Search Indigenous Plant Attributes

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  1. Acacia burkei

    Acacia burkei (=Senegalia 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 seed pods.

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

  2. Acacia caffra

    Acacia caffra (=Senegalia caffra) is a very hardy, deciduous, drought resistant, graceful tree with feathery foliage that gives the tree a weeping shape.

  3. Acacia galpinii

    Acacia galpinii (=Senegalia galpinii) is a very hardy fairly fast growing, deciduous thorn tree and is one of the largest of the Acacias.

  4. Acacia karroo

    Acacia karroo (= Vachellia karroo) is a very hardy, semi-deciduous, fast-growing and drought-resistant tree.

    Abundant, fragrant, yellow puffball flowers light up the landscape, and adorn the tree intermittently (in response to rain) throughout summer.

  5. Acacia sieberiana woodii

    The Acacia sieberiana woodii (=Vachellia sieberiana) is a hardy (protect from frost when young) large, semi-deciduous, flat-topped Acacia is fast growing.

  6. Acacia xanthophloea

    Acacia xanthophloea (=Vachellia xanthophloea) is a striking, tall, deciduous, fast growing tree with distinctive greeny-yellow bark.

  7. 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.

  8. Aloe barberae bainesii

    Aloe barberae (bainesii) is a surprisingly hardy, large, evergreen, tree-like Aloe, which can tolerate high rainfall.

  9. Aloe marlothii

    Aloe marlothii is a very hardy, large, upright, single-stemmed Aloe with a rosette of large, fleshy, thorny leaves.

  10. Celtis africana

    Celtis africana is a very hardy, deciduous, graceful, drought resistant, large tree.

  11. Chionanthus foveolatus

    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.

  12. Chionanthus foveolatus

    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.

  13. Combretum erythrophyllum

    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.

  14. Cryptocarya transvaalensis

    Cryptocarya transvaalensis is a hardy, evergreen tree with beautiful glossy dark green foliage.

  15. Curtisia dentata

    Curtisia dentata is a medium-sized, hardy, evergreen tree that can grow quite large in moist forested areas.

  16. Faidherbia albida

    Faidherbia albida is a hardy, drought resistant, fast growing, large thorn tree that is deciduous at various times of the year - sometimes summer and sometimes winter.

    This seems to coincide with seasonal flooding.

  17. Ficus sycomorus

    Ficus sycomorus is a fairly hardy, medium to large spreading fig tree with a distinctive yellow stem that is often seen along riverbanks.

  18. Harpephyllum caffrum

    Harpephyllum caffrum is a fairly hardy, large evergreen tree. It has attractive dark foliage with the odd red leaf in the crown.

    The small yellowish-green flowers are borne in terminal sprays from October to February. Male and female flowers are on separate trees, therefore only female plants bear fruit

    Fleshy red berries follow the flowers and attract many fruit eating birds to the garden.

  19. Kiggelaria africana

    Kiggelaria africana is a very hardy, evergreen to semi-deciduous, fast growing, medium to large sized tree which has very variable leaves.

    Small, yellow flowers are borne from August to January, sexes are on separate trees, with solitary, larger, pendulous female flowers and smaller male flowers in clusters.

  20. Millettia grandis

    Milletia grandis is a hardy, decorative, medium sized, briefly deciduous tree that has a dense spreading crown.

    The new growth of the large leaves is a beautiful bronze colour when they first unfurl in spring and then turn almost lime green, darkening with age.

    It has large, magnificent, erect spikes of purple pea-like flowers that stand out well above the leaves from November to March – a sight to behold.

    These are followed by attractive, large velvety, brown pods - another striking feature of this beautiful tree.

  21. Mimusops caffra

    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.

  22. 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.

  23. Podocarpus falcatus

    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.

  24. Rauvolfia caffra

    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.

  25. Rhus chirindensis

    Rhus (Searsia) chirindensis is a hardy, deciduous, fast growing tree that is sometimes multi-stemmed and has a spreading rounded crown. The bark is rough and darker on the mature main stems, and smooth and somewhat shiny on the young stems. Both sometimes have woody spines, but particularly the young stems.

    The large glossy, dark green leaves are tri-foliate and reddish when young and turn beautiful red autumn colours.

    Sprays of small flowers are borne from August to March. (male and female flowers on separate plants, therefore only female plants bear fruit).

  26. Rhus pendulina

    Rhus pendulina is a very hardy, very fast growing, drought resistant, semi-deciduous shade tree with a willow-like habit. The leaves are a dull green and bark is light grey-brown and smooth on young branches, becoming rough and scaly as the branches mature.

    The sprays of inconspicuous flowers (male and female flowers on separate plants, therefore only female plants bear fruit) that attract insects are borne from September to January These are followed by bunches of fruit that attract birds.

    Do not plant near walls, pools, pipes or paving as it has an aggressive shallow root system.

    This is not a particularly long lived tree but is useful as a quick growing screening tree. Interplant with a longer living tree to ensure a permanent screen.

    It throws pretty, delicately dappled shade.

    Size up to 10m

  27. Syzygium cordatum

    Syzygium cordatum is a fairly hardy, large, evergreen tree with a dense, spreading, rounded crown. 

    It has smooth bark with bands and blotches on it - smooth and white whilst young and turning darker grey and rough with age.

    It has attractive thick, leathery, round, bluish-green leaves which are red when young.

    The scented, creamy-white to pink flowers with conspicuous fluffy stamens are borne in heads at the end of branches throughout summer, and are followed by edible, purple, fleshy fruits, which attract birds, and also make a good wine.

    A lovely, decorative shade tree for the larger garden that needs water to grow its best. It has aggressive roots and should be kept away from walls and pools.

     The flowers have copious nectar and attract birds, bees, butterflies and other insects.

  28. Trichilia dregeana

    Trichilia dregeana is a fairly hardy, magnificent, large, evergreen tree with a rounded crown of very dark green, glossy leaves.

  29. Vepris lanceolata

    Vepris lanceolata is a hardy, evergreen, very attractive tree with apple green foliage.

  30. Acokanthera oppositifolia

    Acokanthera oppositifolia ia a hardy, evergreen, drought-resistant, medium to large upright, woody, shrub with brown, deeply fissured bark on the old wood.

  31. Acokanthera oppositifolia

    Acokanthera oppositifolia ia a hardy, evergreen, drought-resistant, medium to large upright, woody, shrub with brown, deeply fissured bark on the old wood.

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

  34. Euryops virgineus

    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 .

  35. Gardenia thunbergia

    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.

  36. 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.

  37. 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.

  38. Grewia occidentalis

    Grewia occidentalis is a very hardy, fast growing, evergreen shrub with attractive, rough, glossy, quite dark green leaves and trailing stems.

    It bears gorgeous star-like pink flowers with a cluster of prominent, bright yellow stamens from October to January

     It also bears distinctive, edible fruits that are clustered together in a square or cross shape.

  39. Mackaya bella

    Mackaya bella is a hardy, evergreen shrub with dark green, glossy leaves.

    It bears, magnificent long bunches of lilac or white, trumpet-shaped flowers from early spring to November.

    It grows in deep shade where the flowers seem to glow in the dark. The beautiful flowers have purple streaks in them that act as landing lights to guide insects to the nectar and in the process pollinate the flower.

    It can tolerate a bit of morning sun provided it is watered well.

  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. 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.

  42. Rhamnus prinoides

    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.

  43. Jasminum multipartitum

    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.

  44. Jasminum stenolobum

    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.

  45. 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

  46. 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.

  47. Acacia gerrardii

    Acacia gerrardii (=Varchellia 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

  48. Strelitzia juncea

    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

  49. Calodendrum capense

    Calodendrum capense is a hardy, semi-deciduous, large tree.

  50. Podocarpus latifolius

    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.

  51. Metarungia pubinervia

    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

  52. Podocarpus henkelii

    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