosteri is a hardy, stemless Aloe with leaves that have a grey, powdery surface and white, almost “H-shaped” markings on the upper surface.
The blue-grey, branched flowering stalk bears brightly-coloured flowers, varying from yellow to orange and even scarlet.
Gladiolus dalenii is a very hardy, deciduous, summer-growing perennial with a corm that gives rise to a fan of erect, grey-green leaves.
The tall, erect, flowering stem has large, hooded flowers varying from intense orange-red to yellow, pale-green and speckled-brown.
Hypoestes aristata 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 that are densely packed with 2-lipped deep purple flowers with darker purple spots 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.
Kniphofia praecox is a very hardy, herbaceous perennial which is thought to be a garden hybrid.
Tulbaghia simmleri is a hardy, fast growing, deciduous, bulbous plant with attractive, grey-green, fleshy, strap-like leaves that die back in winter.
Umbels of deep lilac, sweetly scented flowers are borne on long stems and make an excellent cut flower. It flowers from late summer (May) into early spring (September).
Plant in well-drained, compost rich soil in shade or sun.
Freylina tropica is a very hardy, evergreen, slender shrub that has spreading branches, smooth grey bark and shiny, bright green leaves.
It blooms profusely in late winter when little else is flowering but does bear white or lilac flowers throughout the year.
Attracts insects and butterflies to the garden.
Pelargonium quercifolium "Royal Oak" is a hardy, drought resistant shrublet with striking, oak-like foliage that is worth planting just for its beautiful maroon veined leaves. The foliage is balsam-scented.
It also bears gorgeous dark pink to red flowers almost all year round. The flowers attract insects to the garden.
Looks beautiful in either a mixed bed, mass planted or as a container plant. Plant in full sun or half day shade and, importantly, plant them in well-drained soil.
Size 30 to 50cm
Anchusa capensis is a drought hardy annual or bi-annual that grows vigorously, is upright, and has bright green, rough leaves and stems. It has a fairly weedy appearance.
The stems of brilliant blue flowers are borne throughout Spring and Summer and into Autumn. Each little blue flower is beautiful when looked at closely. They have a white feathery centre (these are actually scales that protect the reproductive parts of the flower).
Strelitzia juncea is a lovely addition to the garden. This hardy, evergreen plant forms a bushy clump of tough, cylindrical leaves. The interesting leaves and shape make this a stunning accent and container plant.
The brilliant orange and shimmering peacock-blue flowers have an interesting structure resembling an exotic bird, and flower from May to October.
The beautiful, flowers attract a number of different bird species to the garden. The nectar attracts sunbirds while the black seeds with an orange aril attracts many seed eating birds to the garden. Use both the long lasting flowers and leaves for flower arranging.
Plant in well-drained, rich soil in full sun or partial shade.
Size up to 1.5m
Pelargonium salmoneum is an evergreen, extremely drought hardy, semi-succulent Pelargonium which has yellowish green leaves.
As its name suggests, the flowers are a bright, salmon pink. They are held above the leaves on a flowering stalk that bears up to 20 flowers. Peak flowering times are between June and December.
It makes an excellent container plant and does very well in open ground in the garden as well. It is the perfect height as a "mid-shrub", to plant taller shrubs behind it and shorter bedding plants in the front.
Size up to 75cm
Gazania gazoo Citrus Mix is a hardy, evergreen, drought resistant, sun loving groundcover with glossy leaves.
This vigorous Gazania produces large flowers on strong stems in spring and summer. They are free flowering with a long flowering season.
This hybrid mixture of orange and yellow flowers even open under low light conditions. Needs well-drained soil and moderate water.
Ideal for a rockery and for stabilizing soil on banks as well as for mass planting and containers.
Size 15 to 30cm
Albuca shawii is a hardy, deciduous bulb with very thin, dark-green leaves that are covered in short, sticky hairs.The leaves have a faint smell of liquorice when crushed.
The flowering spikes bear a spray of beautiful, nodding, delicately-scented yellow and green flowers from September to February.
A beautiful addition to a rockery, short grassland garden or meadow of delicate, bulbous plants.
They prefer full sun but can take light semi-shade. Plant in well-drained, loamy soil and do not over-water. If planting in a grassland, make sure that they are not swamped by too many tall grasses.
Size: up to 40cm
Salvia 'Beautiful Blue' is a very hardy, evergreen, small shrub with aromatic, bright-green leaves that grow in clumps along the stems.
Clusters of sky-blue, funnel-shaped flowers are borne en masse from June to December. When the flowers fall off, the decorative calyx remains and is an added feature.
The flowers of Wild Sage can be used as a good cut flower. It is an attractive, easy plant to grow. As with all Salvia’s they attract pollinating insects and Sunbirds to the garden.
Plant in well-drained soil in full sun or semi-shade and water well in winter. This tough plant tolerates very dry conditions and should not be over-watered. Prune back hard once a year.
Size: 0,5 to 0,75m
Hibiscus pedunculatus is a hardy, evergreen, small to medium-sized shrub whose delicate, dainty look belies the fact that it is hardy and easy to grow. The lobed leaves feel like sandpaper.
From October to May the delightful, large, pale pink, hibiscus-like flowers are borne on long stalks.
The abundant pollen offered by the flowers attracts insects while Charaxes butterflies use it as a host plant. It is used in traditional medicine.
Group a few together for a gorgeous display or plant in amongst other shrubs as a border or screen where the flowers peeping through the other shrubs give the border a whimsical look.
Carissa macrocarpa "Green Carpet" is a hardy, evergreen, drought-resistant, dense, spiny, dwarf spreading shrublet with leathery, dark-green, glossy leaves.
It has beautiful, quite large, scented, white flowers and large edible red fruits on and off throughout the year.
It attracts butterflies and fruit-eating birds to the garden. The fruits make a delicious jelly that is sold as ‘Amatungulu Jelly’. This useful plant can be used to cover large areas or clipped into an attractive small formal hedge. It also looks great in a container.
Erect shoots should be clipped to keep the dwarf habit. Plant in shade, semi-shade or sun, in well-drained, well-composted soil.
Size: up to 40cm
Zanthoxylum capense is a hardy, deciduous to semi-deciduous small to medium-sized tree, with smooth, dark grey bark and broad, cone-shaped knobs that are topped with a short spine. The leaves are divided into leaflets, that are shiny and dark green above, and paler beneath. When crushed they are somewhat brittle and have a strong Citrus scent.
From October to February, the tiny, white, scented flowers are clustered at the ends of the branches. The male and female flowers are borne on separate trees. Female trees develop clusters of tiny orange-red fruits that split to release oil-rich black seeds. The fruit is edible but cause a burning sensation in the mouth.
Both flowers and fruit attract many insects and birds to the garden. It is a host plant to the Citrus Swallowtail and other Swallowtail Butterflies. This tree is widely used in traditional medicine remedies, and the wood is used for implements.
It makes an excellent container plant, or part of a forest garden or plant singly as a specimen tree to prune up and expose the interesting, knobbly stem.
Plant in semi-shade or full sun, in well-drained, compost rich soil.
Size: 2 to 15m
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
Thespesia acutiloba is a hardy, semi-deciduous small tree or large shrub with pale grey bark that becomes furrowed with age.
Thunbergia natalensis is a hardy, deciduous, herbaceous shrublet with large, attractive, heart-shaped leaves that sometimes have wavy margins.
From October to March, it bears beautiful, sky-blue, trumpet-shaped flowers with yellow centres. They attract insects to the garden.
Traditionally it is used as a charm to ensure a happy marriage.
It is a particularly useful size for planting under trees and shrubs.
Plant in well-drained soil in shady or semi-shade areas of the garden for a splash of colour under trees.
Size 0,5 to 1m
Ehretia rigida is a very hardy, deciduous, drought resistant, attractive shrub with an interesting shape.
Elegia capensis is a hardy, evergreen restio is a large, ornamental form plant for water features.It produces tall stems with soft-feathery leaves at regular intervals along its length.
The golden-brown flowers are carried at the tip of the tall stems in Octocber and November.It is a beautiful form plant that whispers in the wind.Prune back old stems regularly and thin out if it gets too large.
Plant in ponds or beside water features or streams.If not in a pond, plant in rich but well-drained soil (as standing water can become stagnant) and water well in winter.
It will grow in sun or semi-shade.
Size: up to 2m
Eriocephalus africanus is a hardy, attractive, fast growing evergreen, aromatic, small shrub, with fine, soft, grey, heavily scented leaves.
It flowers from autumn to winter with white, daisy-like flowers that have a purple centre and are followed by attractive, white, woolly seed heads.
Plant in a well-drained, sunny position and ensure it is well watered.
Erythrophysa transvaalensis is a rare, hardy, semi-deciduous, drought resistant shrub or small tree is mostly multi-stemmed.
Eucomis autumnalis is a very hardy, bulbous, deciduous plant with a rosette of attractive, broad strap-like leaves.
The spikes of greenish-white flowers have a tuft of green bracts on top which gives the flower the look of a pineapple or - with a bit of imagination - little green men from Mars.
Eucomis comosa is a very hardy, deciduous, bulbous plant with a rosette of attractive, broad, strap-like leaves with a maroon cast.
The spikes of sweetly scented, pink or maroon star-shaped flowers with attractive purple ovaries are borne from October. to February.
It grows best in full sun in either damp or dry spots.
Eucomis vandermerwii is a very hardy, deciduous bulb with a rosette of beautiful leaves that are tinged wine red, have masses of dark maroon spots and wavy edges.
In summer it bears spikes of long lasting wine red flowers topped with dark green, maroon blotched Pineapple-like bracts.
Eumorphia prostrata is a hardy, mounding shrub with beautiful, soft, fine silver foliage.
From September to December is bears small daisy-like white flowers.
Euphorbia tirucalli 'Firesticks' is a hardy, evergreen, tough, drought-resistant, succulent shrub or small tree with rarely-seen, tiny leaves that fall very early as this plant uses its green stems to photosynthesise.In this form the tips of the branches turn yellow, red and orange giving the impression that the tips of the plant are on fire.
Tiny, yellow flowers appear from September to December at the end of the new growth.These flowers attract masses of insects and butterflies.
The seed capsules that follow are prized by everything from ants to birds and even monkeys.The dense branches make ideal nesting sites for birds.Traditionally it is utilised as a living hedge to provide a nocturnal kraal for livestock.The plant is reputedly an effective banisher of moles. Although it is thornless, the dense, angular structure of the branchlets makes it fairly impenetrable, especially in older specimens.
Euryops pectinatus is a very hardy, attractive, fast growing, evergreen, free flowering shrub that has soft grey-green foliage.
It bears bright yellow daisies all year round but in profusion in spring.
It grows best in well-drained, well-composted soil in the full sun and flowers most of the year if deadheaded regularly. Water well in winter as this is its main growing season.
The flowers attract butterflies and insects to the garden.It makes a particularly beautiful, informal hedge.
Size 1m x 1m
Euryops virgineus is a very hardy, fast growing, evergreen shrub that is both drought and wind resistant.
It has attractive, dense, fine bright green leaves and is covered in masses of small, golden-yellow flowers in winter and early spring.
The sweetly scented flowers attract insects to the garden.
Plant in full sun and prune back at least once a year after flowering and make sure it is watered in winter .
Falkia repens is a hardy, evergreen, flat, mat-forming, perennial groundcover with lovely rounded leaves.
It bear large, white to pinkish paper-like flowers (like miniature poppies) from September. to December.
Felicia bergeriana is a hardy, attractive, clump-forming perennial develops to a dense carpet of bright green leaves.
The masses of blue daisies are borne on long stems nearly all year round and attract butterflies to the garden.
Remove the dead flowers regularly to encourage flowering.
Plant in full sun in compost rich but well-drained soil.
Felicia erigeroides is a very hardy, mound-forming, evergreen perennial has small, bright green leaves and delicate pink to lilac flowers.
It flowers profusely from July to September. but does have some flowers all year round if deadheaded after flowering.
Felicia filifolia is an extremely hardy, evergreen, small shrub with fine, bright-green, aromatic, needle-like leaves.
It is a magnificent sight from July to September, when it is covered in such prolific mauve, daisy-type flowers that you cannot see the leaves.
Ficus abutilifolia is a hardy, deciduous, small to medium sized fig tree that has beautiful, large, heart-shaped leaves.
Freylinia lanceolata is a very hardy, evergreen, fast growing, graceful shrub with a lovely weeping shape. The long, drooping lanceolate leaves add to the shape.
Gardenia thunbergia is a hardy, evergreen shrub has glossy green leaves, silvery bark and wonderful branching patterns.
The sweet scent of the magnificent, large, white flowers will permeate the garden from October to February.
Geranium incanum is a hardy, fast growing, evergreen groundcover has beautiful, fine, feathery foliage.
It bears masses of purple flowers nearly all year round that attract insects to the garden.
It is a very versatile plant that does well planted on banks, in hanging baskets and containers.
Gerbera jamesonni is a well-known and well-loved hardy indigenous groundcover.
This hardy, semi-deciduous perennial has a basal rosette of leaves and large daisy-like flowers carried on long stems above the plant with a broad spectrum of colour from yellow through orange and red variations.
It blooms almost all year round but flushes from September. to April.
Gomphocarpus fruticosus is a very hardy, deciduous perennial shrub with clusters of complex, yellow-green flowers that are borne intermittently throughout the year.
These are followed by inflated, oval, yellow-green seedpods covered with soft green hairs that pop to release silky seeds that are carried off by the wind.
It is the host for the African Monarch butterfly and is thus a good element for a butterfly garden.
Grewia flava is a hardy, medium sized, drought resistant, deciduous shrub with blue green foliage with an asymmetrical base.
It bears abundant, yellow, scented, star-shaped flowers from October to March. When this compact shrub is in full flower it is a sight to behold.
The flowers are followed by 2 lobed, edible fruit that are irresistible to birds.
Hermannia saccifera is a hardy, compact, low, spreading, evergreen, drought resistant groundcover has shiny bright green leaves.
Masses of bright yellow, pendulous, bell-like flowers are borne in early spring and make a wonderful show.
Hesperantha coccinea [=Schizostylis] is a very hardy, mostly evergreen, bulbous plant with a fan of bright-green, strap-like leaves.
It bears showy spikes of large, star-shaped flowers that cluster at the tips of slender stems from December to April. The colors vary from bright-scarlet to soft, pale pink.
It attracts insects to the garden and is a butterfly host plant.If left for a few years, it forms large clumps and is a sight to behold.Seeing them flowering en masse along streams in the foothills of the Drakensberg is amazing.
Hypoestes aristata little pink 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 that are densely packed with 2-lipped pink flowers with purple spots in the middle of winter, from March to August.,
Hypoxis hemerocallidea is a very hardy, deciduous, bulbous plant with folded, strap-like leaves that are hairy and arranged in a triangular fashion.
The spikes of bright, yellow star shaped flowers rise through the centre of the plant on short spikes.
It flowers from very early spring to midsummer August. to April.
Melianthus comosus is a very hardy, evergreen, drought resistant fast growing shrub with attractive divided, strongly aromatic leaves.
The sprays of scarlet flowers are sweet smelling and have abundant nectar which attracts insects, bees, butterflies, Sunbirds and Cape White eyes.
It is a really beautiful sight when in flower from October to December.
It also has attractive papery pods.
Pelargonium fragrans is a hardy, evergreen, compact natural hybrid Pelargonium with delicate leaves that have a distinct nutmeg scent.
It flowers profusely with clusters of dainty, small white flowers from May to August but has some flowers all year round.
Pelargonium peltatum is a hardy, evergreen rambling pelargonium with smooth, fleshy leaves that have five points.
The flowers are a beautiful pale pink to mauve with darker streaks in the middle and bloom for most of the year.
The rambling, zig-zag stems make it ideal for hanging baskets, cascading over walls or used as an edging plant in a bed or even supported as a climber.
Prune to keep in shape, Plant in well-drained soil in full sun or semi-shade.
The many hybrid ‘Ivy Geraniums were developed from this rewarding and popular garden plant.
Size Up to 2m
Phygelius capensis is a hardy, evergreen small shrub with glossy, dark green leaves. It bears spikes of beautiful, red, drooping, tubular flowers in summer.
Plant in sun or semi shade.
Plectranthus ambiguous is a hardy shrublet with large thinly hairy olive green leaves.
The flower spikes have densely congested long narrow tubular flowers in a beautiful shade of pale purple in March and April.
Plant in shade or semi-shade and prune back hard before the new seasons growth to keep it looking neat and encourage flowering the following season.
Plectranthus ecklonii is a fairly hardy, erect, shrubby Plectranthus with attractive, large, quilted leaves.
Plentranthus fruticosus is a softly branching, fairly hardy, evergreen, upright Plectranthus has attractive olive green foliage tinged with purple beneath.
The spikes of pink to mauve flowers are borne in profusion in autumn.
Plectroniella armata is a hardy multi-stemmed, deciduous shrub or small tree with smooth grey bark and straight hard spines.
The attractive glossy leaves are dark green on top and pale green below.
Plumbago auriculata white is a hardy, scrambling, much branched, evergreen shrub.
It bears masses of edible, white Phlox-like flowers on and off all year round.
It is an important butterfly host plant and attracts both butterflies and birds to the garden.
A popular garden and hedging plant that is also suitable for covering banks.
Prune regularly to keep smaller and in shape as it can get quite wild.
Plumbago auriculata blue is a hardy, scrambling, much branched, evergreen shrub.
It bears masses of edible, sky-blue Phlox-like flowers on and off all year round.
It is an important butterfly host plant and attracts both butterflies and birds to the garden.
Polygala myrtifolia is a hardy, large, evergreen shrub with glossy green leaves.
It bears abundant, mauve pea-like flowers almost all year round with a flush in late winter.
It makes a decorative small tree if pruned into a standard and makes a beautiful floriferous screening plant. It can also be pruned into a formal hedge.
Attracts Carpenter Bees to the garden.
The seeds are relished by laughing doves and other seed-eating birds.
Grows in sun or semi-shade but flowers best in full sun and makes an excellent container plant.
Size 1 to 4m
Portulacaria afra prostrata is a fairly hardy, pretty, succulent groundcover is a variety of P. afra but instead of being a large upright shrub it has a creeping habit and stays low.
It has attractive round, glossy leaves on long arching succulent branches.
Psychotria capensis is a fairly hardy, evergreen shrub or small tree that is nicely shaped with leathery, glossy leaves.
It is a great foliage plant.
Raphionacme velutina is a very hardy, deciduous, multi-stemmed herbaceous plant with weakly-erect stems arising from a large, tuberous caudex, which is sometimes flattened. The small, elongated, hairy, grey-green leaves are folded upwards in well-spaced, opposite pairs.
In spring and summer, it bears interesting, yellow-green, star-shaped flowers with purple stamens along the length of the stems.
Plant in a grassland or succulent garden. To make a beautiful container plant, expose the tuber. Be careful not to over water as it may rot.
It will grow best in sun or semi-shade, in well-drained but well-composted soil.
Rhamnus prinoides is a very hardy, evergreen, very fast growing, large shrub with beautiful glossy almost mirror-like leaves.
The small inconspicuous greenish-yellow flowers are borne all year round and attract insects.
The black berries which follow provide food for fruit eating birds almost all year round.
Rhoicissus tomentose is a hardy, evergreen, robust, woody climber with rough, greyish-brown bark. The ornamental, almost circular to kidney-shaped, dark-green leaves are interspersed with velvety tendrils.
The young leaves are hairy and a rich copper or purple colour while the old leaves turn crimson before falling. Dense heads of greenish flowers are borne from October to January. These are followed by large, purple, grape-like berries with white spots, which are another great feature of this climber.
The fruit is edible and much sought after by birds and other wildlife. It is the host plant of the Silver Striped Hawkmoth. This robust climber will cover a pergola, can be trained up and over walls or planted in a container and pruned regularly to keep it bushy and show off its wonderful foliage.
Plant in compost-rich soil in sun, semi-shade or shade.
Size: up to 20m in canopy
Rhoicissus tridentata is a very hardy, deciduous, fast-growing, drought-resistant, vigorous climber or scrambling shrub with attractive, dark-green foliage that turns red in autumn.
The small, greenish-yellow flowers are borne in tight clusters on a densely-hairy inflorescence from November to April. The decorative clusters of edible, red, grape-like berries become black and attract birds to the garden.
It has many medicinal and traditional uses. The trailing stems are lovely in flower arrangements. Ideal for screening on a fence or cascading down a bank. It also makes a good subject for a large hanging basket.
Plant in well-drained soil in sun, semi-shade or shade.
Size: 1 to 3m
Salvia africana caerulea is a very hardy, evergreen small to medium sized shrub with aromatic grey leaves that have many medicinal properties and can be used in cooking.
It bears spikes of attractive, blue to purple flowers from August to December that have copious nectar and attract birds and bees, (for which the flower is specially adapted), to the garden.
This plant is attractive and easy to grow.
It will add both texture and colour to the garden.
Sansevieria hyacinthoides is a hardy, evergreen, drought-resistant, succulent plant with rigid, tongue-shaped, succulent leaves.The leaves are grey-green with darker, mottled markings.
This drought-resistant, attractive form plant bears, in spring and summer, gorgeous spikes of showy, white flowers that attract bees and other insects.The flowers are followed by orange berries that attract birds.
Extensively used in traditional medicine.Makes an attractive container plant that requires little care.
It makes a lovely show in those difficult, dry, shady areas under trees or in amongst rocks.
Size: 30 to 50cm
Sansevieria pearsonii is a hardy, evergreen succulent with a fan of cylindrical, hard, ribbed leaves that overlap near the base. The leaves end with a hard, sharp spine.
It bears a tall spike of pinkish-brown flowers on and off for most of the year. The scented flowers generally open at night. The orange berries that follow are relished by birds.
This plant multiplies at the base by producing offshoots, and forms large clumps which add a structural element to a shady, dry garden or rockery. It also makes an attractive container plant.
Plant in semi-shade or shade in well-drained, sandy soil. Water sparingly.
Size: up to 1m
Scabiosa africana is a hardy, evergreen shrubby perennial with large rosettes of light green soft-textured leaves with ruffled edges.
Pretty pale blueish-mauve or white flowers on long stems, are borne above the leaves from July to November.
They make a long lasting cut flower.
Scabiosa columbaria blue is a hardy, evergreen, soft, clump-forming, herbaceous perennial with attractive, deeply lobed, grey green foliage.
This hybrid, free flowering perennial has large, showy flowers that are carried on slender erect stems all year round.
A lovely plant for mass planting in full sun.
Schrebera alata is a fairly hardy, evergreen, scrambling shrub or small tree that branches low and has a sparse narrow crown.
Sclerocarya birrea is a fairly hardy, medium to large, deciduous tree with a rounded crown and beautiful mottled bark. It has large compound leaves crowded at the ends of the branches.
It bears inconspicuous red and yellow flowers from September to November. Male and female flowers on separate plants therefore only the females bear fruit.
Sclerochiton harveyanus is a hardy, evergreen, shade loving, small to medium sized scandent shrub.
It has attractive, slightly variegated, small, almost heart-shaped leaves that add texture to the garden.
Sclerochiton kirkii is a hardy, upright, evergreen shrub with bright green, glossy foliage.
It bears clusters of beautiful large sky-blue flowers which look like a hand in summer and autumn.
Plant in semi shade or shade in compost rich soil.
Sclerochiton odoratissimun is a hardy, evergreen, small, shrub with attractive, glossy, small dark green leaves.
It bears masses of pretty white flowers that are streaked with red or purple lines and are wonderfully fragrant in late summer and autumn.
The flowers are like little hands facing the sun.
Scutia myrtina is a hardy, evergreen, drought resistant, thorny shrub with beautiful glossy, tiny leaves.
The new growth of leaves is a pretty bronze colour.
Sideroxylon inerme is a hardy, evergreen, small to medium or large tree with a beautiful, round, dark-green, lush crown. A feature of this tree is the grey-brown bark that cracks into rectangles. The leathery, dark-green leaves are smooth and shiny and turn red with age.
From November to April it bears small greenish-white, strongly-scented flowers which Mousebirds love to eat. The flowers are followed by attractive, juicy, black berries that attract birds and other wildlife to the garden.
This species has been declared a protected tree and some old specimens are National Monuments. It has many traditional and medicinal uses.
The White Milkwood makes a good garden and container subject, and grows well on the Highveld in sun or semi-shade if protected from wind.
Size: 4 to 15m
Calodendrum capense is a hardy, semi-deciduous, large tree.
Bauhinia tomentosa is a hardy, fast growing, drought resistant, deciduous, scandent shrub with deeply lobed leaves, like butterfly wings.
It bears masses of lemon yellow, bell-like flowers with a purple blotch at the base of one petal and flowers throughout summer.
Plant in full sun or partial shade.
Rhus (Searsia) pyroides is a very hardy, deciduous, drought-resistant tree that tolerates extreme conditions of drought and cold and makes a wonderful pioneer.
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.
Nymphoides indica is a semi-deciduous, floating plant with rhizomes and long, slender stems ending in almost circular leaves floating flat on the surface of the water.
From October to May it has abundant, small, fluffy, yellow flowers at the edge of each leaf and is a pretty sight floating on the surface of a pond.
It is also suitable for a very small pond.
Dracaena aletriformis is a fairly hardy, evergreen, shade loving, Yucca-like accent plant.
Plectranthus verticillatus is a fairly hardy, evergreen, flat, creeping, fast growing groundcover with soft, fleshy, round leaves.
The spikes of white-mauve flowers that are borne from January to May attract a whole host of butterflies and insects.
It is ideal for hanging baskets and prefers to grow in shade or semi-shade in well-drained, well-composted soil in moist conditions.
Prune back after flowering.
Size 15 to 25cm
Mentha longifolia is a hardy, evergreen to semi-deciduous, perennial herb which grows in damp areas and has long, thin, bright-green leaves with slightly serrated margins. When crushed they are strongly mint-scented.
It has slender spikes of white to pale-mauve flowers from December to February. It is an essential element of a butterfly garden and also attracts other pollinating insects and thus insectiverous birds to the garden.
Makes a delicious herbal tea and can be added to cordials and other cold drinks.
Excellent for moist areas of the garden or wetland features. It spreads rapidly, so cut off excess shoots and prune regularly to keep in shape. Although it does best in full sun it tolerates a little light shade.
Size: up to 1m
Aloe striata is a hardy, stemless, smooth-leaved Aloe with a rosette of fleshy, blue green leaves. Each leaf is edged with a thin orange line that glows when the sun shines through it.
During the winter months, dense, compact inflorescences of brilliant orange flowers top a grey-green flowering stalk that stands about 50cm above the leaves.
Eragrostis superba is a hardy, evergreen to semi-deciduous, perennial grass that has attractive, bright-green leaves, mostly concentrated at the base of the tuft.
It flowers from September to May and has a spikelet of beautiful, large, golden, heart-shaped seeds.
An attractive garden subject.
As with all grasses, to keep it healthy, it should be cut back once a year and raked to remove the thatch. Plant in sun or semi-shade. It grows in moist areas and will tolerate most soil types.
Size: 35 to 40cm
Aristida congesta subsp. barbicollisis a very hardy, evergreen to semi-deciduous, delicate, perennial, tufted grass with long, white hairs where the leaf meets the stem.
It bears delicate, twisted spikelets at the tips of branches from October to May.
This tough, pioneer grass can be used to stabilise soil or cover bare patches to protect the soil. It is pretty planted amongst flowering plants in a meadow garden or in a grassland garden.
As with all grasses it should be cut back once a year and raked to remove the thatch. It is unfussy about the soil type it is planted in, and will thrive in all but waterlogged soils in sun or semi-shade.
Size: Flowering stem up to 80cm
Miscanthus capensisis a very hardy, evergreen, clump-forming, large grass that has beautiful autumn colours.
The flowering stalks are topped with plumes of pink seed-heads in late summer and early autumn. The clumps of leaves are about 1m tall and the flowering stalks are up to 2m tall.
Weavers choose this grass above other plants for nesting material. They use the leaves to weave the nest and the seed to line it.
Use as a backdrop to a garden bed or as a screening plant in narrow beds. It is effective planted as a single, sculptural, feature plant in a garden. Plant into window-box type containers where they can be used as a screen on a balcony. This tall grass is beautiful moving in the lightest of breezes in the garden.
As with all grasses, to keep it healthy, it should be cut back once a year and raked to remove the thatch. Plant in sun or semi-shade in damp or normal garden conditions.
Size: Flowering stem up to 2m
Buddleja auriculata is a very hardy, beautiful, evergreen shrub with a weeping habit and beautiful black-green glossy leaves that are white on the underside.
It bears fragrant lilac and white flowers with an orange centre and flowers profusely in large sprays in July and August.
It can be planted as a specimen but needs some pruning to keep it in shape.
Haemanthus albiflos is a hardy, evergreen, shade-loving, bulbous plant with mainly broad, glossy, green, strap-like leaves, although they are very variable and can sometimes be hairy. The upper half of the bulb is bright-green and is exposed above ground.
The beautiful ‘paintbrush’-type inflorescence is borne from April to September. It has a papery, green calyx encasing a head of many long, thin, white flowers that are yellow-tipped with pollen. The orange-red berries that follow are an attractive feature.
The pollen attracts bees and butterflies to the garden while birds love the succulent berries. It is also used in traditional medicine.
This plant makes a wonderful container plant as it likes to be pot-bound. Use as an indoor plant as well. This is a shade-loving plant and, if left undisturbed, will flower and thrive in those dark, difficult areas of the garden.
Plant in well-drained, compost-rich soil. Remember when planting out to leave the top half of the bulb exposed.
Size: 20 to 25cm
Acacia hebeclada is a hardy, small to medium-sized, spreading, deciduous tree or large shrub with paired, sharp spines. The dark brown to grey bark is fissured and flaking.Birds, such as the Red-billed Wood Hoopoe, enjoy probing under the bark for insects.
The blue-green leaves are hairy and catch the sun. Mostly creamy-white, but sometimes pale-yellow, large, round puffball flowers, are scented and borne in large attractive clusters at the nodes of the leaves.
They adorn the tree from July to September and offer up a bounty of pollen and nectar to the numerous small pollinating insects and insectivorous birds that visit them. As the shoots age their colour changes giving the crown a lovely mottled look.
The large, distinctive pods stand upright and persist on the plant for a few seasons, hence the common name ‘Candle Thorn’. An ideal addition to a security hedge because of its height and ferocious thorns.
It is often referred to as ‘The House of the Lion’ as lions often shelter under it in the hot dry areas where this tree occurs.
Size: 4 to 7m
Acacia nigrescens is a hardy, small to large stately deciduous tree is characterised by its knob-studded grey or yellow trunk and branches.The hooked spine-tipped knobs are prevalent on young trees but are less evident on older specimens.
Sweetly-scented spikes of creamy-white flowers are produced from August to November.When in flower this tree is alive and humming with the multitude of insects and birds that feast on the pollen and nectar offered up.
It is an important browse tree for game and generally indicates good ranching land.The graceful, tall canopy attracts Paradise Flycatchers and hole-nesting birds.It is the host plant of the Demon Emperor Butterfly.The wood is very hard and used extensively.
It makes a good bonsai and container subject.It grows in a wide variety of soil types in full sun.
Size: 2 to 15m
Acacia nilotica is a hardy, semi-deciduous, small to medium-sized, mushroom shaped tree with dark blackish-brown, fissured bark when mature and a dense crown.This fissured bark is home to many invertebrates and therefore attracts Woodpeckers and other insectivorous birds.
The masses of yellow puffball flowers adorn the tree on and off from September to April.The fragrant, distinctive ‘string of beads,’ decorative pods have a fruity smell and are excellent fodder.The edible gum makes a good quality glue.
Yellow, red or black dye can be made from the pods.The wood is easily worked for furniture and the whole tree has many medicinal and traditional uses This tree is a little slow-growing but is tough and very drought-resistant.
It grows in both well-drained and clayey soils in sun or semi-shade.
Size: 3 to 10 m
Acacia polyacantha is a fairly hardy, deciduous tree adds all-year-round beauty to a garden with its seasonal changes, from the pale, creamy, flaking bark on the stems that glow in the winter sunshine, to the spikes of glistening silver flowers in spring.
Added to this is the coolness of the dense bright-green, soft feathery leaves in summer, which turn dull olive-green in autumn before they drop.
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.
Silene bellidioides is a very hardy, evergreen, perennial plant with tall, erect, sticky stems and rosettes of leaves at the base.
From October to April, the plant produces one or more flowering stems that have a few branches with flowers positioned at the tips of each branch. The flower petals are white or pale pink and deeply divided. The long, tubular flower calyx is pale green, striped with dark-red veins. The beautiful, scented flowers open in the evening, and shine like neon lights at night, attracting moths to pollinate them.
Traditionally, this plant is used as a love-potion.
It is an excellent addition to a sunny grassland garden.
Plant in full sun or semi-shade in well-drained soil.
Size: up to 30cm
Volkameria (=Clerodendrum) glabrum is a very hardy, semi-deciduous, fast-growing, small tree or large shrub with a dense crown. It has shiny, dark-green leaves that are pungent when crushed.
From December to June it bears profuse, dense clusters of white to pinkish flowers that have long stamens. In some specimens the flowers are wonderfully scented, whilst in others the scent can be pungent.These are followed by tightly packed yellowish-white berries that attract birds to the garden.
An important host plant of moths and butterflies – an absolute must for a butterfly garden. The flowers also attract a whole host of pollinating insects and the nectar in the flowers is an important food source for bees.
It is extensively used for medicinal and traditional purposes.
Plant in sun or semi-shade in well-composted soil.
Size: 2 to 6m
Helichrysum petiolare is a hardy, evergreen, dense, very fast growing perennial with beautiful, silvery-grey velvety, rounded, aromatic leaves. A lovely foliage and textural plant.
It has cream flowers from November to January which can be used in dry arrangements.
The lovely grey colour of the foliage adds colour and texture to a mixed border.
It can also be pruned into a small hedge.
The leaves are used as bedding hence the common name. Campers believe the smell aids a peaceful nights sleep.
Needs to be pruned regularly to keep in shape.
A good plant in sun or semi-shade in larger gardens in well-drained soil.
Size 30 to 50cm
Carissa edulis is a hardy, much-branched, evergreen, fast growing shrub or climber that has glossy, leathery leaves, which are sometimes hairy and have red growing tips. The hard rigid spines are almost always single.
Masses of beautiful, white flowers tinged with pink appear from September to December. These are followed by edible fruit that turns purplish-black when ripe, and because it is so sweet and juicy, makes a good jam or jelly.
The fruits attract birds to the garden.
It makes a good hedging plant, whether pruned to keep compact or left to grow freely. It needs to be controlled in a smaller garden but can be allowed to grow wild if you have the space where it will scramble through the trees.
Can be grown in semi-shade, but prefers full sun and flowers more profusely in the sun.
Size 1 to 3m
Macledium (=Dicoma) zeyheri is a very hardy, unusual perennial plant with leathery leaves that are white felted below and cobwebby stems.
It bears purplish flowers with spiky silver bracts that are also tinged with purple and look like miniature Proteas from January to May. They are long lasting and make good cut flowers.
The seeds are much favoured by insects.
Plant in a rockery or in a grassland garden. For an unusual talking point, plant in containers.
Plant in well-drained, compost rich soil in sun or semi shade and water well in summer.
Size 15 to 20cm
Thunbergia neglecta is a very hardy, evergreen, low-growing, scrambling perennial with attractive, heart-shaped leaves.
In summer it bears beautiful, round, open, creamy-yellow flowers with a darker-yellow centre. They attract insects to the garden. Pretty planted in a grassland garden scrambling through the grasses, out of a hanging basket, creeping up a trellis or tumbling over retaining walls.
Prune after flowering to keep in shape and ensure masses of flowers in the next season.
It is fast-growing, requires well-drained soil and only moderate water. It can be planted in sun or semi-shade.
Size: up to 1m
Crinum bulbispermum white is a very hardy, deciduous bulbous plant with robust, grey leaves that can grow up to 800mm long.
It bears long stemmed, umbels of large, showy, lily-like, fragrant pure white flowers throughout spring and summer.
Watsonia angusta is a very hardy, evergreen, bulbous plant with grey-green strap-like leaves.
It bears spikes of orangey-red flowers from November to January that add fiery spikes to the garden.
The flowers attract Sunbirds and insects to the garden.
It makes a good accent plant but is also beautiful for mass planting and retaining soil on banks.
Plant on banks to help with soil retention.
It grows and flowers best when it has compost rich soil, sufficient water (it tolerates marshy conditions), and sun although it tolerates semi-shade as well.
Ficus craterostoma is a fairly hardy, semi-decidious, medium sized strangler fig with a rounded, spreading crown and pale grey bark. It has fairly small leaves for a fig, which are dark glossy green, blunt tipped like a fish’s tail, and spirally arranged, making them an exceptionally attractive feature of this plant.
The stalkless, hairless figs, which are inverted flowers, are borne in the axils of the leaves. The small figs turn yellowish red when ripe from May to December.
The figs attract many fruit-eating birds to the garden. Makes a wonderful container plant or bonsai.
Plant in sun or shade.
Figs should not be planted close to walls and paving as they have aggressive root system.
Size: 5 to 10m
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.
Podocarpus latifolius is a very hardy, evergreen, large, beautifully-shaped tree. It is slow growing, but makes an outstanding shade or specimen tree for bigger gardens. The yellowish to greyish-brown bark flakes off in thin, vertical strips. It has beautiful dark-green leaves that are carried more or less horizontally.
The sweet, edible, fleshy, reddish-purple, female cones carry 1 or 2 seeds that ripen from green to pink to red during December and February.
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
Freesia grandiflora is a fairly hardy, deciduous plant with fan of soft, bring green, flat leaves that arise from an underground corm.
The large, scarlet flowers look like bright red stars, with a darker red blotch in the centre of the flower. It blooms from December to April. The seeds that follow are bright orange.
It makes a beautiful garden subject, especially when planted amongst rocks and shorter grasses. It is also a lovely container plant.
Plant in full sun to semi-shade, in well-composted soil that drains well.
Size to 45cm
Nuxia floribunda is a hardy, evergreen, fast-growing, neat and attractive tree that is quite small in drier conditions, but if its roots find water it can get quite big.
Pale grey, smooth bark contrasts beautifully with the glossy, dark-green leaves that turn quite purple in winter.
Its huge heads of showy, sweetly-scented, white flowers cover the tree from May to September. The flowers attract a whole host of small pollinating insects, moths and butterflies that in turn attract birds.
It has many magical and medicinal uses.
It grows well in a container, and is also a lovely tree with which to create a small forested area in the garden.
Plant in either full sun or semi-shade and water regularly.
Size: 3 to 10m
Syncolostemon densiflorus is a hardy, evergreen, medium-sized, herbaceous, multi-stemmed shrub. It has velvety, white stems with bright-green leaves.
Erythrina humeana is a hardy, deciduous, fairly fast-growing shrub or small tree with dark olive-green, trifoliate leaves.
The long-lasting, gorgeous, brilliant red, long flower spikes are carried above the leaves on slender stalks.
Delosperma echinatum (Pickle Plant) is a hardy, evergreen, small, partially-upright shrublet that has barrel-shaped short (25mm) leaves, hence its common name pickle plant. The light-green leaves have short, white, bristly hairs and attractive water vesicles (tiny bladders), that will add texture to your plantings.
It bears masses of small, white or yellow, glistening flowers in spring.
This drought-resistant plant makes a good addition to a rockery, succulent or grass garden and does particularly well in containers.
Plant in well-drained soil in sun or light shade. It should be allowed to dry out between waterings.
Size: up to 45cm
Kniphofia uvaria is a hardy, evergreen, herbaceous perennial found in marshes, on streambanks and in mountain grassland.The long, strap-like leaves are folded in a clump and are quite hard.
The beautiful flower spikes are borne on long stems in December and January.The buds are orange, then open in succession into yellow flowers.
These attract pollinating insects and butterflies as well as Sunbirds to the garden.Plant in a water garden or amongst grasses for the natural look.
They are also beautiful when planted en masse especially when in flower.Grows best in full sun with plenty of water.
Size: up to 1m
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.
Polygala virgata is a very hardy, evergreen, fast-growing, slender shrub with long, narrow, dark-green leaves.
From October to July it bears tall terminal spikes of massed purple to mauve pea-like flowers that attract insects.
Although not particularly long-lived, they readily seed themselves around the garden. The flower spikes last well as cut flowers. Used medicinally.
For the best effect, plant 3 or more of these slender shrubs together, in sun or semi-shade, in compost-rich soil. Prune from when they are young to encourage them to bush out; this will help create an amazing display of flowers.
Sutherlandia frutescens is a very hardy, evergreen, fast growing, sun-loving shrub with lovely silver-grey foliage.
The striking, large, luminous orange pea-like flowers are borne from September to December. They attract Sunbirds and insects to the garden. These are followed by inflated green to pink, papery pods that are so light they are dispersed by wind.
The pods and flowers are decorative in a vase. It is an important medicinal plant and has traditional uses as well.
This beautiful slender shrub is a must for any garden. Plant several together for effect and use as a textural plant. It makes a beautiful container plant.
Maytenus undata is a very hardy, evergreen large or small tree. Its height is very variable, and depends on the area in which it is growing. The colder it is the smaller the tree. The bark is grey-brown with patches flaking off and leaving pinkish blotches.
One can tell the hardiness by the foliage form - the smaller and more leathery the leaves, the hardier the tree. The foliage is variable in size and colour from pale to dark-green and gives off a musty scent when rubbed.
It bears creamy-white flowers all summer (from September to May).
In April the tree produces black seeds covered with orange flesh that attract birds.
Makes a good garden subject or container plant and is a must for a wildlife garden.
Plant in semi-shade or sun.
Size: 1 to 6m
Podocarpus henkelii is a very hardy, evergreen, large decorative, beautifully-shaped tree and is one of our best-known indigenous trees. The bark is khaki brown that, when it matures, flakes into long, thin strips which expose the attractive reddish underbark. It has long, drooping, narrow, dark-green leaves.
The female cones develop into olive-green seed that ripens in May.
Although it is quite slow-growing it does develop into a huge forest tree that is only suitable for large gardens. For small gardens plant it in a large container to limit its size. In a container, it makes a great Christmas tree when decked out in its finery.
Plant in either east- or south-facing areas as it prefers damp, cool and shady conditions. If planted as a single specimen in the middle of lawn, remove at least 1.5m diameter of lawn around the tree, as its roots cannot compete with lawn. Mulch and water well or it will not grow properly. Always mulch the soil around the trees as this it keeps the roots cool.
Size: 20 to 30m
Clivia gardenii is a hardy, fairly slow growing perennial with dark, strap-shaped leaves.
It sends out side shoots to form quite large clumps.
Kalanchoe rotundifolia is a hardy, evergreen, erect succulent groundcover. The petioles are pink and the edges of the leaves are pinkish.
It bears spikes of small tubular bright yellow 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.
Helichrysum cymosum is a hardy, evergreen small, leafy, scandent shrub with beautiful silvery, small leaves that are woolly below.
It bears compact heads of yellow, papery flowers at the tips of each branchlet from September to April.