Kirkia wilmsii is a fairly hardy, deciduous, often multi-stemmed tree with beautiful, fine, feathery foliage.
Bauhinia petersiana is a hardy, deciduous, spreading bush with beautiful grey-green bi-lobed leaves that look like butterfly wings.
It bears magnificent, frilly, large, fragrant white flowers in December and January.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Cussonia paniculata is a very hardy, semi-deciduous, drought resistant tree. This is an ideal form plant with a truly indigenous look.
The beautiful grey-green leaves are large and leathery and clustered at the ends of the branches.
The spikes of flowers are borne in large, robust branched flowering stems from January to March.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Kigelia africana is a fairly hardy, very fast growing, briefly deciduous, medium sized tree. It has a straight stem and a rounded crown. The large compound leaves are clustered at the ends of the branches with lovely coppery coloured new growth.
Loxostylis alata is a fairly hardy, evergreen, small to medium sized decorative tree with corky grey bark.
It bears sprays of pretty white, scented flowers from October to April.
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.
Ochna natalitia is a hardy, semi-deciduous, large shrub with glossy leaves that flush red in spring.
Olea europaea africana is a very hardy, evergreen, drought resistant tree with gorgeous silvery foliage and a rounded crown.
It bears scented, greenish flowers from October to December followed by delicious edible small black Olives (these can be eaten directly from the tree and need no treatment to make them edible).
It is an excellent bird and insect tree that is much favoured by wildlife.Birds love to probe under the rough dark bark for insects.
Olinia emarginata is a very frost-hardy, evergreen small to medium sized tree that can grow into a huge tree in forest situations.
Peltophorum africanum is a hardy, deciduous, drought-resistant, small- to medium-sized tree with brown, rough, longitudinally fissured bark.
The lovely fine, feathery leaves resemble those of Acacia species but the tree is thornless.
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.
Pittosporum viridiflorum is a very hardy, evergreen, small to medium-sized, well-shaped tree with glossy leaves that have a resinous smell when crushed.
The bark has small pits in it and is an attractive feature of this tree. It is grey in young trees and becomes darker, rough and slightly fissured in mature specimens, and smells slightly of liquorice.
The dense clusters of sweetly scented, cream flowers are borne from September to November and are followed by brilliant red, sticky fruit in yellow-green capsules, that attracts birds.
A beautiful garden tree, which can be grown in sun or semi-shade, and can be used in forest and bush clumps as well as being used as a hedge plant. Wonderful shade tree, and with its non-aggressive root system is ideal for small gardens and containers.
Size 3 to 10m
Podocarpus elongatus is the smallest of the Yellowwood trees and is very hardy and evergreen.
It has attractive narrow, blue-green leaves and is slow growing.
The female cones develop into fleshy, bright red, edible fruits with 1 or 2 seeds that mature rapidly.
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.
Ptaeroxylon obliquum is hardy, drought resistant, medium sized to large, fairly fast growing and evergreen or deciduous (depending on the conditions).
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 (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).
Searsia (=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.
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
Rothmannia capensis is a hardy, evergreen, small to medium sized tree.
Salix mucronata woodii is a very hardy, deciduous, small willow with graceful, drooping branches that grows along riverbanks and in wet areas.
The lovely bi-coloured leaves look beautiful when the soft sinuous branches move in the slightest breeze and the leaves flutter.
Schotia afra is a hardy, small, much branched, gnarled, evergreen small tree with characterful twisted, pale branches and a charcoal grey trunk.
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.
Crinum graminicola is a very hardy, deciduous bulbous plant that has large, robust grey-green strap-like leaves and a huge bulb.
It bears huge umbels of deep pink, pendulous, lily-like flowers on a long stem from October to February.
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.
Aloe arborescens is a very hardy, drought-resistant, large, branched Aloe with narrow, curved, bluish-grey leaves that form rosettes.
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.
Aloe cryptopoda wickensii is a hardy Aloe that has a single, large stemless, densely packed rosette of grey-green succulent leaves.
The flowers are variable and may be red, yellow or bi-coloured, with yellow and red flowers. Depending on conditions, flowering time can vary between May and July.
This popular, easy garden plant provides a spectacular display when in full flower.
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
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
Nymphaea nouchali is a hardy, deciduous waterlily.
It has glossy, circular, floating leaves that turn lovely colours in autumn.
The flowers are a beautiful sky blue through pale lilac to pink flowers with masses of yellow stamens in the centre. These are carried on longish stems above the surface of the water from September to May.
This is a submerged plant that should be planted to a depth of no less than 25cm in sun or light shade.
Used in traditional medicine for coughs and colds.
In habitat the fruit is eaten by the Purple Gallinule.
Size: Floating parts spread to 1m diameter
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
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
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.
Aloe brevifolia is a fairly hardy, dwarf Aloe with dense rosettes of broad, triangular and distinctly grey-green leaves which form clumps.
It bears cone shaped spikes of flowers in shades of red and yellow during October and November.
It is restricted to the Western Cape which has winter rainfall therefore this Aloe should be kept dry in summer.
Karomia speciosa (= Holmskioldia speciosa) is a hardy, deciduous, sparsely-branched shrub or small tree with smooth, pale-grey bark.
Aloe aristata is a very hardy, dwarf, stemless Aloe.
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.
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.
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.
Aloe striatula is a very hardy, robust, shrub-like, scrambling Aloe that has attractive, smooth, glossy, dark-green, curved leaves, carried on sturdy stems.
The spikes of flowers are bright-yellow or orange on unbranched, flowering stems. It flowers from November to March and attracts insects and Sunbirds to the garden.
An excellent plant for an exclusion zone of a bird garden or planted as a hedge.
This Aloe can tolerate extremely low temperatures.It will grow in sun or semi-shade.
Size: 7 to 1m
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
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.
Ehretia rigida is a very hardy, deciduous, drought resistant, attractive shrub with an interesting shape.
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.
Euphorbia mauritanica very hardy, evergreen, quick-growing, well-rounded shrub with thin, cylindrical, grey-green stems.The many stems that sway beautifully in the wind arise from a thick rootstock.
Each stem produces a small, yellow flower at the tip, and the entire bush appears butter-yellow for 2 or 3 months from August to October.Attracts pollinating insects.
Excellent feature plant for rockeries and mixed succulent beds.It makes a particularly attractive container plant.It is very tolerant of a wide range of conditions and is particularly useful for difficult gardens which have low rainfall and harsh, cold conditions.
Plant in well-drained soil in sun or semi-shade.Water moderately.
Size: up to 1.5m
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
Ficus abutilifolia is a hardy, deciduous, small to medium sized fig tree that has beautiful, large, heart-shaped leaves.
Pelargonium gibbosum is a hardy bushy shrublet with attractive slightly succulent blue-green leaves that is dormant in summer.
It flowers profusely in winter with umbels of yellow flowers, which is an unusual flower colour for Pelargonium species.
The flowers are strongly scented at night.
This unusual plant develops a thick swollen base which is attractive particularly when planted in containers, but because of the root system needs to be a fairly large container.
It is called Gouty Pelargonium because of the swollen nodes along the stems.
Plant in well drained, sandy soil and take care not to overwater in summer as it is from the Western Cape and therefore winter growing.
Size 30 to 50cm
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.
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
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.
t will grow best in sun or semi-shade, in well-drained but well-composted soil.
Sansevieria aethiopica is a hardy, evergreen, succulent plant that is very variable in size and shape, and that spreads from shooting, subterranean, horizontal stems. Rosettes of erect, mottled leaves form dense stands under vegetation.
At irregular periods during the year a tall, flowering stem carries scented, creamy, whitish-yellow, tubular flowers that open towards the evening. These are followed by reddish-orange berries that attract birds.
Extensively used as a medicinal plant.Makes a beautiful form plant.
Particularly good for planting in dry, dark, shady areas under trees.
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
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 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.
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.
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
Dracaena aletriformis is a fairly hardy, evergreen, shade loving, Yucca-like accent plant.
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
Acacia nigrescens (=Senegalia 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: 5 to 18 metres
Acacia nilotica (=Vachellia 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 (=Senegalia Polycantha) 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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
Lachenalia hybrids belong to a group of small, fairly hardy, hyacinth-like, deciduous bulbous plants. In winter they produce attractive, strap-shaped, bright green leaves that are sometimes dotted with deep purple markings.
Between May and October, a spike of tubular to bell-shaped flowers arises from the centre of the bulb. The flowers range in colour from yellow tinged with orange or red, to greenish yellow and even mauve. They produce copious amounts of pollen, which is sought after by pollinating insects such as bees.
Lachenalia hybrids are particularly suited to being ornamental, indoor container plants, or put on a patio. Plant en masse in a container or in dappled shade, in a protected flower bed for seasonal colour.
Plant in semi-shade, light shade or dappled shade, in a good mix of sand and loam, so that they get nutrients but water drains away well. Do not water in summer, once the flowers have died.
Size to 20cm
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.
Vangueria infausta is a hardy, deciduous, drought-resistant, large shrub or small tree with big, velvety leaves that have prominent veins on the under-surface.
Clusters of small, greenish-white, sweetly-scented flowers are borne from September to November, usually before the leaves appear.
Zantedeschia aethiopica is a very hardy, evergreen, clump-forming perennial with big, heart-shaped leaves.
The Arum Lily inflorescence has one distinctive large, white, cone-shaped petal and a central column which carries the tiny flowers and the yellow pollen.
Watsonia borbonica is a semi-hardy, deciduous (summer dormant) clump-forming plant that sends out fans of up to eight long, glossy, bright green leaves in autumn, from a large underground corm.
Magnificent, tall spikes of beautiful showy pink flowers in late winter to spring (mid July to end September) adorn the plant and command attention. Flowering stems are sometimes branched. The fruit is a capsule that splits three-ways to release the hard seeds. In the natural habitat, fire seems to increase the seed yield.
The flowers provide nectar and pollen (both before midday only) for nectar and pollen-feeding insects and birds.
Valuable garden plant as the lush clumps of leaves provide contrast and visual texture, even when the plant is not in flower. Makes an attractive, large container plant and beautiful planted en masse in the garden.
Lift and divide clumps during their dormant season (February to March) every three to five years for best flowering. Plant in compost rich, well drained, sandy soil, in full sun.
Size: flowering stem up to 2m in height.
Tabernaemontana elegans is a hardy, deciduous, upright small tree that has beautiful, large, shiny, dark green leaves and a lovely rounded shape.
The clusters of beautiful white flowers are sweetly scented and borne from October to February and attract bees to the garden.
These are followed by interesting, large, paired fruits with raised, corky dots like the skin of a toad, hence the common name. These lovely fruits split to reveal seeds covered with bright orange pulp.
Thorncroftia succulenta is a very hardy, evergreen, much-branched shrub with succulent stems and leaves. The many grey green leaves are covered in dense short hairs.
From February to June, the plant bears many spikes of long, tubular magenta pink flowers.
Rock sage makes an interesting, medium to large shrub for rockeries. As it is extremely drought hardy, this is a good addition to a waterwise garden.
Plant in well-drained soil in sunny areas of the garden.
Size up to 1.5m
Greyia radlkoferi is a small, gnarled, hardy, deciduous tree that has a crooked main stem and rough fissured bark.
The bright green leaves are velvety and turn red in autumn.
The striking orange red flowers that adorn the tree from July to November are laden with nectar and attract insects and birds.
Remove the dead leaves to keep looking neat and show off the flowers.
A very decorative garden subject for a sunny or semi-shade position. Protect from frost when young.
Size: 3 to 6m
Acacia galpinii (=Senegalia galpinii) is a very hardy fairly fast growing, deciduous thorn tree and is one of the largest of the Acacias.
Xerophyta retinervis is a hardy, deciduous, slow growing, perennial plant that has blackened, hairy stems. In the winter months they look as if they have been burnt and in a lot of cases have actually been burnt. They are totally transformed in the early summer (September to November), when they sprout long, strap-shaped leaves that look like grass growing in tufts at the tips of stems, resembling a fountain. They are then covered with masses of big, white to mauve, lily-like scented, flowers on slender stems. They flower in profusion after fire. Probably best grown as a specimen plant in wide, shallow containers, it also provides the ideal base for many species of indigenous epiphytic orchids and ferns. This is not an easy plant to grow as it is classed as a resurrection plant and the roots should never be broken or disturbed. Prefers full sun, or light shade from surrounding rock or grasses
Size: Up to 1.5m
Rothmannia globosa is a hardy, evergreen (sometimes briefly deciduous) well-shaped, small tree with attractive bark that becomes neatly squared with age.
It has dark green glossy leaves.
Clusters of magnificent, white, bell-shaped, sweetly scented flowers adorn the tree from August to November. The large, round, leathery green fruits are sweet and juicy, but become hard and woody when dry.
The juice of the fruits, that stains blue, is used to heal wounds and burns.
Plant as an understory shrub under larger trees with light shade, such as Acacia species.
Plant in semi-shade in compost-rich, well-drained soil.
Size: 4 to 7m
Dovyalis longispina is a hardy, evergreen to semi-deciduous shrub or small to medium-sized tree with glossy, dark-green, roundish, shiny leaves. The new growth is red.
The small whitish-yellow flowers appear in clusters from August to October Male and female flowers are on separate plants, therefore only female plants will bear fruit. The leaves drop during flowering but new leaves re-appear immediately.
The delicious, edible fruit is a beautiful pale red with white spots (they look a lot like strawberries).
The long, thin spines make this an ideal plant for a security hedge, but it is also an attractive garden plant. Attracts birds to the garden.
Plant in full sun or semi-shade in sandy or well-drained soil.
Size: 5 to 8m