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.
The Acacia sieberiana woodii (=Vachellia sieberiana) is a hardy (protect from frost when young) large, semi-deciduous, flat-topped Acacia is fast growing.
Acacia xanthophloea (=Vachellia xanthophloea) is a striking, tall, deciduous, fast growing tree with distinctive greeny-yellow bark.
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.
Ziziphus rivularis is a hardy, rare, evergreen to semi-deciduous, fast growing small tree with attractive glossy, olive green foliage with interesting but quite variable venation.
It bears small, yellowish, inconspicuous flowers in November.
Brachylaena discolor is a hardy, evergreen, fast growing tree or large shrub with beautiful silver and dark green leaves. White, nectar rich flowers are borne from July to September.
Male and female flowers on separate plants. Ideal as a windbreak and screening plant.
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.
Ficus ingens is a fairly hardy, drought resistant fig with a grey to yellowish grey bark.
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
Heteromorpha trifoliata is a slender, very hardy, deciduous, drought resistant, fast growing tree.
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.
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.
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.
Canthium gilfillanii is a very hardy, evergreen, drought resistant tree with interesting, angular branching patterns and beautiful silver bark.
It has small greenish flowers from August to December. which attract insects.
Catha edulis is a small, hardy, fast-growing, evergreen to semi deciduous tree that has a lovely slender shape.
The glossy green leaves and young branches droop, giving the tree a graceful, weeping look.
Celtis africana is a very hardy, deciduous, graceful, drought resistant, large tree.
Combretum erythrophyllum is a very hardy, fast growing, deciduous, drought resistant, medium to large tree with dense foliage that has yellow to red autumn colours.
It bears inconspicuous, whitish puffball flowers from September to November, that are wonderfully fragrant.
Combretum krausii is a hardy, fast growing, semi-deciduous tree with glossy dark green leaves that turn vivid red and purple in autumn.
Dais cotinifolia is a very hardy, fast growing, deciduous, small tree with attractive slightly blue green leaves.
In spring it has scattered pink leaves in the crown adding to the interest.
Deinbollia oblongifolia is a hardy, briefly deciduous, shrub or small tree with large decorative, dark green leaves crowded at the ends of the branches.
The pyramids of white flowers, which stand out above the leaves, are borne from March to June and are followed by white, fruit that is much favoured by birds.
Lichens readily grow on the bark giving it a lovely mottled effect.
One of the best plants for attracting butterflies, moths, other insects and birds to the garden.
An attractive garden plant for shady areas that also makes a good container plant for indoors.
Traditionally the seeds are used to make soap, the leaves eaten as spinach and the roots used medicinally.
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.
Gymnosporia buxifolia is a very hardy, drought resistant, semi-deciduous, small tree or large shrub. It is armed with formidable long, straight spines.
Blooms profusely with white flowers that cover the branches from August to March.
Heteropyxis canescens is a rare, hardy, small, semi-deciduous tree that occurs in forested ravines and riverine forests in a restricted area of Mpumalanga and Swaziland.
It has beautiful, sparkling, beige bark that flakes off in patches leaving attractive blotches.
The quite large, decorative leaves have interesting venation and smell of lavender when crushed.
Heteropyxis natalensis is a hardy, slender, upright, narrow, semi-deciduous tree with truly beautiful, pale creamy bark that, with age, develops beautiful apricot coloured patches on it.
Apodytes dimidiata is a hardy, evergreen, beautifully shaped, fairly fast growing tree with dense, glossy, dark green foliage.
Densely clustered spikes of strongly scented, snow-white flowers that are borne from September to April, especially after good rains.
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.
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.
Freylinia tropica "Blue" is a very hardy, evergreen, slender shrub that has spreading branches, smooth grey bark and shiny, bright green leaves.
It blooms profusely in late winter when little else is flowering but does bear some bright blue flowers throughout the year.
It makes a good screen plant and can be clipped into a formal hedge or used in an informal hedge. It also makes a beautiful container plant.
It grows in sun or semi-shade.
Attracts insects and butterflies to the garden.
Size 1 to 3m
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.
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).
Pterocarpus rotundifolius is a fairly hardy, decorative, multi-stemmed small to medium sized, deciduous tree that grows naturally in Bushveld and on rocky hillsides.
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
Helichrysum argyrophyllum is a hardy, evergreen, mat-forming ground cover or dwarf shrub has beautiful, small, grey leaves with silvery, white hairs.
The clusters of papery, canary yellow flowers are carried well above the plant from December. to May.
Each flower stays fresh on the plant for about two months.
Agapanthus praecox Blue is a well-known hardy, evergreen plant has attractive strap-like leaves and umbels of sky-blue flowers that are borne on long stalks from December to April.
Leucosidea sericea is a decorative, very hardy, evergreen, fast growing, low branching small, tree with aromatic leaves that have silvery hairs.
The yellowish-green flowers that are borne from August to December are sticky with nectar and held in candle-like spikes. The flowers attract many insects with their pollen and nectar.
It has attractive, dark, fissured, peeling stem bark. One can make the most of this by pruning them up to have clean stems or trunks and lower branches. It makes a beautiful specimen tree in a small garden.
Requires regular watering or plant in damp areas to keep it looking good.
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.
Agapanthus hybrid nana blue is a hardy, evergreen perennial has narrow strap-like leaves.
Lobelia anceps is a hardy, fast growing ground-cover with small bright green leaves.
Aponogeton distachyos is a fast growing aquatic herb with glossy oblong leaves that float on the waters surface.
Sweetly scented, edible flowers stand up out of the water above the leaves, attracting attention. The flower is interesting in that it is a
forked inflorescence bearing tiny, white, one-petalled flowers with
Bees are very
attracted to the flowers and may be one of the main pollinators. Waterblommetjies flower in profusion during winter and
spring. Large areas of water in the Western, Southern and Eastern Cape
are covered with their sweetly scented, white flowers.
An excellent plant for ponds and dams, although where growing conditions are good, it needs cutting back and splitting to keep it from taking over. Rhizomes can be lifted in autumn and divided. Replant them immediately in good soil, in shallow water, and as they begin to grow in summer they can be moved into deeper water.
Plant in pots, in good soil, and place in full sun to partial shade for some of the day.
This is a well known local delicacy for the cold winter months. It has become so popular that many commercial plantings have been made in ponds around the western Cape. Cooked with onions, mutton or lamb and a few leaves of the local sorrel/suring (Oxalis pes-caprae), it makes a delicious stew.
Pelargonium acetosum is a hardy, evergreen, bushy but sometimes straggling ground cover with semi-succulent bright green leaves that are edged in red.
The gorgeous, brilliant, satiny- pink flowers vary from coral pink to almost white. There are two to seven flowers per stalk, and this groundcover bears flowers almost all year round.
The young leaves and buds are edible and have an acidic taste.
Size 20 to 60 cm
Stachys aethiopica is a hardy, evergreen, spreading groundcover with beautiful pale green almost quilted leaves.
It bears spikes of small, white tubular flowers mainly in spring but with a few flowers almost all year round. They attract a myriad of tiny insects to the garden which provide food for lizards and frogs.
An attractive groundcover that grows in both sun and shade. Prune lightly and regularly to keep in shape. As this is a widespread species it is variable and the form that we grow is not rampant but rather stays in neat little clusters. Plant in well-drained soil in hanging baskets, along borders or in containers.
Size 25 to 35cm
Anthericum saundersiae is a hardy, evergreen, clump forming, grass-like perennial that bears sprays of white flowers and seeds all year round.
It grows in sun or shade and this makes it a good plant for the difficult areas that are in shade for part of the year.
Aristada junciformis is a handsome, very hardy, thick tufted grass with copious wispy seed heads that sway beautifully in the wind.
The seeds persist on the plant for an extended period from November. to May, and the culms are slow to yellow with the onset of winter, making this a good landscape grass.
A particularly good species for providing habitat for Vlei Rats and other grassland or wetland wildlife. Will grow well in wet, clay soil, as well as under normal garden conditions.
It is also well utilized in the making of brooms.
Size up to 60cm
Andropogon eucomis is a very hardy, small upright growing grass with bright green foliage that is concentrated at the base of the plant.
The glistening white seed heads are borne at the tip of reddish stems from November to May.
This widespread grass is ornamental and easy to manage in the garden.
Monopsis unidentata is a fairly hardy, fast growing, dainty, evergreen groundcover with tiny leaves. It bears masses of delicate, deep purple flowers almost all year round. It prefers sunny damp spots and is pretty growing with smaller grasses such as Eragrostis capensis (Small Heart Seed Grass).
The flowers attract insects to the garden. It grows in sun or semi-shade and is attractive planted around ponds, along borders and in hanging baskets. It is at its best in an irrigated garden and requires regular feeding to keep it looking its best.
Size 10 to 15cm
Brilliantasia subulugurica is a fairly hardy, semi-deciduous, vigorous, fast growing shrub with large, glossy, attractive leaves.
Arctotis arctoides is a hardy, mat forming ground cover with lovely matt green leaves with wavy margins that have white felted undersides.
Bowiea volubilis is a hardy, deciduous, bulbous plant that has two thin, strap-like leaves.
It climbs by means of its large much-branched inflorescence, the branchlets of which grow downwards.
Chlorophytum modestum is a hardy, small, evergreen, perennial with short, strap-like leaves that form a tiny rosette.
Chloris gayana is a hardy, evergreen very leafy tufted perennial grass.
It has finger-like (digitate) flowering heads from November to May.
Aloe ciliaris is a hardy, climbing Aloe with stems climbing up to 5m if they are supported, but otherwise makes a lovely, clump forming sprawling shrub.
The leaves are in loose rosettes around the stem and fringed with white hairs.
Aloe 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.
Diascia genta hybrid is a hardy, bushy, evergreen, drought resistant, perennial groundcover with fine round leaves.
This hybrid has massed spikes of flowers ranging in colour from white, pink, orange through red.
The flowers are borne mainly from August. to March. but it does bear some flowers all year round.
Plectranthus ciliatus is an outstanding fairly hardy, evergreen groundcover with attractive quilted leaves that have purple undersides and purple stems.
It has spikes of white or mauve flowers from September to May, that attract insects and butterflies to the garden.
Plectranthus oertendahlii is an evergreen, clump forming groundcover that spreads along the forest floor. Wherever its soft stems touch the ground they root.
The leaves are slightly succulent and beautifully variegated green with silvery white markings along their vein and midrib lines. They are reddish maroon underneath.
The delicate white flowers are borne in spikes from February to June, with most flowers appearing in April and May.
A most worthwhile plant for shady areas and makes a spectacular pot plant.
Plant in loamy, well-composted soil and water regularly.
Size up to 20cm
Lantana rugosa is a hardy, evergreen, much branched perennial shrub with rough stems and leaves.The leaves are small (the drier the conditions, the smaller the leaves), bright green and aromatic when crushed. Little clusters of pinky purple flowers are borne from September to May, and are followed by clustered, juicy, purple fruit. An excellent addition to the wildlife garden.
The flowers attract many pollinating insects, including butterflies. The fruit is eaten by people, monkeys and birds. It has a number of traditional medicinal uses.
Plant in well drained soil, and full sun to semi shade. It will flower and fruit best in full sun, but the more shade and water it receives, the larger the leaves will be. Prune well after flowering for it to maintain a good shape, otherwise it can become scraggly.
Size up to 1.5m
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
Cenchrus ciliaris is a tufted, shrubby perennial grass with bright green to blue-green leaves that are up to a metre long.
The grass culms are jointed, and roots often arise at these joints or nodes.
The flower spikes are bristly and cat-tail like, carried on stalks just above the leaves.
Melinis nerviglumis is a very hardy, semi-deciduous, dense, tufted, perennial grass with beautiful grey leaves.
The gorgeous plumes of shiny fluffy pink to red seeds appear all year round and attract small seed eating birds.
It makes an attractive addition to a grassland garden planted in sun or semi-shade.
Planted en masse, with the sun shining on the fluffy spikes, they are a wonderful sight.
Plant in full sun or semi-shade, in well drained soil. As with all grasses it should be cut back in late winter and raked to keep it healthy.
Size 35 to 80cm
Pogonarthria squarrosa is a very hardy, semi-deciduous, tufted perennial grass. The short brown racemes of flowers curve upwards, making a herringbone pattern, thus the common name.
The flowers are borne from November to May and attract small seed eating birds. Plant in groups to get the full effect of the flowers and seed heads.
A beautiful garden plant that should be pruned down to about 5cm above ground level and raked every year in late winter.
It makes an attractive addition to a grassland garden, and as it is not a very robust grass, it lends itself to being planted in between wildflowers. Plant in sun or semi-shade, in well drained soil.
Size 30 to 50 cm
Plectranthus hereroensis is a hardy, attractive, fast growing, evergreen but short-lived shrub. It's broad, bright green leaves contrast beautifully with darker foliage planted behind it.
It is a particularly floriferous shrub, and if pruned regularly will bush out with many flowering stems. The deep bluish-purple flowers are borne in long tapered spikes from about April through to the end of May.
It is a host plant to a number of butterfly species, and an attractive food plant to bees and other insects.
This shrub will flower and grow best in full sun, which is unusual for most Plectranthus species. Plant in well-drained soil, and add plenty of compost for healthy plants.
If left unpruned, it can grow to 2m.
A most worthwhile addition to any garden, as it's lovely blue flowers contrast beautifully with other colourful plants flowering at this time of the year.
Some examples are Leonotis leonurus and some Aloe species, as well as Syncholostemon densiflorus and Euryops pectinatus. Although very drought hardy, it is suitable for gardens where frost is not too severe.
Plectranthus hereroensis is being investigated further for compounds found in its roots that have shown anti-bacterial activity.
Occurs in hilly terrain in sandy, dry savannah.
Size: up to 2m, but generally about 1m
Pycnostachys urticifolia is a hardy, evergreen, herbaceous perennial with angular pinky-brown stems and bright green, toothed leaves that are roughly triangular. The leaves are aromatic when crushed.
The flowers are borne in autumn (April to June) in spikes at the ends of branches. The beautiful deep blue to mauve flowers attract bees and other pollinating insects to the garden.
Hedgehog Sage is an ideal ingredient to a cottage garden, and contrasts beautifully with other plants flowering at this time of the year (for example: orange flowers of Leonotis leonurus and pink flowers of Hypoestes aristata and Syncolostemon densiflorus)
To make sure that one can benefit from the lovely flowers in late autumn, it needs to be planted in a spot that is protected from frost. It prefers well-drained, well-composted soil in sun or semi-shade.
Size: 1 to 2m tall
Lippia javanica is a very hardy, evergreen, erect, small shrub with aromatic leaves.
Tulbaghia violacea is a very hardy, evergreen, tuft forming bulbous plant, with semi-succulent, strap-like, grey-green leaves that are garlic scented when bruised.
Long stalks carrying umbels of delicate lilac to pink flowers are borne mainly from January to April. It will however bloom on and off almost all year in cultivation.
The flowers are sweetly scented at night and make excellent cut flowers. Use in the garden as a companion plant, particularly to deter aphids.
When sitting outside whack some of the leaves on your table or chair and this will deter flies and mosquitoes.
Used medicinally. It can also be used as a garlic substitute in salads, soups and stews. The flowers are a decorative addition to a salad.
An excellent groundcover for difficult areas as it can thrive in very poor soils and with very little watering.
Leonotis leonurus is a very hardy, drought and frost resistant, evergreen perennial shrub.
This well-loved, decorative shrub has masses of showy, compact clusters of orange or white, velvety flowers repeated in circles up the length of every long stalk from February. to July.
An important food and nectar plant for sunbirds, bees and butterflies during autumn and winter.
Plant in sun or semi-shade and cut back severely after flowering for best results and mass flowering the next season.
It has been grown as a garden plant in Europe since the 1600s.
It is extensively used as a traditional medicinal and magical herb.
Gazania gazoo fire mix is a hardy, evergreen, drought resistant, sun loving groundcovers with glossy leaves.
This vigorous Gazania produces extremely large flowers on strong stems in spring and summer.
Plectranthus madagascariensis aliciae is a fairly hardy, evergreen, semi-succulent, aromatic, herbaceous plant that has attractive, variegated leaves with white margins which are carried on long trailing stems.
It bears white, mauve or purple flowers from February to November. A useful groundcover in semi-shade or shade. It makes an attractive hanging basket.
It attracts insects and butterflies and therefore also birds to the garden.
Prune back after flowering. Plant in semi-shade or shade in well-drained, well composted soil.
Used in traditional medicine.
Size Up to 40cm
Jamesbrittenia grandiflora is a hardy, evergreen, fast-growing small shrub with multiple stems.
Petalidium oblongifolium is a very hardy, evergreen, drought resistant small shrub with firm, broadly lanceolate silver-grey leaves that point upwards.
It bears attractive blue flowers on and off all year round.
Ruttya fruticosa is a fairly hardy, evergreen, beautiful rounded shrub with glossy dark green foliage.
It bears unusual, exceptionally attractive two-lipped tubular orange or yellow flowers that have a shiny black in the throat.
It blooms from spring to late summer and attracts bees, birds and butterflies.
Plant in compost rich soil – it also tolerates slightly acidic soil.
Prune back after flowering to keep in shape.
Malephora purpurea-crocea is a hardy, evergreen, spreading, succulent groundcover that has pale-green to blue-green, triangular leaves.
It bears the most beautiful, glistening coppery-orange flowers with a purple underside, which open in bright sunlight. The flowers are borne en masse in spring, but there are some flowers on this lovely succulent all year round.
Attracts butterflies and bees.
Use it in dry areas in the garden, as they flourish with very little care, and will rot if overwatered. Plant in a succulent bed, rockery or container.
Remove the dead flowers regularly to encourage further flowering. Plant in full sun in very well-drained soil and water sparingly.
The dispersal of seeds in the Mesembryanthemaceae family is fascinating. If you put a few drops of water on the top of the tough seed capsule it opens to disperse the seed.
In nature, this happens after rain has wet the capsule, giving the seeds a better chance at germination. They always hold some seeds back, and when it dries out, the capsule closes, waiting for the next rain.
Lampranthus aureus "Yellow" is an extremely hardy, evergreen, succulent, spreading shrublet.
It has an attractive, neat shape and masses of small, grey-green, succulent, finger-like leaves.
From about Aug.,
Scabiosa columbaria "Butterfly Pink" is a hardy, evergreen, soft, clump-forming, herbaceous perennial with attractive, deeply-lobed, grey-green foliage.
This hybrid, free-flowering perennial has large, showy, pink flowers carried on slender erect stems all year round.
Jasminum multipartitum is a very hardy, evergreen, fast-growing creeper or scrambler with small, glossy, dark-green foliage.
It bears masses of fragrant, white (with deep pink undersides), star-shaped flowers, from August to January.
Delosperma lydenbergense is a hardy, evergreen, fast-growing, prostrate, succulent groundcover.
Crassula multicava is a hardy, evergreen, mat-forming, broad-leaved succulent plant.
It bears many sprays of dainty, star-shaped, pink flowers from May to November that attract a whole host of tiny insects.
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.
Hypericum revolutum is a hardy, evergreen, medium-sized to large, fast-growing, moisture-loving shrub with reddish-brown, scaly bark.
Cotula sericea is a hardy, evergreen, fast-growing, flat, sprawling groundcover with really beautiful, grey-green leaves that have fine hairs that give this plant a soft silky texture.
The single, bright-yellow, button-like flowers are carried on long stems above the leaves.
Chironia laxa is a hardy, evergreen, many-branched, low-growing, rounded shrublet with slender, linear little leaves.
This delightful plant bears an abundance of satiny, bright pink flowers with centrally-massed, yellow stamens from November to March.
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
Senecio tamoides is a hardy, evergreen, succulent climber that has lovely, glossy, green leaves.
Eragrostis capensis is a very hardy, evergreen to semi-deciduous, densely-tufted, small perennial grass.
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.
Chlorophytum krookianum is a robust, hardy, deciduous, perennial groundcover with a rosette of large broad, soft, grey green, strap-like leaves.
The flowering stem is long and strong (up to 2m) with a large branched flowering head covered with shiny, white, starry flowers from December. to April.
It occurs naturally in grasslands where its large flowering head is carried well above the grasses.
It is ideally suited to full sun in mixed borders or grassland gardens.
Attracts insects and thus birds to the garden.
Size 30 to 50cm
Aloe aristata is a very hardy, dwarf, stemless Aloe.
Setaria megaphylla is a hardy, evergreen, shade- and moisture-loving grass that has beautiful, broad, bright-green, ribbed leaves.
Long spikes of brown seeds follow the dainty flowers that are borne from September to June.
Helichrysum splendidum is a hardy, evergreen, small, sprawling shrub that grows in moist though well-drained areas.
Ruspolia hypocrateriformis is a fairly hardy, evergreen, scrambling woody shrub with bright green foliage. The spikes of showy pink to red flowers with darker spots on their lower petals are borne at the tips of new growth throughout summer and into autumn.
Butterflies are attracted to the garden by the large amount of nectar that these flowers produce. The flowers are followed by a dry capsule which splits with a loud crack to release the seed within.
Makes an interesting garden subject as a shrub and is said to make a good hedge. It is not readily available in nurseries.
Plant in full sun or semi-shade, in fertile, well-drained, loamy soil.
Size: 1m but can climb to about 4m
Asparagus laricinus is a very hardy, evergreen, shrubby Asparagus with fine, feathery foliage and silvery, zigzag branchlets.
It has a myriad of tiny, white, nectar-rich flowers in spring and summer that are fragrant and attract insects and birds.
Asparagus virgatus is an extremely hardy, evergreen, erect, stiff shrublet with long slender stems.
Gomphostigma virgatum is an extremely hardy, evergreen, water-loving, graceful perennial or shrub with small, elongated, attractive grey leaves.
It blooms profusely almost all year round with spikes of white flowers.
Aloe fosteri is a hardy, stemless Aloe with leaves that have a grey, powdery surface and white, almost “H-shaped” markings on the upper surface.
The blue-grey, branched flowering stalk bears brightly-coloured flowers, varying from yellow to orange and even scarlet.
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
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.
Aptenia cordifolia is a hardy, evergreen groundcover that is fast-growing,it has a spreading growth habit and roots as it creeps along.
It has light-green, succulent leaves and deep rose-pink flowers from September to July.The flowers attract bees to the garden.
It has many medicinal uses.This is a useful plant for stabilizing banks or as living mulch in the garden as it spreads rapidly.
It grows well in either sun or semi-shade.
Size: 5 to 10cm
Bulbine natalensis ‘Mini’ is a hardy, evergreen, miniature form of the robust, hardy, succulent plant ‘Bulbine natalensis’. This form is about a quarter of the size of the regular Bulbine natalensis, with narrow, short, fleshy leaves in a basal rosette. They are bright-green to almost yellow-green and look a little like a mini Aloe although they are quite soft.
Densely-packed, star-shaped, yellow flowers adorn the ends of long, flowering spikes throughout the year. They are held well above the leaves, attracting many small pollinating insects to the garden.
They make a pretty container plant. Apart from the size, the main difference between the regular form and this miniature form, is that this form suckers freely and creates attractive clumps.
It is ideal as a rockery, container or bedding plant in well-drained soil in semi-shade or shade.
Size: up to 15cm
Carpobrotus edulis is a very hardy, evergreen, succulent, drought-resistant, spreading groundcover that has triangular-shaped, fleshy leaves.
In spring and summer, (August to October.)it bears large, vygie-like, yellow flowers that fade to pink.The large, fleshy fruits that follow become yellowish and wrinkled when ripe.They are edible and make good jams and preserves.
A useful plant for retaining soil on embankments as it grows fast and roots at the nodes.It is often at its best for only 3 to 4 years, therefore interplanting with other robust plants that can take over from it over time is recommended.It has many medicinal uses.The juice of the leaves has excellent healing properties, and will relieve stings, burns and rashes.
Plant in well-drained soil in full sun.
Size: up to 20cm
Aloe hybrid ‘Little Easy’ is a hardy, fast-growing, multistemmed, hybrid Aloethat makes an attractive scrambling shrub with dark-green foliage.
It is free-flowering with orange flowers tipped with yellow throughout the year.It is drought-resistant and attracts numerous birds and insects to the garden.
Prune back every few years to keep it looking neat and tidy.
Plant in well-drained soil.It prefers full sun but will tolerate some shade during the day.
Size: 1m x 1m
Hypoestes aristata is a hardy, evergreen, small to medium sized, rounded shrub with grey-green leaves that have lighter veins giving them a variegated look.
It bears abundant spikes that are densely packed with 2-lipped deep purple flowers with darker purple spots in the middle of winter, from March to August, when very little else is in flower.
The flowers attract butterflies and other insects to the garden which is a boon to the insect eating birds.
Kniphofia praecox is a very hardy, herbaceous perennial which is thought to be a garden hybrid.
Juncus effusus - Mat-Rush is a very hardy, evergreen, tufted, perennial rush grows in wet areas as well as in a normally irrigated garden.The grass-like leaves are very variable, with some plants having robust, upright leaves whilst others have slender graceful leaves.
The flowers are small, dry and scaly and crowded at the tips of the long thin stems in spring and summer.The flowering stems are beautiful in a vase.
Traditionally used for weaving sleeping mats and baskets.The little seeds are golden brown. It is a useful addition to a wetland garden and to help filter water.
It should be planted in well-watered, sunny areas.
Tulbaghia simmleri is a hardy, fast growing, deciduous, bulbous plant with attractive, grey-green, fleshy, strap-like leaves that die back in winter.
Umbels of deep lilac, sweetly scented flowers are borne on long stems and make an excellent cut flower. It flowers from late summer (May) into early spring (September).
Plant in well-drained, compost rich soil in shade or sun.
Freylina tropica is a very hardy, evergreen, slender shrub that has spreading branches, smooth grey bark and shiny, bright green leaves.
It blooms profusely in late winter when little else is flowering but does bear white or lilac flowers throughout the year.
Attracts insects and butterflies to the garden.
Anchusa capensis is a drought hardy annual or bi-annual that grows vigorously, is upright, and has bright green, rough leaves and stems. It has a fairly weedy appearance.
The stems of brilliant blue flowers are borne throughout Spring and Summer and into Autumn. Each little blue flower is beautiful when looked at closely. They have a white feathery centre (these are actually scales that protect the reproductive parts of the flower).
Pelargonium salmoneum is an evergreen, extremely drought hardy, semi-succulent Pelargonium which has yellowish green leaves.
As its name suggests, the flowers are a bright, salmon pink. They are held above the leaves on a flowering stalk that bears up to 20 flowers. Peak flowering times are between June and December.
It makes an excellent container plant and does very well in open ground in the garden as well. It is the perfect height as a "mid-shrub", to plant taller shrubs behind it and shorter bedding plants in the front.
Size up to 75cm
Gazania gazoo Citrus Mix is a hardy, evergreen, drought resistant, sun loving groundcover with glossy leaves.
This vigorous Gazania produces large flowers on strong stems in spring and summer. They are free flowering with a long flowering season.
This hybrid mixture of orange and yellow flowers even open under low light conditions. Needs well-drained soil and moderate water.
Ideal for a rockery and for stabilizing soil on banks as well as for mass planting and containers.
Size 15 to 30cm
Chironia linoides is a hardy, evergreen, many-branched, semi-succulent, low-growing, rounded, although lax, shrublet with slender, linear, little, blue-green leaves.
This delightful plant bears an abundance of satiny, bright pink flowers with centrally-massed, yellow stamens from December to February.
Albuca shawii is a hardy, deciduous bulb with very thin, dark-green leaves that are covered in short, sticky hairs.The leaves have a faint smell of liquorice when crushed.
The flowering spikes bear a spray of beautiful, nodding, delicately-scented yellow and green flowers from September to February.
A beautiful addition to a rockery, short grassland garden or meadow of delicate, bulbous plants.
They prefer full sun but can take light semi-shade. Plant in well-drained, loamy soil and do not over-water. If planting in a grassland, make sure that they are not swamped by too many tall grasses.
Size: up to 40cm
Ehretia rigida is a very hardy, deciduous, drought resistant, attractive shrub with an interesting shape.
Elegia capensis is a hardy, evergreen restio is a large, ornamental form plant for water features.It produces tall stems with soft-feathery leaves at regular intervals along its length.
The golden-brown flowers are carried at the tip of the tall stems in Octocber and November.It is a beautiful form plant that whispers in the wind.Prune back old stems regularly and thin out if it gets too large.
Plant in ponds or beside water features or streams.If not in a pond, plant in rich but well-drained soil (as standing water can become stagnant) and water well in winter.
It will grow in sun or semi-shade.
Size: up to 2m
Eriocephalus africanus is a hardy, attractive, fast growing evergreen, aromatic, small shrub, with fine, soft, grey, heavily scented leaves.
It flowers from autumn to winter with white, daisy-like flowers that have a purple centre and are followed by attractive, white, woolly seed heads.
Plant in a well-drained, sunny position and ensure it is well watered.
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.
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
Euryops virgineus is a very hardy, fast growing, evergreen shrub that is both drought and wind resistant.
It has attractive, dense, fine bright green leaves and is covered in masses of small, golden-yellow flowers in winter and early spring.
The sweetly scented flowers attract insects to the garden.
Plant in full sun and prune back at least once a year after flowering and make sure it is watered in winter .
Falkia repens is a hardy, evergreen, flat, mat-forming, perennial groundcover with lovely rounded leaves.
It bear large, white to pinkish paper-like flowers (like miniature poppies) from September. to December.
Felicia bergeriana is a hardy, attractive, clump-forming perennial develops to a dense carpet of bright green leaves.
The masses of blue daisies are borne on long stems nearly all year round and attract butterflies to the garden.
Remove the dead flowers regularly to encourage flowering.
Plant in full sun in compost rich but well-drained soil.
Felicia erigeroides is a very hardy, mound-forming, evergreen perennial has small, bright green leaves and delicate pink to lilac flowers.
It flowers profusely from July to September. but does have some flowers all year round if deadheaded after flowering.
Felicia filifolia is an extremely hardy, evergreen, small shrub with fine, bright-green, aromatic, needle-like leaves.
It is a magnificent sight from July to September, when it is covered in such prolific mauve, daisy-type flowers that you cannot see the leaves.
Freylinia lanceolata is a very hardy, evergreen, fast growing, graceful shrub with a lovely weeping shape. The long, drooping lanceolate leaves add to the shape.
Geranium incanum is a hardy, fast growing, evergreen groundcover has beautiful, fine, feathery foliage.
It bears masses of purple flowers nearly all year round that attract insects to the garden.
It is a very versatile plant that does well planted on banks, in hanging baskets and containers.
Gomphocarpus fruticosus is a very hardy, deciduous perennial shrub with clusters of complex, yellow-green flowers that are borne intermittently throughout the year.
These are followed by inflated, oval, yellow-green seedpods covered with soft green hairs that pop to release silky seeds that are carried off by the wind.
It is the host for the African Monarch butterfly and is thus a good element for a butterfly garden.
Hermannia pinnata is a hardy, evergreen, drought resistant-flat growing groundcover with finely textured, light green foliage.
It bears masses of beautiful, nodding, apricot coloured, bell-like flowers that are carried on relatively long stalks above the plant in early summer. Unusually for a groundcover, the flowers are wonderfully fragrant.
Hermannia saccifera is a hardy, compact, low, spreading, evergreen, drought resistant groundcover has shiny bright green leaves.
Masses of bright yellow, pendulous, bell-like flowers are borne in early spring and make a wonderful show.
Hypoestes aristata little pink is a hardy, evergreen, small to medium sized, rounded shrub with grey-green leaves that have lighter veins giving them a variegated look.
It bears abundant spikes that are densely packed with 2-lipped pink flowers with purple spots in the middle of winter, from March to August.,
Melianthus comosus is a very hardy, evergreen, drought resistant fast growing shrub with attractive divided, strongly aromatic leaves.
The sprays of scarlet flowers are sweet smelling and have abundant nectar which attracts insects, bees, butterflies, Sunbirds and Cape White eyes.
It is a really beautiful sight when in flower from October to December.
It also has attractive papery pods.
Othonna capensis a hardy, evergreen, fast-growing, drought-resistant, creeping groundcover.It has narrow, cylindrical, succulent, grey-green leaves that are arranged spirally on trailing stems.
It produces masses of yellow, daisy-like flowers from October to June. These attract a myriad of butterflies to the garden during summer and well into winter.
Planted in containers, rockeries or mass-planted, this is a rewarding little plant. It can also be used to stabilise banks as it roots at the nodes.
It grows best in full sun in well-drained soil.
Size: 7 to 10cm
Pelargonium peltatum is a hardy, evergreen rambling pelargonium with smooth, fleshy leaves that have five points.
The flowers are a beautiful pale pink to mauve with darker streaks in the middle and bloom for most of the year.
The rambling, zig-zag stems make it ideal for hanging baskets, cascading over walls or used as an edging plant in a bed or even supported as a climber.
Prune to keep in shape, Plant in well-drained soil in full sun or semi-shade.
The many hybrid ‘Ivy Geraniums were developed from this rewarding and popular garden plant.
Size Up to 2m
Plectranthus ambiguous is a hardy shrublet with large thinly hairy olive green leaves.
The flower spikes have densely congested long narrow tubular flowers in a beautiful shade of pale purple in March and April.
Plant in shade or semi-shade and prune back hard before the new seasons growth to keep it looking neat and encourage flowering the following season.
Plectranthus ecklonii is a fairly hardy, erect, shrubby Plectranthus with attractive, large, quilted leaves.
Plentranthus fruticosus is a softly branching, fairly hardy, evergreen, upright Plectranthus has attractive olive green foliage tinged with purple beneath.
The spikes of pink to mauve flowers are borne in profusion in autumn.
Plumbago auriculata white is a hardy, scrambling, much branched, evergreen shrub.
It bears masses of edible, white Phlox-like flowers on and off all year round.
It is an important butterfly host plant and attracts both butterflies and birds to the garden.
A popular garden and hedging plant that is also suitable for covering banks.
Prune regularly to keep smaller and in shape as it can get quite wild.
Plumbago auriculata blue is a hardy, scrambling, much branched, evergreen shrub.
It bears masses of edible, sky-blue Phlox-like flowers on and off all year round.
It is an important butterfly host plant and attracts both butterflies and birds to the garden.
Polygala myrtifolia is a hardy, large, evergreen shrub with glossy green leaves.
It bears abundant, mauve pea-like flowers almost all year round with a flush in late winter.
It makes a decorative small tree if pruned into a standard and makes a beautiful floriferous screening plant. It can also be pruned into a formal hedge.
Attracts Carpenter Bees to the garden.
The seeds are relished by laughing doves and other seed-eating birds.
Grows in sun or semi-shade but flowers best in full sun and makes an excellent container plant.
Size 1 to 4m
Portulacaria afra is a hardy, evergreen, neatly shaped, small tree or shrub with pretty round, succulent leaves and ruby red branches.
The leaves have a pleasant acid flavour and can be used in salads.
From October to January, after rain, it is covered in clear pink to rosy mauve, nectar rich flowers - a wonderful sight. The papery 3-winged ornamental fruits resemble pinkish lanterns.
Plant in well-drained soil in sun or shade.
Useful for binding soil.
Rhamnus prinoides is a very hardy, evergreen, very fast growing, large shrub with beautiful glossy almost mirror-like leaves.
The small inconspicuous greenish-yellow flowers are borne all year round and attract insects.
The black berries which follow provide food for fruit eating birds almost all year round.
Rhoicissus tridentata is a very hardy, deciduous, fast-growing, drought-resistant, vigorous climber or scrambling shrub with attractive, dark-green foliage that turns red in autumn.
The small, greenish-yellow flowers are borne in tight clusters on a densely-hairy inflorescence from November to April. The decorative clusters of edible, red, grape-like berries become black and attract birds to the garden.
It has many medicinal and traditional uses. The trailing stems are lovely in flower arrangements. Ideal for screening on a fence or cascading down a bank. It also makes a good subject for a large hanging basket.
Plant in well-drained soil in sun, semi-shade or shade.
Size: 1 to 3m
Scabiosa africana is a hardy, evergreen shrubby perennial with large rosettes of light green soft-textured leaves with ruffled edges.
Pretty pale blueish-mauve or white flowers on long stems, are borne above the leaves from July to November.
They make a long lasting cut flower.
Sclerochiton odoratissimun is a hardy, evergreen, small, shrub with attractive, glossy, small dark green leaves.
It bears masses of pretty white flowers that are streaked with red or purple lines and are wonderfully fragrant in late summer and autumn.
The flowers are like little hands facing the sun.
Scutia myrtina is a hardy, evergreen, drought resistant, thorny shrub with beautiful glossy, tiny leaves.
The new growth of leaves is a pretty bronze colour.
Bauhinia tomentosa is a hardy, fast growing, drought resistant, deciduous, scandent shrub with deeply lobed leaves, like butterfly wings.
It bears masses of lemon yellow, bell-like flowers with a purple blotch at the base of one petal and flowers throughout summer.
Plant in full sun or partial shade.
Rhus (Searsia) pyroides is a very hardy, deciduous, drought-resistant tree that tolerates extreme conditions of drought and cold and makes a wonderful pioneer.
Rotheca myricoides (= Clerodendrum myricoides) is a fairly hardy, medium sized, evergreen, very decorative shrub with beautiful foliage.
It has massed spikes of purple flowers in spring and summer which attract the beautiful Carpenter Bees.
The edible fruit attracts birds to the garden.
Nymphoides indica is a semi-deciduous, floating plant with rhizomes and long, slender stems ending in almost circular leaves floating flat on the surface of the water.
From October to May it has abundant, small, fluffy, yellow flowers at the edge of each leaf and is a pretty sight floating on the surface of a pond.
It is also suitable for a very small pond.
Plectranthus verticillatus is a fairly hardy, evergreen, flat, creeping, fast growing groundcover with soft, fleshy, round leaves.
The spikes of white-mauve flowers that are borne from January to May attract a whole host of butterflies and insects.
It is ideal for hanging baskets and prefers to grow in shade or semi-shade in well-drained, well-composted soil in moist conditions.
Prune back after flowering.
Size 15 to 25cm
Mentha longifolia is a hardy, evergreen to semi-deciduous, perennial herb which grows in damp areas and has long, thin, bright-green leaves with slightly serrated margins. When crushed they are strongly mint-scented.
It has slender spikes of white to pale-mauve flowers from December to February. It is an essential element of a butterfly garden and also attracts other pollinating insects and thus insectiverous birds to the garden.
Makes a delicious herbal tea and can be added to cordials and other cold drinks.
Excellent for moist areas of the garden or wetland features. It spreads rapidly, so cut off excess shoots and prune regularly to keep in shape. Although it does best in full sun it tolerates a little light shade.
Size: up to 1m
Eragrostis superba is a hardy, evergreen to semi-deciduous, perennial grass that has attractive, bright-green leaves, mostly concentrated at the base of the tuft.
It flowers from September to May and has a spikelet of beautiful, large, golden, heart-shaped seeds.
An attractive garden subject.
As with all grasses, to keep it healthy, it should be cut back once a year and raked to remove the thatch. Plant in sun or semi-shade. It grows in moist areas and will tolerate most soil types.
Size: 35 to 40cm
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
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.
Volkameria glabra (=Clerodendrum glabrum) is a very hardy, semi-deciduous, fast-growing, small tree or large shrub with a dense crown. It has shiny, dark-green leaves that are pungent when crushed.
From December to June it bears profuse, dense clusters of white to pinkish flowers that have long stamens. In some specimens the flowers are wonderfully scented, whilst in others the scent can be pungent.These are followed by tightly packed yellowish-white berries that attract birds to the garden.
An important host plant of moths and butterflies – an absolute must for a butterfly garden. The flowers also attract a whole host of pollinating insects and the nectar in the flowers is an important food source for bees.
It is extensively used for medicinal and traditional purposes.
Plant in sun or semi-shade in well-composted soil.
Size: 2 to 6m
Helichrysum petiolare is a hardy, evergreen, dense, very fast growing perennial with beautiful, silvery-grey velvety, rounded, aromatic leaves. A lovely foliage and textural plant.
It has cream flowers from November to January which can be used in dry arrangements.
The lovely grey colour of the foliage adds colour and texture to a mixed border.
It can also be pruned into a small hedge.
The leaves are used as bedding hence the common name. Campers believe the smell aids a peaceful nights sleep.
Needs to be pruned regularly to keep in shape.
A good plant in sun or semi-shade in larger gardens in well-drained soil.
Size 30 to 50cm
Thunbergia neglecta is a very hardy, evergreen, low-growing, scrambling perennial with attractive, heart-shaped leaves.
In summer it bears beautiful, round, open, creamy-yellow flowers with a darker-yellow centre. They attract insects to the garden. Pretty planted in a grassland garden scrambling through the grasses, out of a hanging basket, creeping up a trellis or tumbling over retaining walls.
Prune after flowering to keep in shape and ensure masses of flowers in the next season.
It is fast-growing, requires well-drained soil and only moderate water. It can be planted in sun or semi-shade.
Size: up to 1m
Ficus craterostoma is a fairly hardy, semi-decidious, medium sized strangler fig with a rounded, spreading crown and pale grey bark. It has fairly small leaves for a fig, which are dark glossy green, blunt tipped like a fish’s tail, and spirally arranged, making them an exceptionally attractive feature of this plant.
The stalkless, hairless figs, which are inverted flowers, are borne in the axils of the leaves. The small figs turn yellowish red when ripe from May to December.
The figs attract many fruit-eating birds to the garden. Makes a wonderful container plant or bonsai.
Plant in sun or shade.
Figs should not be planted close to walls and paving as they have aggressive root system.
Size: 5 to 10m
Hypoestes aristata white is a hardy, evergreen, small to medium sized, rounded shrub with grey-green leaves that have lighter veins giving them a variegated look.
It bears abundant spikes of 2-lipped white flowers in the middle of winter, from March to August, when very little else is in flower.
The flowers attract butterflies and other insects to the garden which is a boon to the insect eating birds.
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
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
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.
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
Polygala virgata is a very hardy, evergreen, fast-growing, slender shrub with long, narrow, dark-green leaves.
From October to July it bears tall terminal spikes of massed purple to mauve pea-like flowers that attract insects.
Although not particularly long-lived, they readily seed themselves around the garden. The flower spikes last well as cut flowers. Used medicinally.
For the best effect, plant 3 or more of these slender shrubs together, in sun or semi-shade, in compost-rich soil. Prune from when they are young to encourage them to bush out; this will help create an amazing display of flowers.
Sutherlandia frutescens is a very hardy, evergreen, fast growing, sun-loving shrub with lovely silver-grey foliage.
The striking, large, luminous orange pea-like flowers are borne from September to December. They attract Sunbirds and insects to the garden. These are followed by inflated green to pink, papery pods that are so light they are dispersed by wind.
The pods and flowers are decorative in a vase. It is an important medicinal plant and has traditional uses as well.
This beautiful slender shrub is a must for any garden. Plant several together for effect and use as a textural plant. It makes a beautiful container plant.
Kalanchoe rotundifolia is a hardy, evergreen, erect succulent groundcover. The petioles are pink and the edges of the leaves are pinkish.
It bears spikes of small tubular bright yellow flowers on branched flowering stems from March to December.
The nectar-rich flowers attract many butterflies and other pollinating insects
Plant in amongst grasses or as an element of a rocky succulent garden.
Size: up to 50cm when in flower.
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.
Lampranthus aureus ‘Orange' is an extremely hardy, evergreen, succulent, spreading shrublet.It has an attractive, neat shape and masses of small grey-green, succulent, finger-like leaves.
From about August, all the way through spring, this Vygie puts on a show of magnificent, vibrant-orange flowers.
Bees and other important pollinating insects are attracted to these bright, pollen-rich flowers.
Plant in full sun, and well-drained, sandy to loamy soil. Plants need little care and can tolerate long periods of hot, dry conditions
Cyperus prolifer is a hardy, evergreen, small sedge. Each green stem is topped by a cluster of grass-like flower spikelets.
These very decorative stems can be used in flower arrangements. An attractive little plant that is ideal for planting in a small pond or wet area.
Helps to filter and keep water clean and healthy.Will gradually colonise a wet area through the repeated emergence of adventitious shoots.
Plant in sun or semi-shade.
Size: 30 to 40cm
Diospyros lycioides is a very hardy, deciduous, drought resistant, fast growing shrub or small tree.
It bears sweetly scented, white, bell-shaped flowers from September to December that attract butterflies and other insects.
The edible berries are large, red and decorative and also attract birds. As with all Diospyros spp. sexes are on separate plants, therefore only female plants bear fruit.
Plant in sun or semi-shade.
Makes a beautiful small tree when pruned as a standard.
Dodonaea viscosa var angustifolia is a very hardy, evergreen, drought resistant, fast growing, multi-branched shrub with attractive light green leaves.
It flowers from May to September with insignificant greenish-white flowers.
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.
Stachys aethiopica ‘Pink’ is a hardy, evergreen, spreading groundcover, with beautiful pale-green, almost quilted leaves.
It bears spikes of small, pink, tubular flowers mainly in spring but with a few flowers almost all year round.
Delosperma cooperi is a hardy, evergreen, fast-growing, prostrate, succulent groundcover.
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.
Typha capensis is a very hardy reed that can be either evergreen or deciduous depending on local climate. It is robust, fast-growing and is widespread. It only grows partially submerged in water. It has long, grey-green stems with blue-green leaves.
From December to January, the stems end in the typical, cylindrical, velvety brown ‘Bulrush’ flower. These turn into seeds covered in ‘cotton wool’ which helps with dispersal of seeds.
This ‘cotton wool’ is used to stuff cushions.
It has many traditional and medicinal uses.
The Bulrush can be used in boggy areas, among wet pebbles and is one of the best plants to clean grey water. It helps to keep pond water clean and healthy. It is used extensively for the rehabilitation of wetlands and other permanently wet areas. This plant creates vital habitat for many bird species, fish fry, frogs, terrapins and many other aquatic creatures.
This plant spreads quite aggressively by its rhizomes and should only be planted in containers in garden ponds where it can be controlled.
Plant in full sun and prune and clean once a year.
Size: 1 to 2.5m
Schoenoplectus corymbosus is a hardy, evergreen, robust, reed-like, fast-growing sedge that grows partially submerged in water.
From September to April, the long, tough, green, flowering stems are tipped with golden-brown flowers.
This attractive sedge is extensively utilised for mat and basket weaving.
This is a wetland plant that will add a feeling of authenticity when planted on the edges of a pond. It can also be used in boggy areas, among wet pebbles and in grey-water systems.
Juncus inflexus is a very hardy, evergreen, tufted, perennial rush with stiff, erect, grey-green stems.
In spring and summer, brown, dry, scaly flowers are crowded at the tips of these stems. The little seeds that follow the flowers are reddish to golden brown.
This rush is used traditionally to weave baskets.
This is a wetland plant that will add a feeling of authenticity when planted on the edges of a pond. It can also be used in boggy areas, among wet pebbles and in grey-water systems.
Plant in full sun and prune and remove dead stems once a year.
Size: up to 1m
Cyperus textilis is a hardy, evergreen, tall sedge that forms clumps of bare, green stems topped with upright, flat, narrow, spiky bracts that radiate out like the ribs of an umbrella.
Delicate, inconspicuous, green flowers are carried above the bracts in late summer.Attracts many birds such as Weavers, Waders and other water birds.
This tough plant is traditionally used amongst the Nama to weave huts, mats and baskets. It makes an attractive form plant that grows in water or other damp places.
Ideal for wetlands, water edges, bog gardens and the cleaning of grey water. Prune regularly to keep looking neat.
This Cyperus is a fast spreader and the rhizomes will cover an area rapidly.(It may need to be thinned out periodically.)
Plant in sun or semi-shade.
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.
Justicia capensis is fairly hardy, evergreen medium to large shrub with small, glossy, velvety leaves and scented, magenta flowers with white markings all year.
Flowers attract numerous pollinating insects including butterflies.
Used in traditional medicine to attract customers to a business or to improve the chances of employment.
Good garden plant for forest gardens or shady gardens.
Prune to encourage a denser growth habit. Plant in sun or shade, in well-drained, loamy soil.
Size to 2m
Salvia radula is a hardy, evergreen perennial with large, quilted, aromatic, grey-green leaves that have woolly, white undersides and are crowded at the base of the plant. The leaves are an attractive feature of the plant.
Luminescent, white flower spikes are borne during summer. These are showy and held well above the plant.
Bees and butterflies are attracted to the flowers. It has many medicinal uses.
Plant in groups to add texture and colour to a garden bed. Makes a great addition to a cottage-style garden and rockery.
Prune quite severely after flowering to keep in shape.
This drought-tolerant plant requires full sun and well-drained soil.
Size: 30 to 40cm
Vallisneria spiralis [= aethiopica] is a hardy, evergreen plant that grows completely submerged in water and cannot tolerate being above water.
It has long, linear leaves that can range in colour from light-green to dark-green and can grow up to 1m tall depending on the depth of the pond.
Its insignificant flowers are carried on spiral stems and often break off and float on the surface.
This plant propagates mainly by runners.
It helps oxygenate and clean the water as well as providing habitat for fish and other aquatic organisms.
Plant in a pot in a sunny to semi-shaded part of a pond, where water is no deeper than 1m.
Size: up to 1m
Sutera cordata (=Chaenostoma cordatum) is a hardy, evergreen, flat, creeping groundcover with attractive, round, bright little leaves.
It bears masses of small, starry white flowers that have an unmistakable yellows centre almost all year round.
A useful garden plant as it grows in sun or shade.
Acacia galpinii (=Senegalia galpinii) is a very hardy fairly fast growing, deciduous thorn tree and is one of the largest of the Acacias.
Ornithogalum sp. ‘Tiny Peddie' is a hardy, evergreen, bulbous plant with a tuft of glossy, grass-like leaves and small bulbs that multiply.
It flowers from October to March with spikes of pure white, star-like flowers that are almost translucent. The flowers attract insects to the garden and make delicate cut flowers.
A beautiful plant for rockeries or containers or as a border plant.
This pretty plant will happily multiply in your beds but it is small, so should be planted in groups.
These bulbs require well-drained, compost-rich soil in sun or light semi-shade.
Size: 20 to 25cm
Helichrysum crispum is a hardy, evergreen, dense, very fast-growing, compact perennial with beautiful, small, dainty, silvery-grey velvety, rounded, aromatic leaves.
Noltea africana is a very hardy, evergreen, very fast growing, small to medium sized tree.
The glossy leaves are darker above and paler underneath, and have purple petioles. The branchlets are also purplish-red.
The flowers are pretty, small, white sprays borne in the axils of the leaves from August to September. The black seeds are encased in a three-lobed, brown woody capsule that splits to release them when ripe.
A decorative tree that is ideal for the smaller garden but should be kept as a single stem.
Grows well in sun and semi-shade.
Hyparrhenia tamba is a very hardy, evergreen to semi-deciduous, impressive, tall grass with blue, almost turquoise, leaves and thick stems.
They also display beautiful colours of yellow and red as they mature, when planted in full sun. The tangled flower- and seed-heads also have a turquoise hue and are borne from January to June.
Plant in containers, or as a backdrop to a grassland garden. It is beautiful planted in pots as a screen on balcony gardens or in small gardens. It is also useful as a soil stabilizer, especially in damp areas.
Plant in sun or light semi-shade areas. This grass should be cut back every two or three years and raked to remove the thatch.
Size: 2 to 2.5m
Agapanthus campanulatus is a very hardy, deciduous, clump forming perennial with green to grey-green, strap-shaped leaves produced on a stem-like base.
It has umbels of pale to deep blue flowers with a darker stripe on each petal. Inflorescences are carried at the end of long stems from December to March (If you visit Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve in Gauteng, look out for them blooming in amongst the rocks).
The rhizomes and roots are used traditionally and as a protective charm.
As they are deciduous, plant in clumps in an evergreen, mixed herbaceous border. Although they are winter dormant they do tolerate water in winter. Plant in full sun in rich, well-drained soil.
Size: up to 1m