Search Indigenous Plant Attributes

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  1. Acacia mellifera

    Acacia mellifera is very drought resistant, hardy, thickset, deciduous Acacia with vicious, hook thorns.

  2. Albizia versicolor

    Albizia versicolor is a fairly hardy, large, (in warm areas), beautifully shaped, deciduous tree.

    The large, velvety compound leaves and grey-brown bark that becomes rough with age are also attractive features of this tree.

    It bears large half-spherical, puffball flowers that appear from October to December with the new leaves.

  3. Berchemia zeyheri

    Berchemia zeyheri is a hardy, neatly shaped, deciduous tree with a straight stem and smooth grey bark.

  4. Galpinia transvaalica

    Galpinia transvaalica is a hardy, decorative, thickset, small to medium sized, sometimes multi-stemmed, evergreen tree. It has waxy, glossy, wavy-edged leaves that flush an amazing red in spring.

    Showy white flowers are borne from December to April which attract insects to the garden.

    It is also a butterfly host tree. A quick growing small to medium sized tree that makes a good container plant.

    It can also be pruned into an attractive, formal hedge in sun or semi-shade.

    Size 3 to 10 m

  5. Indigofera frutescens

    Indigofera frutescens is a hardy, semi-deciduous, graceful, small tree with delicate compound leaves and attractive bark.

  6. Bersama lucens

    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.

  7. Canthium gilfillanii

    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.

  8. Catha edulis

    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.

  9. Dombeya rotundifolia

    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.

  10. Erythrina latissima

    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.

  11. Euclea natalensis

    Euclea natalensis is a hardy, evergreen, very attractive shrub or small to medium sized tree (depending on where in grows).

  12. Gymnosporia buxifolia

    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.

  13. Mimusops zeyheri

    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.

  14. Pappea capensis

    Pappea capensis is a hardy, evergreen, very attractive, small to medium sized, neatly shaped, dense tree.

  15. Philenoptera violacea

    Philenoptera violacea is a hardy, small to medium sized, upright, semi-deciduous tree that has beautiful pale lavender-grey bark.

    It drops its attractive, large grey-green leaves in spring, at the same time as the new leaves begin to appear. The leaves are palatable to many species of game.

    The masses of beautiful large sprays of delicate, pea-like, lilac flowers are borne in October and November (sometimes September to December), and are sweetly scented.

  16. Ptaeroxylon obliquum

    Ptaeroxylon obliquum is hardy, drought resistant, medium sized to large, fairly fast growing and evergreen or deciduous (depending on the conditions).

  17. Rhus leptodictya

    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.

  18. Gloriosa superba

    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.

  19. Gardenia volkensii

    Gardenia volkensii is a hardy, drought resistant, semi-deciduous to evergreen tree or large shrub with an interesting, rigid, branching pattern and beautiful silvery bark.

    It has attractive shiny, bright green leaves.

  20. Bowiea volubilis

    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.

  21. Gardenia cornuta

    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

  22. Turraea floribunda

    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

  23. Pycnostachys urticifolia

    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

  24. Lippia javanica

    Lippia javanica is a very hardy, evergreen, erect, small shrub with aromatic leaves.

  25. Pelargonium ionidiflorum

    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.

  26. Barleria prionitis delagoense

    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

  27. Kalanchoe sexangularis

    Kalanchoe sexangularis is a hardy, evergreen, robust, drought-resistant succulent shrublet with attractive, broad leaves that fold lengthwise and curve towards the stem.

    They turn ruby-red in winter and all year round if planted in full sun, adding colour to the garden.

  28. Aloe castanea

    Aloe castanea is a hardy, very distinctive, tree-shaped Aloe that has spreading branches and long, succulent leaves that can reach up to 1m long.

    It bears unusual, curled, snake-like inflorescences from June to August.

  29. Aloe ferox

    Aloe ferox is a hardy, drought-resistant, single stemmed Aloe with a crown rosette of large, fleshy, succulent bluish-green leaves that have thorny margins.

  30. Aloe fosteri

    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.

  31. Aloe greatheadii

    Aloe greatheadii var. davyana is a very hardy, fairly robust, drought-resistant, stemless Aloe that grows singly or in groups. The leaves are shiny green with white spots arranged in bands. They have sharp, dark-brown teeth along the leaf margins.

    The plant itself may be a bit drab but it is spectacular when in flower. Pale-pink to bright-red, attractive flowers are arranged on a branched flowering stem in June and July and attract insects and Sunbirds.

  32. Aloe vanbalenii

    Aloe vanbalenii is a hardy, almost stemless Aloe is one of our most distinctive Aloes with its long, twisted and recurved leaves ending in coppery-red tips that almost touch the ground when grown in the sun.

    The tall (up to 1m), conical flower-spikes vary from yellow ,yellow and orange to red and are borne from June to August .The many Sunbirds, that visit to feed on the nectar, are an added attraction to its beauty.Plant in a mixed, succulent bed or rockery, raised beds or containers.

    Allow them enough space to make a beautiful statement wherever they are planted.

    Plant in well-drained soil in sun or light

    Size: 50 cm

  33. Cotyledon barbeyi

    Cotyledon barbeyi is a hardy, evergreen, branched, succulent shrub with very variable leaves, the one we grow at Random Harvest has finger-like, fleshy leaves.

    It bears masses of long-lasting, pendulous, satiny, red, tubular flowers in clusters at the tip of the flowering stalks from Mar. to Sept.They attract birds and bees.Reputed to be toxic to livestock.

    This drought-hardy shrub makes a good addition to a succulent garden or rockery and is lovely in a container.

    Plant in well-drained soil in full sun or semi-shade.

    Size: 1m

  34. Acacia gerrardii

    Acacia gerrardii is a hardy, fairly fast-growing, drought-resistant, deciduous Acacia.It has a long, straight stem that starts branching high up to form a flattish crown.As it is sparsely branched and throws little shade, many plants and lawn grass will grow underneath it.

    The bark is dark grey and fissured, with red under-bark appearing in the cracks.The bark on the young branches is red and young growth is covered in hairs.

    From October to February the tree is literally covered in masses of large, creamy-white, scented puffball flowers that attract many pollinating insects.It is the host plant of the Black-striped Hairtail butterfly.The flowers are followed by nutritious, sickle shaped pods.

    Bark contains tannin that is used for medicinal purposes.It tolerates a wide variety of soil types.This Acacia can be used in fairly small gardens as it is tall but not bulky.

    Plant in full sun.

    Size: 5 to 7m

  35. Ochna serrulata

    Ochna serrulata is a hardy, small, semi-deciduous shrub with glossy, mirror-like leaves that flush red in spring.

    The profuse, bright yellow, scented flowers are borne from September to December.

    The flowers are short lived but are followed by black fruit on an enlarged red calyx that looks like a flower and persists on the shrub for months.

    As with Ochna natalitia this plant deserves pride of place in any garden. The seeds attract birds to the garden.

  36. Ehretia rigida

    Ehretia rigida is a very hardy, deciduous, drought resistant, attractive shrub with an interesting shape.

  37. Euphorbia tirucalli Firesticks

    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.

  38. Grewia flava

    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.

  39. Plumbago auriculata White

    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.

  40. Plumbago auriculata Blue

    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.

  41. Schrebera alata

    Schrebera alata is a fairly hardy, evergreen, scrambling shrub or small tree that branches low and has a sparse narrow crown.

  42. Bauhinia tomentosa

    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.

  43. Rotheca myricoides

    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.

  44. Eragrostis gummiflua

    Eragrostis gummiflua is a very hardy, evergreen to semi-deciduous, perennial grass with sparse, hard, tough leaves.

    It bears attractive, large racemes of pink to purple flowers and seeds on stiff branches from November to May.

    Parts of this grass are quite sticky, hence the common name.

    Plant in a meadow garden where its attractive seed-heads add texture. It is quite unpalatable to grazers. This hard grass is used to make durable brooms.

    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 well-drained, sandy or gravelly soils. Water well to keep it looking its best.

    Size: Flowering stem up to 90cm

  45. Acacia burkei

    Acacia burkei is a hardy, deciduous, medium sized Acacia that has attractive, large round leaflets.

    Spikes of white flowers from October to January are followed by bright red pods.

    This beautiful specimen tree gives dense shade but is a little slow growing.

  46. Aristida congesta barbicollis

    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

  47. Miscanthus capensis

    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

  48. Haemanthus albiflos

    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

  49. Crassula swaziensis

    Crassula swaziensis is a hardy, semi prostrate succulent perennial plant with attractive grey-green, round leaves that are arranged in rosettes.

    The dense flat-topped inflorescences of masses of small white flowers that are tinged pink are borne from January to April. They attract a whole host of tiny insects.

    Plant in well-drained soil in a rockery in the shade of other plants and grasses.

  50. Acacia brevispica

    Acacia brevispica is a hardy, semi-deciduous, robust, prickly, scrambling Acacia that can be trained into a large beautiful shrub.

    It has feathery, large, soft, bipinnate leaves with small hook thorns along the ribs on the underside.

  51. Kleinia galpinii

    Kleinia galpinii is a hardy, attractive, evergreen succulent plant has flattened, grey-green leaves that arise from a fleshy stem.These grow from a tuberous rootstock.

    The clusters of bright-orange or scarlet flowers are carried on a long, flowering stems from January to August.The flowers attract insects to the garden.

    This long-flowering plant will brighten up a rockery or mixed flowerbed.

    Plant in well-drained soil in full sun or light shade.

  52. Kleinia fulgens

    Kleinia fulgens is a hardy, attractive, evergreen succulent plant with a creeping, tuberous rootstock. It has broad, flattened, slightly fleshy stalkless leaves that arise directly from a fleshy stem. They are grey-green with a purple margin.

    The clusters of bright-orange or scarlet flowers are carried on long, flowering stems from January to August. The flowers attract pollinating insects to the garden.

    This long-flowering plant will brighten up a rockery or mixed flowerbed.

    Plant in well-drained soil in full sun or light shade.

    Size: 30cm to 60cm

  53. Erythrina humeana

    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.

  54. Delosperma echinatum

    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

  55. Maytenus undata

    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