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.
Acacia mellifera (=Senegalia mellifera) is very drought resistant, hardy, thickset, deciduous Acacia with vicious, hook thorns.
Acacia rehmanniana (=Vachellia rehmanniana) is a hardy, drought resistant, semi-deciduous Acacia with small, attractive grey-green, velvety leaves.
The beautiful red bark on the young stems glows in the sunlight while the mature bark has dark brown rough strips with a red background.
Try to plant the tree where it either catches the rising or setting sun, when the glowing stems are a sight to behold.
The Acacia sieberiana woodii (=Vachellia sieberiana) is a hardy (protect from frost when young) large, semi-deciduous, flat-topped Acacia is fast growing.
Acacia tortilis (=Vachellia tortilis) is a hardy, deciduous, drought resistant, slow growing umbrella-shaped Acacia.
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.
Bauhinia bowkeri is a hardy, semi-deciduous, scrambling shrub or small tree with bright green, glossy bi-lobed leaves that look like butterfly wings.
It bears big, frilly white flowers that are sweetly scented from October to December. This plant is spectacular when in flower. Plant in sun or semi-shade in well-drained soil.
They look wonderful in an informal hedge, as a backdrop or low screen or climbing up trees giving a real forested feel.
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.
Ziziphus mucronata is a very hardy, deciduous, small to medium sized tree with both hook and straight thorns. The glossy leaves turn a beautiful, golden yellow in autumn.
It has attractive, small, yellowish flowers from October to January and hard, round, reddish-brown berries with a sweet, powdery pulp, which are known to be used as a kind of porridge.
Aloe barberae (bainesii) is a surprisingly hardy, large, evergreen, tree-like Aloe, which can tolerate high rainfall.
Scolopia mundtii is a very hardy, evergreen to semi-deciduous, medium growing, small or medium sized tree which is rare and even more rare in cultivation.
The coppice shoots of this tree have spines which soon disappear.
Croton gratissimus is a hardy, deciduous, small to medium sized, drought resistant tree with lovely pale grey bark.
Berchemia zeyheri is a hardy, neatly shaped, deciduous tree with a straight stem and smooth grey bark.
Syzygium cordatum is a fairly hardy, large, evergreen tree with a dense, spreading, rounded crown.
It has smooth bark with bands and blotches on it - smooth and white whilst young and turning darker grey and rough with age.
It has attractive thick, leathery, round, bluish-green leaves which are red when young.
The scented, creamy-white to pink flowers with conspicuous fluffy stamens are borne in heads at the end of branches throughout summer, and are followed by edible, purple, fleshy fruits, which attract birds, and also make a good wine.
A lovely, decorative shade tree for the larger garden that needs water to grow its best. It has aggressive roots and should be kept away from walls and pools.
The flowers have copious nectar and attract birds, bees, butterflies and other insects.
Dombeya tiliacea is a hardy, deciduous, small tree or multi-stemmed shrub with dark, heart-shaped, thinly textured leaves and dark fissured bark.
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.
Acacia caffra (=Senegalia caffra) is a very hardy, deciduous, drought resistant, graceful tree with feathery foliage that gives the tree a weeping shape.
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.
Ficus sycomorus is a fairly hardy, medium to large spreading fig tree with a distinctive yellow stem that is often seen along riverbanks.
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.
Indigofera frutescens is a hardy, semi-deciduous, graceful, small tree with delicate compound leaves and attractive bark.
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.
Acacia davyi (=Vachellia Davyi) is a hardy, drought resistant, deciduous, small Acacia with distinctive yellow or light brown, corky bark on the stems and branches.
It has clusters of bright yellow puffball flowers on the ends of the branches from December to February, which attract insects to the garden.
Aloe marlothii is a very hardy, large, upright, single-stemmed Aloe with a rosette of large, fleshy, thorny leaves.
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.
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.
Canthium gilfillanii is a very hardy, evergreen, drought resistant tree with interesting, angular branching patterns and beautiful silver bark.
It has small greenish flowers from August to December. which attract insects.
Catha edulis is a small, hardy, fast-growing, evergreen to semi deciduous tree that has a lovely slender shape.
The glossy green leaves and young branches droop, giving the tree a graceful, weeping look.
Celtis africana is a very hardy, deciduous, graceful, drought resistant, large tree.
Combretum erythrophyllum is a very hardy, fast growing, deciduous, drought resistant, medium to large tree with dense foliage that has yellow to red autumn colours.
It bears inconspicuous, whitish puffball flowers from September to November, that are wonderfully fragrant.
Combretum krausii is a hardy, fast growing, semi-deciduous tree with glossy dark green leaves that turn vivid red and purple in autumn.
Cordia caffra is a hardy, fast growing small to medium sized deciduous tree with attractive, distinctive, mottled and flaky bark.
The attractive, drooping, glossy leaves have long petioles and wave in the slightest breeze, adding movement to the garden.
It has creamy-white, sweetly scented flowers in September and October that attract insects to the garden.
Curtisia dentata is a medium-sized, hardy, evergreen tree that can grow quite large in moist forested areas.
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.
Cussonia thyrsiflora is a hardy, evergreen scrambling shrub or small tree that tends to creep along the ground.
It has large dark green glossy leaves.
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.
Dombeya rotundifolia is a very hardy, deciduous, drought and fire resistant, upright tree. It has round, leathery, rough leaves, and attractive, rough, fissured bark which is utilized by Woodpeckers.
This is one of the first trees to bloom in spring where it stands out on the bare hillsides in snowy white patches. Showy clusters of sweetly scented white flowers start blooming in profusion on the bare branches in July and continue well into September before the leaves appear.
Ekebergia capensis is a fairly hardy, semi-deciduous, lush, medium sized, good shade tree with decorative berries that are much favoured by birds.
The small, scented greenish-white flowers appear from August to December.
Erythrina latissima is a fairly hardy, medium sized, sturdy, deciduous tree with magnificent, huge, leathery leaves.
The compact, huge spikes of red to scarlet flowers appear on the leafless tree in late winter and early spring. These are followed by long pods, sometimes in bunches, which split to reveal beautiful orange-red seeds.
The bark is rough and corky and completes the picture of a stocky beautiful specimen tree.
It needs well-drained soil and protection from frost when young.
Erythrina lysistemon is a hardy, deciduous tree with large trifoliate leaves.
Euclea natalensis is a hardy, evergreen, very attractive shrub or small to medium sized tree (depending on where in grows).
Agathosma ovata is a very hardy, evergreen, small shrub that has small dainty, leathery leaves that are aromatic, and when crushed they have a lovely citrus scent.
It bears profuse sprays of star-shaped, pale pink to white flowers that almost obscure the leaves at their peak flowering time in winter, although they have a few flowers throughout the year. They attract a myriad of insects to the garden.
Makes a good cut flower and container plant.
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.
Halleria lucida is a hardy, evergreen, small to medium sized tree with attractive foliage and a graceful drooping habit.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Pappea capensis is a hardy, evergreen, very attractive, small to medium sized, neatly shaped, dense tree.
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.
Phoenix reclinata is a very hardy, evergreen, palm with shiny, light to dark green, long arching leaves that become spiny close to the stem.
The Palm Swift glues its nest to the fronds. It bears showy, creamy-white pollen-laden male flowers from August to October. (male and female flowers on separate plants). Female flowers are yellowish.
The luminous orange-brown fruit are borne in large hanging zig-zagged branches during late summer.
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.
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).
Felicia amelloides is a very hardy, evergreen, perennial groundcover or shrublet with bright green foliage that bears masses of blue, daisy-like flowers almost all year round.
It should be pruned back lightly after each flowering to encourage the next batch of flowers and to keep the plant compact and tidy.
It can be grown in either full sun or semi-shade in well-drained compost rich soil.
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.
Maytenus bachmannii is a very pretty evergreen shrub with small, narrow leaves that have pink stalks.
It bears abundant, small, white flowers that have pink stalks from January to March and attract insects to the garden.
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 inapertus is a very hardy, deciduous Agapanthus has attractive strap-like leaves.
It bears long-stemmed umbels of pendulous, dark blue, tubular flowers from January to March. The colour can vary from white to almost navy blue.
It is tall and erect and will form big clumps.
Vepris lanceolata is a hardy, evergreen, very attractive tree with apple green foliage.
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.
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.
Ipomoea albivenia is a fairly hardy, deciduous climber with thick, glossy, grey-green, heart-shaped leaves that are velvety white when young.
It has large solitary, trumpet-shaped, scented, white flowers in February and March.
The flowers open at night which means it is probably moth pollinated. The fruit is a woody capsule that bursts open to release the beautiful cotton wool-covered seeds giving it a second ‘flowering’ season.
Plant in full sun or semi-shade in very well-drained soil. Beware of over-watering.
Size climbs up to 4m
Agapanthus hybrid nana blue is a hardy, evergreen perennial has narrow strap-like leaves.
Agapanthus praecox white is a well-known hardy, evergreen plant that has attractive strap-like leaves and umbels of white flowers that are borne on long stalks from December to April.
They make good cut flowers.
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.
Boophane disticha is a very, hardy, deciduous plant with a huge bulb. In warm areas the bulb is held above the soil while in colder areas it is kept below ground level as a protection against frost.
The grey-leaves are held in a twisted fan shape and are most attractive. (the species name disticha means in 2 rows, referring to the leaves).
The large deep pink to red flower head appears in early spring before the leaves. Fire induces this plant to flower. Once the flowers have been pollinated each flower stalk elongates and carries the seed on the end to form a tumbleweed. This is the plants strategy for distributing its seeds.
Plant in full sun or semi-shade with an exposed bulb.
Extensively used in traditional medicine but with caution as it is poisonous.
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.
Pelargonium acetosum is a hardy, evergreen, bushy but sometimes straggling ground cover with semi-succulent bright green leaves that are edged in red.
The gorgeous, brilliant, satiny- pink flowers vary from coral pink to almost white. There are two to seven flowers per stalk, and this groundcover bears flowers almost all year round.
The young leaves and buds are edible and have an acidic taste.
Size 20 to 60 cm
Scilla natalensis is a very hardy, deciduous, bulbous plant with a basal rosette of attractive, broad, grey-green leaves.
The long flowering spikes carry flowers in shades of misty blue and are borne from September to December.
Plant in full sun or light shade, either solitary as a form plant or in clumps to make a show when flowering. Bulbs should be planted half above the ground.
It is ideal for rockeries and is a lovely container plant. Makes a wonderful display when planted with Bulbine natalensis that flowers at the same time with yellow flower spikes.
One of our most important medicinal plants.
Size 30 to 40cm
Stachys aethiopica is a hardy, evergreen, spreading groundcover with beautiful pale green almost quilted leaves.
It bears spikes of small, white tubular flowers mainly in spring but with a few flowers almost all year round. They attract a myriad of tiny insects to the garden which provide food for lizards and frogs.
An attractive groundcover that grows in both sun and shade. Prune lightly and regularly to keep in shape. As this is a widespread species it is variable and the form that we grow is not rampant but rather stays in neat little clusters. Plant in well-drained soil in hanging baskets, along borders or in containers.
Size 25 to 35cm
Pelargonium sidoides is a hardy, evergreen (in culitvation) perennial that has thickened underground root-like branches. These are an adaptation to surviving grassland fires. The leaves are somewhat "frilly" and a beautiful grey-green. They are faintly aromatic and are arranged in a rosette.
The beautiful maroon flowers are borne mostly in spring, and are very decorative.
Can easily be propagated from cuttings. Plant in full sun, and in composted, well-drained soil. Makes a great container plant.
Size up to 20cm
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.
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.
Aloe arborescens is a very hardy, drought-resistant, large, branched Aloe with narrow, curved, bluish-grey leaves that form rosettes.
Plectranthus neochilus is a fairly hardy, evergreen, mounding small shrub with attractive, grey-green, succulent leaves that smell pungent when bruised.
The beautiful deep blue to purple flowers are borne on a terminal inflorescence of lobster-like flowers from September to April.
It is very drought resistant and can be planted in sun or semi-shade.
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
Isolepis cernua is an evergreen, wide-spread, fountain-like, bright green, little flowering sedge that has silvery flower heads on the tips of long stems that make it look like a spray of fibre-optic threads.
Although frost hardy, it requires damp growing conditions. It grows in marshy areas, so needs plenty of water, and will be at its best at the edge of a water feature or in a container that will hold moisture.
Plant in full sun to light shade.
Arctotis arctoides is a hardy, mat forming ground cover with lovely matt green leaves with wavy margins that have white felted undersides.
Aloe arborescens yellow is a very hardy, drought resistant, branched Aloe with narrow curved, bluish-grey leaves that form rosettes.
Three to four flowering stems of yellow flowers arise from each rosette and bloom all winter.
Chloris gayana is a hardy, evergreen very leafy tufted perennial grass.
It has finger-like (digitate) flowering heads from November to May.
Halleria elliptica is a hardy evergreen shrub, with very showy, orange-red, broadly tubular flowers in summer and winter.
The olive green foliage turns purple in winter which contrasts beautifully with the orange-red flowers.
Haplocarpha scaposa is a very hardy, fast growing, deciduous perennial plant with a basal rosette of attractive large, grey-green leaves that have white woolly undersides.
In its first season it starts to bear large yellow flowers on long stalks resembling the well-known Barberton Daisy.
It blooms from September to March (remove the old flower stems before they seed).
It attracts insects to the garden.
Aloe cooperi is a very hardy, stemless Aloe with long, narrow, yellow-green leaves arranged in a fan shape and distinctively keeled with white spots beneath.
It has spikes of apricot or yellow coloured, tubular flowers from December to March.
The flowers attract nectar feeding birds such as Sunbirds and White Eyes.
It grows solitary or in small groups and thrives in a variety of soil types and unusually for an Aloe, grows in marshy places.
It is also very frost tolerant and grows in cold areas.
The flowers and leaves can be cooked and eaten.
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.
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
Melinis repens is a hardy, tufted, weakly perennial grass with greyish green leaves.It has beautiful plumes of hairy, pink flowers that become pale, almost white as they mature. Flowers and seeds from September to June.
This is the grass you see along the roads shining in the sun. It generally grows in disturbed areas, regardless of soil type.It is a good soil stabiliser interplanted with other perennial grasses or groundcovers.
The seeds attract seed eating birds.
Plant in sun or semi-shade.
Cenchrus ciliaris is a tufted, shrubby perennial grass with bright green to blue-green leaves that are up to a metre long.
The grass culms are jointed, and roots often arise at these joints or nodes.
The flower spikes are bristly and cat-tail like, carried on stalks just above the leaves.
Lapeirousia sandersonii is a very hardy deciduous bulbous plant with narrow pleated leaves.
It bears branched stems of spectacular mauve flowers with dark purple streaks in delicate, many flowered heads that are borne from November to March.
They attract tiny insects to the garden.
This beautiful grassland plant can be planted amongst grasses in rockeries and in containers.
You can also plant a group together in a cottage garden but make sure they are planted in an area where their beauty can be appreciated.
Plant in full sun to very light shade in well composted, well drained soil.
This plant is seldom offered for sale as seed is quite hard to come by.
Size 20cm to 30cm
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.
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.
Jasminum stenolobum is a hardy, evergreen, scandent, bushy shrub or climber, with glossy, dark-green leaves.
Masses of large, fragrant, white, star-shaped flowers with a pink underside are borne from August to January.
Delosperma lydenbergense is a hardy, evergreen, fast-growing, prostrate, succulent groundcover.
Gladiolus crassifolius is a very hardy, deciduous, bulbous plant with erect, robust leaves that have a yellow midrib and margin and are carried in a fan (crassifolius = thick-leaved).
The tall spikes of flowers are borne mainly in spring and summer. The flower colour is very variable, but they all have a dark blotch in the throat.
This is a particularly beautiful plant for a grassland garden with its rigid flowers held up above the waving grasses. The insects that visit the flowers attract birds to the garden.
Used in traditional medicine.
Plant in compost-rich soil in sun or light shade.
Size: up to 75cm
Pelargonium ionidiflorum is a very hardy, evergreen, drought-resistant perennial with beautiful, incised leaves.
It bears clusters of gorgeous, violet-pink flowers with wine-red markings all year round.
Polygala fruticosa "Petite" is a hardy, evergreen, shrublet that has shiny, grey-green, heart-shaped leaves that have red margins. The young leaves are a shiny, coppery pink.
The clusters of gorgeous, magenta, pea-shaped flowers appear from August to May and attract bees and other pollinating insects to the garden.
This beautiful plant is great in a mixed border, rockeries, Terraforce walls or containers. Used in traditional medicine.
Plant in compost-rich soil in full sun or semi-shade and water well when planting and until settled. Thereafter it will tolerate quite dry conditions.
Hypericum revolutum is a hardy, evergreen, medium-sized to large, fast-growing, moisture-loving shrub with reddish-brown, scaly bark.
Polygala myrtifolia "Riviersonderend" is a miniature form of the well-known Polygala myrtifolia.
Cotula sericea is a hardy, evergreen, fast-growing, flat, sprawling groundcover with really beautiful, grey-green leaves that have fine hairs that give this plant a soft silky texture.
The single, bright-yellow, button-like flowers are carried on long stems above the leaves.
Gunnera perpensa is a very hardy, deciduous marsh plant, with large tuberous roots that have a nitrogen fixing, symbiotic relationship with blue-green algae. It has beautiful big, round, bluish-green leaves that are carried on long stems and arise from a central point on the roots.
The tiny brown flowers are densely packed in gracefully-drooping spikes from September to February.
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.
Chironia laxa is a hardy, evergreen, many-branched, low-growing, rounded shrublet with slender, linear little leaves.
This delightful plant bears an abundance of satiny, bright pink flowers with centrally-massed, yellow stamens from November to March.
Salvia namaensis is a perennial, evergreen small shrub that is both drought and frost hardy.
It has fine, dissected little leaves that are lime green, tough and aromatic. They, as well as the young branches are covered in tiny little hairs. Young branches are reddish purple.
The small white to pale mauve flowers are borne in spring and summer. Many insects including bees and butterflies are attracted to the flowers.
Plant in full sun, in well composted, well drained soil. Lovely contrasting foliage for bold-leaved plants with the same growing conditions. Makes a good container plant, but prune fairly regularly.
Size to about 1m
Barleria prionitis subsp. delagoense is a fairly hardy, evergreen, fast-growing, drought resistant shrublet or groundcover with opposite pairs of bright green leaves.
It bears beautiful, clear apricot flowers in the axils of the leaves. These make a lovely show in the garden from as early as December, but mainly January to March. The flowers attract many pollinating insects, including butterflies to the garden.
Makes a lovely container plant or small shrub for the open garden.
Prune back after flowering to encourage compact growth. Plant in well drained, compost rich soil and water regularly. Grows well in frost-free areas, in semi shade or sun.
Size: up to 1m
Karomia speciosa (= Holmskioldia speciosa) is a hardy, deciduous, sparsely-branched shrub or small tree with smooth, pale-grey bark.
Nerine laticoma is a very hardy, deciduous, bulbous plant with a tuft of broad, glossy, strap-shaped leaves and quite a large bulb.
From January to March, each bulb sends up a long, flowering stem that has a rounded head of absolutely beautiful pink flowers that attract pollinating insects.
Senecio tamoides is a hardy, evergreen, succulent climber that has lovely, glossy, green leaves.
Eragrostis capensis is a very hardy, evergreen to semi-deciduous, densely-tufted, small perennial grass.
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
Eucomis zambeziaca is a hardy, deciduous, rare, bulbous plant that has a rosette of attractive, broad, strap-like leaves with wavy margins.
During summer, it bears cylindrical spikes of glossy, white flowers with a tuft of green leaves on top, similar to a pineapple.
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.
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
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.
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.
Gomphostigma virgatum is an extremely hardy, evergreen, water-loving, graceful perennial or shrub with small, elongated, attractive grey leaves.
It blooms profusely almost all year round with spikes of white flowers.
Aloe fosteri is a hardy, stemless Aloe with leaves that have a grey, powdery surface and white, almost “H-shaped” markings on the upper surface.
The blue-grey, branched flowering stalk bears brightly-coloured flowers, varying from yellow to orange and even scarlet.
Gladiolus dalenii is a very hardy, deciduous, summer-growing perennial with a corm that gives rise to a fan of erect, grey-green leaves.
The tall, erect, flowering stem has large, hooded flowers varying from intense orange-red to yellow, pale-green and speckled-brown.
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 rupestris is a hardy, drought-resistant, single-stemmed Aloe with spreading, bright-green leaves that are reddish along the edges.
It has a branched raceme of tubular, densely-packed, bright-orange to yellow, cylindrical flowers with protruding dark red stamens.The flowers, which look like bottlebrushes, are borne from July to September.
This is a lovely garden plant that should be positioned in amongst trees and shrubs, as it doesn’t grow too well in harsh sunlight.
Plant in well-drained soil to which a little lime has been added.
Size:up to 8m
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.
Aloe peglerae is a very hardy, slow-growing, beautiful Aloe that occurs only on the Witwatersrand and Magaliesburg, but due to fires and the loss of habitat. It is now critically threatened.It has grey-green, toothed leaves that curve inwards making it look like a ball.
It blooms in July and August bearing spikes of dull-red and yellow flowers with purple stamens.They are densely-packed, very large and robust.Bees and other insects are irresistibly attracted to the pollen and nectar of the flowers.
It requires minimal water as it normally grows on rocky ledges.Plant in amongst rocks or in very porous containers.
It requires well-drained soil and full sun.Keep dry in winter.
size: 40 m
Aloe petricola is a fairly hardy, stemless Aloe with a grey-green rosette of long leaves that narrow to a fine tip and have margins with sharp-brown teeth.They curve inwards giving the plant a rounded look.
The inflorescence is densely packed with bicoloured flowers that are red or orange when in bud and open progressively into greenish-white flowers.There is another form that has orange buds and yellow flowers. Flowering time is in July and August.Adequate water in summer will ensure good flowering in winter.The flowers attract birds and a myriad of insects which, in turn, provide food for lizards and toads in the garden.Plant in groups for a magnificent show in winter.
This plant looks gorgeous planted amongst rocks in the garden.
It will grow in shallow soil provided it is well-drained and well-composted.It requires full sun.
Size: 45 to 60 cm
Aloe pretoriensis is a hardy, evergreen, normally-solitary species, occurring singly in dry, rocky grasslands.The rosette of slender leaves is pale blue-green with pink tips. The colour of the flowers is exactly the same pink as the tips of the leaves.
The flower spikes are immensely tall up to 2m and adorn the plant from May to July. Birds and insects are drawn to the nectar in the flowers.This Aloe is magnificent with the sun behind it and the leaves and flowers glowing pink.
A beautiful form and container plant. Plant in well-drained soil in full sun.
Size: of plant: 40 to 80cm. Flowering Stem up to 2m
Aloe tenuior is a hardy, pretty, dainty, rambling Aloe has bright red or yellow flowers.
It has long narrow sheathing leaves, crowded in a loose rosette at the tip of the branches.
Aloe vanbalenii is a hardy, almost stemless Aloe is one of our most distinctive Aloes with its long, twisted and recurved leaves ending in coppery-red tips that almost touch the ground when grown in the sun.
The tall (up to 1m), conical flower-spikes vary from yellow ,yellow and orange to red and are borne from June to August .The many Sunbirds, that visit to feed on the nectar, are an added attraction to its beauty.Plant in a mixed, succulent bed or rockery, raised beds or containers.
Allow them enough space to make a beautiful statement wherever they are planted.
Plant in well-drained soil in sun or light.
Size: 50 cm
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 frutescens is a very hardy, evergreen, vigorous, spreading, succulent shrublet or groundcover with grey-green, smooth, short, succulent, quill-like leaves.
Throughout the year it bears spikes of pretty, star-shaped, yellow or orange flowers that attract insects.They also make good cut flowers.
It is an important medicinal plant as the juice of the leaves has excellent healing properties, and will relieve stings, burns and rashes.
Plant in large groups or in between rocks for good effect Plant in full sun or light shade.It is drought-resistant but also grows well in normal garden conditions.
Size: 30 to 50 cm
Bulbine natalensis is a hardy, evergreen, drought-resistant, succulent plant with bright-green, softly-fleshy leaves that form a basal rosette.
Star-shaped, yellow flowers are held in densely-packed spikes at the ends of long, gracefully-arching, flowering stems throughout the year.The pollen- and nectar-rich flowers attract pollinating insects to the garden.
It is an ideal rockery or bedding plant and also makes a worthwhile container plant.It has many medicinal uses, particularly for quick relief when used on stings and bites.
Plant in well-drained soil in full sun or semi-shade.
Size: up to 60cm
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
Carpobrotus muirii is a hardy, evergreen, succulent, drought-resistant, spreading groundcover that has narrow, triangular-shaped, fleshy leaves.
It bears large, vygie-like, purple flowers in spring and summer (August. to February).The large fruits are edible and used in curries, jams and preserves.
This plant provides habitat for lizards and toads, attracts butterflies and is good tortoise food.It also has many medicinal uses.This plant is becoming increasingly rare due to habitat destruction.It is useful for retaining soil on exposed embankments and for soil stabilisation as it grows fast and roots at the nodes.
Although this is a Western Cape plant it grows well in Gauteng.Plant in well-drained soil in full sun.
Cotyledon barbeyi is a hardy, evergreen, branched, succulent shrub with very variable leaves, the one we grow at Random Harvest has finger-like, fleshy leaves.
It bears masses of long-lasting, pendulous, satiny, red, tubular flowers in clusters at the tip of the flowering stalks from Mar. to Sept.They attract birds and bees.Reputed to be toxic to livestock.
This drought-hardy shrub makes a good addition to a succulent garden or rockery and is lovely in a container.
Plant in well-drained soil in full sun or semi-shade.
Crassula arborescens is a hardy, evergreen, succulent, tree-like Crassula, which is unusual for this genus as they are usually relatively small plants.
It has a thick, fleshy trunk with smooth, grey-green bark.The leaves are also fleshy and are an attractive, blue-grey colour with a red rim. They have a waxy, powdery bloom which helps to keep them cool.
The attractive clusters of pink or white flowers are carried in densely-packed, rounded, branched, flowering heads from August to December.The flowers are nectar-rich and attract birds and insects to the garden.
It has many medicinal uses.This unusual tree makes a great form and container plant.Plant as an element of a rock garden, on slopes or in a succulent garden.Flowers best in full sun but also grows well in semi-shade.
Plant in well-drained soil.
Size: up to 3m
Kniphofia praecox is a very hardy, herbaceous perennial which is thought to be a garden hybrid.
Cotyledon orbiculata (var. flanaganii) is a hardy, evergreen, drought-resistant, stemless, succulent groundcover is the Karoo form of Cotyledon orbiculata and has finger-like leaves that are edged with red.
The umbels of pendulous, apricot-coloured flowers grow on long stalks and are borne in mid-summer.The flowers attract insects and Sunbirds to the garden.
This versatile plant looks great in containers, in pockets in a rock garden or planted en masse.Also useful for planting in retaining walls and on embankments.
Plant in sun or semi-shade in well-drained soil.
Size: 30 cm
Crassula capitella ‘Campfire’ is a hardy, evergreen, small, branching succulent that has prostrate and fleshy propeller-shaped leaves.The foliage is lime-green with red tips.If you plant it in full sun and limit the water the leaves turn bright red.The foliage is the best feature of this succulent plant.
Spikes of insignificant white, star-shaped flowers are borne in summer and attract bees, butterflies and other tiny insects.
It makes a particularly pretty hanging basket.
Plant in full sun or partial shade in well-drained soil.Prune after flowering.
Size: up to 20cm
Crassula expansa is a hardy, evergreen, succulent, delicate-looking but vigorous groundcover with tiny, bright-green, slightly fleshy, finger-like leaves.
This pretty plant bears masses of tiny, star-like, white flowers from November to April.
Suitable for containers and for planting between stepping-stones.It thrives in those difficult, dry, dark shade areas under trees.
It grows well in either semi-shade or shade in well-drained soil.
Crassula multicava 'Purple' is a hardy, evergreen, mat-forming, broad-leaved succulent plant. The leaves are purple on the underside, making this an attractive, colourful plant all year round, even when not in flower.
From May to November it bears many sprays of dainty, star-shaped, pink flowers that attract a whole host of tiny insects.
Crassula ovata is a hardy, evergreen, erect, succulent shrublet of which two subspecies are recognised.It has a tree-like appearance, with a single, light-brown to greyish-brown main stem, from which many small branches arise.The small, fleshy, dark-green leaves are slightly flattened and narrow.
The tiny, honey-scented, creamy-white to pink flowers are carried in many rounded inflorescences on the plant almost all year round but mainly April to September.The flowers attract a whole host of tiny insects which are the staple diet of lizards and frogs.
Used in traditional medicine.It is beautiful planted in amongst rocks or in a container.
Plant in sun or semi-shade in well-drained soil.
Size: up to 1m
Crassula sarcocaulis is a hardy, evergreen, erect, succulent shrublet with a number of varieties.It has small, dark- to bright-green, narrow, very succulent leaves.
The creamy-white flowers are carried in a round inflorescence almost all year round.The flowers attract a whole host of tiny insects which are the staple diet of lizards and frogs.
It is beautiful planted in amongst rocks or in a container and also makes a great, easy-to-grow bonsai subject.Used in traditional medicine.
It grows in sun or semi-shade.
Size: 60 cm
Crassula spathulata is a very hardy, evergreen, succulent, creeping, fast-growing, mat-forming groundcover with glossy, almost lime-green, round little leaves.When grown in sun and not watered much, the leaves turn a pinky-red on the margins.
Sprays of tiny, pink and white flowers are borne in spring and summer.The flowers are visited by many tiny pollinating insects.
It can be planted as a living mulch to help keep moisture in and weeds out.Mass plant under trees and along borders as well as in containers and hanging baskets where it will cascade happily over the edges.This pretty plant is tough, easy to grow and rewarding.One of its many uses is that it helps to stabilise banks.
Grows well in shade and sun and, although it is a succulent, it thrives in a normally irrigated garden.
Size: 10 to 15 cm
Crassula tetragona is a hardy, evergreen, succulent shrub with rows of bright-green, sword-shaped leaves.These are evenly arranged in crossed, opposite pairs along the stems, which are held upright in a vertical position.
In summer and early autumn, it bears masses of tiny, creamy-white flowers in an inflorescence carried above the shrub.
The compact, upright habit makes this an attractive plant.Makes a beautiful bonsai, or container plant in drier spots in the garden.
Plant in sun or semi-shade.
Size: up to 1m
Acacia gerrardii (=Varchellia gerrardii) is a hardy, fairly fast-growing, drought-resistant, deciduous Acacia.It has a long, straight stem that starts branching high up to form a flattish crown.As it is sparsely branched and throws little shade, many plants and lawn grass will grow underneath it.
The bark is dark grey and fissured, with red under-bark appearing in the cracks.The bark on the young branches is red and young growth is covered in hairs.
From October to February the tree is literally covered in masses of large, creamy-white, scented puffball flowers that attract many pollinating insects.It is the host plant of the Black-striped Hairtail butterfly.The flowers are followed by nutritious, sickle shaped pods.
Bark contains tannin that is used for medicinal purposes.It tolerates a wide variety of soil types.This Acacia can be used in fairly small gardens as it is tall but not bulky.
Plant in full sun.
Size: 5 to 7m
Tulbaghia simmleri is a hardy, fast growing, deciduous, bulbous plant with attractive, grey-green, fleshy, strap-like leaves that die back in winter.
Umbels of deep lilac, sweetly scented flowers are borne on long stems and make an excellent cut flower. It flowers from late summer (May) into early spring (September).
Plant in well-drained, compost rich soil in shade or sun.
Freylina tropica is a very hardy, evergreen, slender shrub that has spreading branches, smooth grey bark and shiny, bright green leaves.
It blooms profusely in late winter when little else is flowering but does bear white or lilac flowers throughout the year.
Attracts insects and butterflies to the garden.
Pelargonium quercifolium "Royal Oak" is a hardy, drought resistant shrublet with striking, oak-like foliage that is worth planting just for its beautiful maroon veined leaves. The foliage is balsam-scented.
It also bears gorgeous dark pink to red flowers almost all year round. The flowers attract insects to the garden.
Looks beautiful in either a mixed bed, mass planted or as a container plant. Plant in full sun or half day shade and, importantly, plant them in well-drained soil.
Size 30 to 50cm
Anchusa capensis is a drought hardy annual or bi-annual that grows vigorously, is upright, and has bright green, rough leaves and stems. It has a fairly weedy appearance.
The stems of brilliant blue flowers are borne throughout Spring and Summer and into Autumn. Each little blue flower is beautiful when looked at closely. They have a white feathery centre (these are actually scales that protect the reproductive parts of the flower).
Strelitzia juncea is a lovely addition to the garden. This hardy, evergreen plant forms a bushy clump of tough, cylindrical leaves. The interesting leaves and shape make this a stunning accent and container plant.
The brilliant orange and shimmering peacock-blue flowers have an interesting structure resembling an exotic bird, and flower from May to October.
The beautiful, flowers attract a number of different bird species to the garden. The nectar attracts sunbirds while the black seeds with an orange aril attracts many seed eating birds to the garden. Use both the long lasting flowers and leaves for flower arranging.
Plant in well-drained, rich soil in full sun or partial shade.
Size up to 1.5m
Pelargonium salmoneum is an evergreen, extremely drought hardy, semi-succulent Pelargonium which has yellowish green leaves.
As its name suggests, the flowers are a bright, salmon pink. They are held above the leaves on a flowering stalk that bears up to 20 flowers. Peak flowering times are between June and December.
It makes an excellent container plant and does very well in open ground in the garden as well. It is the perfect height as a "mid-shrub", to plant taller shrubs behind it and shorter bedding plants in the front.
Size up to 75cm
Gazania gazoo Citrus Mix is a hardy, evergreen, drought resistant, sun loving groundcover with glossy leaves.
This vigorous Gazania produces large flowers on strong stems in spring and summer. They are free flowering with a long flowering season.
This hybrid mixture of orange and yellow flowers even open under low light conditions. Needs well-drained soil and moderate water.
Ideal for a rockery and for stabilizing soil on banks as well as for mass planting and containers.
Size 15 to 30cm
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
Salvia 'Beautiful Blue' is a very hardy, evergreen, small shrub with aromatic, bright-green leaves that grow in clumps along the stems.
Clusters of sky-blue, funnel-shaped flowers are borne en masse from June to December. When the flowers fall off, the decorative calyx remains and is an added feature.
The flowers of Wild Sage can be used as a good cut flower. It is an attractive, easy plant to grow. As with all Salvia’s they attract pollinating insects and Sunbirds to the garden.
Plant in well-drained soil in full sun or semi-shade and water well in winter. This tough plant tolerates very dry conditions and should not be over-watered. Prune back hard once a year.
Size: 0,5 to 0,75m
Hibiscus pedunculatus is a hardy, evergreen, small to medium-sized shrub whose delicate, dainty look belies the fact that it is hardy and easy to grow. The lobed leaves feel like sandpaper.
From October to May the delightful, large, pale pink, hibiscus-like flowers are borne on long stalks.
The abundant pollen offered by the flowers attracts insects while Charaxes butterflies use it as a host plant. It is used in traditional medicine.
Group a few together for a gorgeous display or plant in amongst other shrubs as a border or screen where the flowers peeping through the other shrubs give the border a whimsical look.
Carissa macrocarpa "Green Carpet" is a hardy, evergreen, drought-resistant, dense, spiny, dwarf spreading shrublet with leathery, dark-green, glossy leaves.
It has beautiful, quite large, scented, white flowers and large edible red fruits on and off throughout the year.
It attracts butterflies and fruit-eating birds to the garden. The fruits make a delicious jelly that is sold as ‘Amatungulu Jelly’. This useful plant can be used to cover large areas or clipped into an attractive small formal hedge. It also looks great in a container.
Erect shoots should be clipped to keep the dwarf habit. Plant in shade, semi-shade or sun, in well-drained, well-composted soil.
Size: up to 40cm
Zanthoxylum capense is a hardy, deciduous to semi-deciduous small to medium-sized tree, with smooth, dark grey bark and broad, cone-shaped knobs that are topped with a short spine. The leaves are divided into leaflets, that are shiny and dark green above, and paler beneath. When crushed they are somewhat brittle and have a strong Citrus scent.
From October to February, the tiny, white, scented flowers are clustered at the ends of the branches. The male and female flowers are borne on separate trees. Female trees develop clusters of tiny orange-red fruits that split to release oil-rich black seeds. The fruit is edible but cause a burning sensation in the mouth.
Both flowers and fruit attract many insects and birds to the garden. It is a host plant to the Citrus Swallowtail and other Swallowtail Butterflies. This tree is widely used in traditional medicine remedies, and the wood is used for implements.
It makes an excellent container plant, or part of a forest garden or plant singly as a specimen tree to prune up and expose the interesting, knobbly stem.
Plant in semi-shade or full sun, in well-drained, compost rich soil.
Size: 2 to 15m
Ehretia rigida is a very hardy, deciduous, drought resistant, attractive shrub with an interesting shape.
Elegia capensis is a hardy, evergreen restio is a large, ornamental form plant for water features.It produces tall stems with soft-feathery leaves at regular intervals along its length.
The golden-brown flowers are carried at the tip of the tall stems in Octocber and November.It is a beautiful form plant that whispers in the wind.Prune back old stems regularly and thin out if it gets too large.
Plant in ponds or beside water features or streams.If not in a pond, plant in rich but well-drained soil (as standing water can become stagnant) and water well in winter.
It will grow in sun or semi-shade.
Size: up to 2m
Eriocephalus africanus is a hardy, attractive, fast growing evergreen, aromatic, small shrub, with fine, soft, grey, heavily scented leaves.
It flowers from autumn to winter with white, daisy-like flowers that have a purple centre and are followed by attractive, white, woolly seed heads.
Plant in a well-drained, sunny position and ensure it is well watered.
Erythrophysa transvaalensis is a rare, hardy, semi-deciduous, drought resistant shrub or small tree is mostly multi-stemmed.
Eucomis autumnalis is a very hardy, bulbous, deciduous plant with a rosette of attractive, broad strap-like leaves.
The spikes of greenish-white flowers have a tuft of green bracts on top which gives the flower the look of a pineapple or - with a bit of imagination - little green men from Mars.
Eucomis comosa is a very hardy, deciduous, bulbous plant with a rosette of attractive, broad, strap-like leaves with a maroon cast.
The spikes of sweetly scented, pink or maroon star-shaped flowers with attractive purple ovaries are borne from October. to February.
It grows best in full sun in either damp or dry spots.
Eucomis vandermerwii is a very hardy, deciduous bulb with a rosette of beautiful leaves that are tinged wine red, have masses of dark maroon spots and wavy edges.
In summer it bears spikes of long lasting wine red flowers topped with dark green, maroon blotched Pineapple-like bracts.
Eumorphia prostrata is a hardy, mounding shrub with beautiful, soft, fine silver foliage.
From September to December is bears small daisy-like white flowers.
Euphorbia 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.
Ficus abutilifolia is a hardy, deciduous, small to medium sized fig tree that has beautiful, large, heart-shaped leaves.
Freylinia lanceolata is a very hardy, evergreen, fast growing, graceful shrub with a lovely weeping shape. The long, drooping lanceolate leaves add to the shape.
Geranium incanum is a hardy, fast growing, evergreen groundcover has beautiful, fine, feathery foliage.
It bears masses of purple flowers nearly all year round that attract insects to the garden.
It is a very versatile plant that does well planted on banks, in hanging baskets and containers.
Gerbera jamesonni is a well-known and well-loved hardy indigenous groundcover.
This hardy, semi-deciduous perennial has a basal rosette of leaves and large daisy-like flowers carried on long stems above the plant with a broad spectrum of colour from yellow through orange and red variations.
It blooms almost all year round but flushes from September. to April.
Gomphocarpus fruticosus is a very hardy, deciduous perennial shrub with clusters of complex, yellow-green flowers that are borne intermittently throughout the year.
These are followed by inflated, oval, yellow-green seedpods covered with soft green hairs that pop to release silky seeds that are carried off by the wind.
It is the host for the African Monarch butterfly and is thus a good element for a butterfly garden.
Grewia flava is a hardy, medium sized, drought resistant, deciduous shrub with blue green foliage with an asymmetrical base.
It bears abundant, yellow, scented, star-shaped flowers from October to March. When this compact shrub is in full flower it is a sight to behold.
The flowers are followed by 2 lobed, edible fruit that are irresistible to birds.
Hermannia 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.,
Hypoxis hemerocallidea is a very hardy, deciduous, bulbous plant with folded, strap-like leaves that are hairy and arranged in a triangular fashion.
The spikes of bright, yellow star shaped flowers rise through the centre of the plant on short spikes.
It flowers from very early spring to midsummer August. to April.
Hypoxis rigidula is a hardy, deciduous tuberous plant has attractive, graceful slightly twisted grey green, hairy leaves.
The spikes of beautiful, golden star-shaped flowers are borne from August. to March.
They attract insects to the garden and in the wild are utilised by many different creatures.
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 fragrans is a hardy, evergreen, compact natural hybrid Pelargonium with delicate leaves that have a distinct nutmeg scent.
It flowers profusely with clusters of dainty, small white flowers from May to August but has some flowers all year round.
Pelargonium 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
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
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.
Portulacaria afra prostrata is a fairly hardy, pretty, succulent groundcover is a variety of P. afra but instead of being a large upright shrub it has a creeping habit and stays low.
It has attractive round, glossy leaves on long arching succulent branches.
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.
Rhoicissus tomentose is a hardy, evergreen, robust, woody climber with rough, greyish-brown bark. The ornamental, almost circular to kidney-shaped, dark-green leaves are interspersed with velvety tendrils.
The young leaves are hairy and a rich copper or purple colour while the old leaves turn crimson before falling. Dense heads of greenish flowers are borne from October to January. These are followed by large, purple, grape-like berries with white spots, which are another great feature of this climber.
The fruit is edible and much sought after by birds and other wildlife. It is the host plant of the Silver Striped Hawkmoth. This robust climber will cover a pergola, can be trained up and over walls or planted in a container and pruned regularly to keep it bushy and show off its wonderful foliage.
Plant in compost-rich soil in sun, semi-shade or shade.
Size: up to 20m in canopy
Rhoicissus tridentata is a very hardy, deciduous, fast-growing, drought-resistant, vigorous climber or scrambling shrub with attractive, dark-green foliage that turns red in autumn.
The small, greenish-yellow flowers are borne in tight clusters on a densely-hairy inflorescence from November to April. The decorative clusters of edible, red, grape-like berries become black and attract birds to the garden.
It has many medicinal and traditional uses. The trailing stems are lovely in flower arrangements. Ideal for screening on a fence or cascading down a bank. It also makes a good subject for a large hanging basket.
Plant in well-drained soil in sun, semi-shade or shade.
Size: 1 to 3m
Salvia africana caerulea is a very hardy, evergreen small to medium sized shrub with aromatic grey leaves that have many medicinal properties and can be used in cooking.
It bears spikes of attractive, blue to purple flowers from August to December that have copious nectar and attract birds and bees, (for which the flower is specially adapted), to the garden.
This plant is attractive and easy to grow.
It will add both texture and colour to the garden.
Scabiosa africana is a hardy, evergreen shrubby perennial with large rosettes of light green soft-textured leaves with ruffled edges.
Pretty pale blueish-mauve or white flowers on long stems, are borne above the leaves from July to November.
They make a long lasting cut flower.
Scabiosa columbaria blue is a hardy, evergreen, soft, clump-forming, herbaceous perennial with attractive, deeply lobed, grey green foliage.
This hybrid, free flowering perennial has large, showy flowers that are carried on slender erect stems all year round.
A lovely plant for mass planting in full sun.
Schrebera alata is a fairly hardy, evergreen, scrambling shrub or small tree that branches low and has a sparse narrow crown.
Sclerocarya birrea is a fairly hardy, medium to large, deciduous tree with a rounded crown and beautiful mottled bark. It has large compound leaves crowded at the ends of the branches.
It bears inconspicuous red and yellow flowers from September to November. Male and female flowers on separate plants therefore only the females bear fruit.
Sclerochiton harveyanus is a hardy, evergreen, shade loving, small to medium sized scandent shrub.
It has attractive, slightly variegated, small, almost heart-shaped leaves that add texture to the garden.
Sclerochiton kirkii is a hardy, upright, evergreen shrub with bright green, glossy foliage.
It bears clusters of beautiful large sky-blue flowers which look like a hand in summer and autumn.
Plant in semi shade or shade in compost rich soil.
Sclerochiton odoratissimun is a hardy, evergreen, small, shrub with attractive, glossy, small dark green leaves.
It bears masses of pretty white flowers that are streaked with red or purple lines and are wonderfully fragrant in late summer and autumn.
The flowers are like little hands facing the sun.
Scutia myrtina is a hardy, evergreen, drought resistant, thorny shrub with beautiful glossy, tiny leaves.
The new growth of leaves is a pretty bronze colour.
Sideroxylon inerme is a hardy, evergreen, small to medium or large tree with a beautiful, round, dark-green, lush crown. A feature of this tree is the grey-brown bark that cracks into rectangles. The leathery, dark-green leaves are smooth and shiny and turn red with age.
From November to April it bears small greenish-white, strongly-scented flowers which Mousebirds love to eat. The flowers are followed by attractive, juicy, black berries that attract birds and other wildlife to the garden.
This species has been declared a protected tree and some old specimens are National Monuments. It has many traditional and medicinal uses.
The White Milkwood makes a good garden and container subject, and grows well on the Highveld in sun or semi-shade if protected from wind.
Size: 4 to 15m
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.
Gladiolus ochroleucus is a hardy, evergreen, bulbous plant with attractive, upright, strap-like, grey-green leaves. It bears spikes of magnificent, funnel-shaped, pink flowers almost all year round.
The flower colour can vary from almost white to cerise. They attract pollinating insects. Use as a particularly attractive cut flower as well.
It is a lovely addition to a short grassland garden or planted in clumps in a rockery and it makes a truly beautiful container plant. It requires well-drained, compost-rich soil. Plant in full sun or semi-shade.
Size: 30 to 50cm
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.
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
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
Acacia burkei (=Senegalia burkei) is a hardy, deciduous, medium sized Acacia that has attractive, large round leaflets.
Spikes of white flowers from October to January are followed by bright red seed pods.
This beautiful specimen tree gives dense shade, but is a little slow growing.
Aloe striata is a hardy, stemless, smooth-leaved Aloe with a rosette of fleshy, blue green leaves. Each leaf is edged with a thin orange line that glows when the sun shines through it.
During the winter months, dense, compact inflorescences of brilliant orange flowers top a grey-green flowering stalk that stands about 50cm above the leaves.
Eragrostis superba is a hardy, evergreen to semi-deciduous, perennial grass that has attractive, bright-green leaves, mostly concentrated at the base of the tuft.
It flowers from September to May and has a spikelet of beautiful, large, golden, heart-shaped seeds.
An attractive garden subject.
As with all grasses, to keep it healthy, it should be cut back once a year and raked to remove the thatch. Plant in sun or semi-shade. It grows in moist areas and will tolerate most soil types.
Size: 35 to 40cm
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 hebeclada (=Vachellia hebeclada) is a hardy, small to medium-sized, spreading, deciduous tree or large shrub with paired, sharp spines. The dark brown to grey bark is fissured and flaking.Birds, such as the Red-billed Wood Hoopoe, enjoy probing under the bark for insects.
The blue-green leaves are hairy and catch the sun. Mostly creamy-white, but sometimes pale-yellow, large, round puffball flowers, are scented and borne in large attractive clusters at the nodes of the leaves.
They adorn the tree from July to September and offer up a bounty of pollen and nectar to the numerous small pollinating insects and insectivorous birds that visit them. As the shoots age their colour changes giving the crown a lovely mottled look.
The large, distinctive pods stand upright and persist on the plant for a few seasons, hence the common name ‘Candle Thorn’. An ideal addition to a security hedge because of its height and ferocious thorns.
It is often referred to as ‘The House of the Lion’ as lions often shelter under it in the hot dry areas where this tree occurs.
Size: 4 to 7m
Acacia nigrescens (=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.
Silene bellidioides is a very hardy, evergreen, perennial plant with tall, erect, sticky stems and rosettes of leaves at the base.
From October to April, the plant produces one or more flowering stems that have a few branches with flowers positioned at the tips of each branch. The flower petals are white or pale pink and deeply divided. The long, tubular flower calyx is pale green, striped with dark-red veins. The beautiful, scented flowers open in the evening, and shine like neon lights at night, attracting moths to pollinate them.
Traditionally, this plant is used as a love-potion.
It is an excellent addition to a sunny grassland garden.
Plant in full sun or semi-shade in well-drained soil.
Size: up to 30cm
Volkameria 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
Carissa edulis is a hardy, much-branched, evergreen, fast growing shrub or climber that has glossy, leathery leaves, which are sometimes hairy and have red growing tips. The hard rigid spines are almost always single.
Masses of beautiful, white flowers tinged with pink appear from September to December. These are followed by edible fruit that turns purplish-black when ripe, and because it is so sweet and juicy, makes a good jam or jelly.
The fruits attract birds to the garden.
It makes a good hedging plant, whether pruned to keep compact or left to grow freely. It needs to be controlled in a smaller garden but can be allowed to grow wild if you have the space where it will scramble through the trees.
Can be grown in semi-shade, but prefers full sun and flowers more profusely in the sun.
Size 1 to 3m
Macledium (=Dicoma) zeyheri is a very hardy, unusual perennial plant with leathery leaves that are white felted below and cobwebby stems.
It bears purplish flowers with spiky silver bracts that are also tinged with purple and look like miniature Proteas from January to May. They are long lasting and make good cut flowers.
The seeds are much favoured by insects.
Plant in a rockery or in a grassland garden. For an unusual talking point, plant in containers.
Plant in well-drained, compost rich soil in sun or semi shade and water well in summer.
Size 15 to 20cm
Chasmanthe floribunda is a hardy, summer-deciduous, winter-growing, bulbous plant with tall, sword-shaped, light-green leaves arranged in a fan-shape.
Acacia brevispica (=Senegalia brevispica) is a hardy, semi-deciduous, robust, prickly, scrambling Acacia that can be trained into a large beautiful shrub.
It has feathery, large, soft, bipinnate leaves with small hook thorns along the ribs on the underside.
Thunbergia neglecta is a very hardy, evergreen, low-growing, scrambling perennial with attractive, heart-shaped leaves.
In summer it bears beautiful, round, open, creamy-yellow flowers with a darker-yellow centre. They attract insects to the garden. Pretty planted in a grassland garden scrambling through the grasses, out of a hanging basket, creeping up a trellis or tumbling over retaining walls.
Prune after flowering to keep in shape and ensure masses of flowers in the next season.
It is fast-growing, requires well-drained soil and only moderate water. It can be planted in sun or semi-shade.
Size: up to 1m
Crinum bulbispermum white is a very hardy, deciduous bulbous plant with robust, grey leaves that can grow up to 800mm long.
It bears long stemmed, umbels of large, showy, lily-like, fragrant pure white flowers throughout spring and summer.
Watsonia angusta is a very hardy, evergreen, bulbous plant with grey-green strap-like leaves.
It bears spikes of orangey-red flowers from November to January that add fiery spikes to the garden.
The flowers attract Sunbirds and insects to the garden.
It makes a good accent plant but is also beautiful for mass planting and retaining soil on banks.
Plant on banks to help with soil retention.
It grows and flowers best when it has compost rich soil, sufficient water (it tolerates marshy conditions), and sun although it tolerates semi-shade as well.
Ficus craterostoma is a fairly hardy, semi-decidious, medium sized strangler fig with a rounded, spreading crown and pale grey bark. It has fairly small leaves for a fig, which are dark glossy green, blunt tipped like a fish’s tail, and spirally arranged, making them an exceptionally attractive feature of this plant.
The stalkless, hairless figs, which are inverted flowers, are borne in the axils of the leaves. The small figs turn yellowish red when ripe from May to December.
The figs attract many fruit-eating birds to the garden. Makes a wonderful container plant or bonsai.
Plant in sun or shade.
Figs should not be planted close to walls and paving as they have aggressive root system.
Size: 5 to 10m
Hypoestes aristata white is a hardy, evergreen, small to medium sized, rounded shrub with grey-green leaves that have lighter veins giving them a variegated look.
It bears abundant spikes of 2-lipped white flowers in the middle of winter, from March to August, when very little else is in flower.
The flowers attract butterflies and other insects to the garden which is a boon to the insect eating birds.
Podocarpus latifolius is a very hardy, evergreen, large, beautifully-shaped tree. It is slow growing, but makes an outstanding shade or specimen tree for bigger gardens. The yellowish to greyish-brown bark flakes off in thin, vertical strips. It has beautiful dark-green leaves that are carried more or less horizontally.
The sweet, edible, fleshy, reddish-purple, female cones carry 1 or 2 seeds that ripen from green to pink to red during December and February.
Freesia grandiflora is a fairly hardy, deciduous plant with fan of soft, bring green, flat leaves that arise from an underground corm.
The large, scarlet flowers look like bright red stars, with a darker red blotch in the centre of the flower. It blooms from December to April. The seeds that follow are bright orange.
It makes a beautiful garden subject, especially when planted amongst rocks and shorter grasses. It is also a lovely container plant.
Plant in full sun to semi-shade, in well-composted soil that drains well.
Size to 45cm
Nuxia floribunda is a hardy, evergreen, fast-growing, neat and attractive tree that is quite small in drier conditions, but if its roots find water it can get quite big.
Pale grey, smooth bark contrasts beautifully with the glossy, dark-green leaves that turn quite purple in winter.
Its huge heads of showy, sweetly-scented, white flowers cover the tree from May to September. The flowers attract a whole host of small pollinating insects, moths and butterflies that in turn attract birds.
It has many magical and medicinal uses.
It grows well in a container, and is also a lovely tree with which to create a small forested area in the garden.
Plant in either full sun or semi-shade and water regularly.
Size: 3 to 10m
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
Syncolostemon densiflorus is a hardy, evergreen, medium-sized, herbaceous, multi-stemmed shrub. It has velvety, white stems with bright-green leaves.
Erythrina humeana is a hardy, deciduous, fairly fast-growing shrub or small tree with dark olive-green, trifoliate leaves.
The long-lasting, gorgeous, brilliant red, long flower spikes are carried above the leaves on slender stalks.
Delosperma echinatum (Pickle Plant) is a hardy, evergreen, small, partially-upright shrublet that has barrel-shaped short (25mm) leaves, hence its common name pickle plant. The light-green leaves have short, white, bristly hairs and attractive water vesicles (tiny bladders), that will add texture to your plantings.
It bears masses of small, white or yellow, glistening flowers in spring.
This drought-resistant plant makes a good addition to a rockery, succulent or grass garden and does particularly well in containers.
Plant in well-drained soil in sun or light shade. It should be allowed to dry out between waterings.
Size: up to 45cm
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.
Pelargonium cucullatum is a hardy, evergreen fast growing shrub and is the parent of many of the modern hybrid Pelargoniums. It has attractive round to kidney shape quilted leaves that are sweetly scented when crushed.
The large pink, purple and sometimes even white flowers with dark markings on the petals are borne en masse from August to February, and have a faint perfume.
Maytenus undata is a very hardy, evergreen large or small tree. Its height is very variable, and depends on the area in which it is growing. The colder it is the smaller the tree. The bark is grey-brown with patches flaking off and leaving pinkish blotches.
One can tell the hardiness by the foliage form - the smaller and more leathery the leaves, the hardier the tree. The foliage is variable in size and colour from pale to dark-green and gives off a musty scent when rubbed.
It bears creamy-white flowers all summer (from September to May).
In April the tree produces black seeds covered with orange flesh that attract birds.
Makes a good garden subject or container plant and is a must for a wildlife garden.
Plant in semi-shade or sun.
Size: 1 to 6m
Metalasia muricata is a hardy, evergreen medium-sized shrub that is very variable in appearance and frost hardiness, depending on the region in which it occurs. This rounded, robust, sturdy shrub has fine silvery grey-green, needle-like foliage. The leaves can be smooth or woolly.
In winter, the shrub is covered in honey-scented clusters of tiny white to pinky-purple flowers.
The flowers attract many pollinating insects, and the seeds are eaten by birds.
Dried leaves are used as tea in Lesotho.
It is useful as a tall filler in flower beds, providing grey-green foliage for colour and textural contrast. In some coastal areas, this species is used with other plants to stabilise sand dunes. As it is drought and wind tolerant, it can be used to screen lower plant beds from the wind.
Plant in sunny areas, in sandy, well drained soils. It can also tolerate acidic soils.
Size to 4m
Kalanchoe rotundifolia is a hardy, evergreen, erect succulent groundcover. The petioles are pink and the edges of the leaves are pinkish.
It bears spikes of small tubular bright yellow flowers on branched flowering stems from March to December.
The nectar-rich flowers attract many butterflies and other pollinating insects
Plant in amongst grasses or as an element of a rocky succulent garden.
Size: up to 50cm when in flower.
Helichrysum cymosum is a hardy, evergreen small, leafy, scandent shrub with beautiful silvery, small leaves that are woolly below.
It bears compact heads of yellow, papery flowers at the tips of each branchlet from September to April.
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.
Zantedeschia pentlandii is a very hardy, deciduous perennial with big narrowly oval heart-shaped leaves. It has one distinctive large, bright, lemon yellow cone-shaped petal with a dark purple spot at the base.
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
Zantedeschia albomaculata is a very hardy, deciduous Arum Lily with arrow-shaped leaves that are often spotted.
It has one distinctive, white or cream cone-shaped petal that can be flushed with pink and can have a dark purple base.
Otholobium decumbens is a very hardy, flat, creeping groundcover with trifoliate leaves, which knits so tightly in full sun that it can be used instead of lawn grass.
In spring it has masses of two-tone pink flowers that look like a pink carpet.
Othonna dentata is a hardy, evergreen, succulent shrublet with round, flattened, grey leaves that have fine- to coarsely-toothed, red margins.
From June to December it bears pretty, daisy-like, golden-yellow flowers that are carried on the tip of a long stalk above the shrub.The flowers attract tiny pollinating insects to the garden.
Plant in amongst other succulents in a rockery or on slopes.It also makes a beautiful container plant with its shortened thick stem.
Requires a sunny to light semi-shade position in well-drained soil.
Size: up to 70cm
Bulbine inflata is a very hardy, evergreen, drought resistant, robust, succulent plant with fleshy leaves forming a basal rosette.
Jasminum angulare is a hardy, evergreen, drought-resistant climber with glossy, dark-green, trifoliate leaves.
The clusters of star-shaped, white flowers look velvety and are sweetly-scented, especially at night.
These wonderful flowers are borne from October to January and attract a whole host of tiny insects. They are followed by decorative black berries that attract birds to the garden.
Used for both medicinal and magical purposes. This is quite a delicate climber that can be trained over arches and along fences and walls. It also grows well in containers.
Use as a climber or as a rounded shrub depending on how it is pruned.Plant close to a patio or window where the wonderful scent when it is in flower can be appreciated.
It takes a little time to settle once planted out, but once it has done so, it grows quite quickly. Flowers add a delicious scent to potpourri.
Regular pruning will keep it in shape and encourage flowering. Plant in sun or semi-shade in compost-rich soil.
Size: Climbs to 4m
Justicia petiolaris is a hardy, evergreen, mounding and trailing perennial plant with attractive light green foliage.
The spikes of flowers clustered at the tips of branches are blue with white and mauve markings.
They open in succession and are borne from November to March.
Bolusanthus speciosus is a hardy, graceful, briefly deciduous, drought resistant tree with graceful grey-green almost weeping foliage.
The huge, pendulous bunches of beautiful mauve pea-like flowers that are born in September and October are truly spectacular.
Papaver aculeatum is a very hardy, evergreen annual to perennial groundcover with a basal rosette of grey-green attractive leaves.
It bears beautiful, papery salmon-pink poppies on long stems from early spring to late summer.
This rare little plant takes well to cultivation and stays perennial for a few years and will seed itself quite freely.
It is beautiful planted amongst smaller grasses which is also its natural habitat.
Plant in well-drained soil.
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
Pelargonium betulium is a hardy, evergreen, rounded, bushy perennial with attractive, aromatic leaves that have purplish-red edges.
The large, showy, pink to white or purple flowers with dark purple streaks are borne from August to October and are beautifully marked with magenta margins on the upper two petals.
It grows in full sun or semi-shade but requires sandy, well-drained, well-composted soil and adequate water in winter.
Use as a border, an element of a cottage garden, in containers and hanging baskets.
The leaves contain essential oils.
Size 30cm to 1m
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 rehmannii is a hardy, deciduous plant with a thickened, tuber-like rootstock from which lance shaped, lush green leaves arise. Most Arum Lily species have a lobed base but The Pink Arum has a tapering leaf base.
The flower is a slender, elongated spathe of varying shades of pink (light pink through to deep maroon) which turns green as it matures. Flowering is from October to March, (mostly November to January).
The fruit is green, and as it matures and gains weight along the spathe, it bends the flower stem downwards.
It is a prized cut flower, container plant and garden plant world-wide.
For best results, care for Z. rehmannii by lifting dormant plants and storing them dry until the following growing season when they need to be watered well. Add plenty of rich compost to the soil.
Plant in sun or semi-shade.
Size: up to 50cm
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
Berula erecta is a hardy, evergreen plant, easy to grow in marshy areas. It has attractive, bright-green, upright, fern-like foliage.
It flowers from December to March and it bears heads of many delicate, white flowers that are approximately 60 to 80mm in diameter that make good cut flowers. The flowers attract a variety of pollinating insects to the garden.
A portion of the plants in a waterside planting will ramble & root their way and 'float' attractively onto the water surface, providing good habitat for fish fry. An excellent plant for filtration of fishpond water and grey water.
Used in traditional medicine where the roots are held in the mouth to relieve toothache.
Cyperus alternifolius subsp. is a hardy, evergreen, medium-sized sedge that forms large clumps.Long, green stems are topped with a circle of flat green bracts.
The clusters of brown flowers stand out above the green bracts in summer.Attracts many birds such as Weavers, Waders and other water birds. Ideal for water edges, wetland gardens and the cleaning of grey water.
Remove the dead stems regularly to keep it 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.
Size: up to 1,3m
Cyperus papyrus is a hardy, evergreen sedge. It is the largest sedge in Africa.It forms clumps of tall, green, bare stems, topped by heads of grass-like flower spikelets, giving it a mop-like appearance.
Attracts many birds such as weavers, waders and water birds.A
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.
Diospyros austro-africana is a very hardy, evergreen, attractive, much branched shrub, but can become a small tree in ideal growing conditions.
The small leaves turn a blackish-red in winter.
Tiny red flowers borne from August to November are followed by attractive red to black berries. (As with all Diospyros sp. sexes are on separate plants, therefore only female plants bear fruit).
It attracts birds and insects.
Its unusual foliage makes an interesting addition to any garden, and it is suitable as a beautiful container plant, bonsai subject or for a striking feature in an oriental styled garden.
This extremely hardy and drought resistant shrub is very useful and will grow in most challenging conditions. It gets a lovely twisted shape and stays small if not overwatered and over fertilized. Plant in sun or semi-shade.
Size 2 to 3m
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
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
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.
Arctotheca calendula is a fairly hardy, evergreen groundcover with attractive bright green, deeply lobed leaves that have white undersides. It bears yellow daisy-like flowers all year round. It has a spreading, mat forming growth form and will fill those hot, sunny, well-drained areas with bright colours.
It spreads easily by multiplying as it goes along making it ideal for stabilising areas. Attracts butterflies to the garden.
Size Up to 10cm
Aristea ecklonii is hardy, evergreen, clump-forming, perennial bulbous plant with narrow, strap-like, slightly pleated leaves that are carried in a fan.
It bears flowering stems of amazing pale to deep mauve-blue flowers from August to March. There is a white flowered form grown at Random Harvest nursery (see gallery of pictures).
It requires morning sun as the flowers open in succession early in the day and close in the afternoon.
It grows best in moist conditions near ponds or well-watered areas.
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.
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
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
Barleria greenii is a very hardy, deciduous, spiny, small shrub. It has masses of gorgeous, huge pink, Petunia-like flowers in summer.
They are sweet smelling at night which suggests that they are moth pollinated and have copious nectar that attracts Carpenter Bees and other insects to the garden.
A beautiful garden plant that is stunning when planted in groups. Rare in cultivation.
Plant in full sun but it can also tolerate partial shade. Prune back in winter to ensure masses of flowers in summer.
Size 30 to 80cm
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