Search Indigenous Plant Attributes

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  1. Bauhinia bowkeri

    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.

  2. Apodytes dimidiata

    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.

  3. Dombeya rotundifolia

    Dombeya rotundifolia is a very hardy, deciduous, drought and fire resistant, upright tree. It has round, leathery, rough leaves, and attractive, rough, fissured bark which is utilized by Woodpeckers.

    This is one of the first trees to bloom in spring where it stands out on the bare hillsides in snowy white patches. Showy clusters of sweetly scented white flowers start blooming in profusion on the bare branches in July and continue well into September before the leaves appear.

  4. Dombeya tiliacea

    Dombeya tiliacea is a hardy, deciduous, small tree or multi-stemmed shrub with dark, heart-shaped, thinly textured leaves and dark fissured bark.

  5. Erythrina lysistemon

    Erythrina lysistemon is a hardy, deciduous tree with large trifoliate leaves.

  6. Gonioma kamassii

    Gonioma kamassii is a species that is endemic to South Africa.

    It is a fairly hardy, evergreen shrub or small tree with a dense crown of leathery, shiny, dark green leaves. The bark is smooth at first, aging to scale-like fissures.

    Clusters of small, white, wonderfully scented flowers are borne throughout the year but with a peak in October.

  7. Loxostylis alata

    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.

  8. Millettia grandis

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

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

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

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

  9. Mimusops zeyheri

    Mimusops zeyheri is a semi-hardy, drought resistant, fairly fast growing decorative tree that has a spreading, densely rounded, evergreen crown and deeply grooved bark.

  10. Philenoptera violacea

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

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

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

  11. Pittosporum viridiflorum

    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

  12. Crinum macowanii

    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.

  13. Pterocarpus rotundifolius

    Pterocarpus rotundifolius is a fairly hardy, decorative, multi-stemmed small to medium sized, deciduous tree that grows naturally in Bushveld and on rocky hillsides.

  14. Rothmannia capensis

    Rothmannia capensis is a hardy, evergreen, small to medium sized tree.

  15. Agapanthus praecox Blue

    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.

  16. Agapanthus hybrid Nana Blue

    Agapanthus hybrid nana blue is a hardy, evergreen perennial has narrow strap-like leaves.

  17. Agapanthus praecox White

    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.

  18. Boophane disticha

    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.

    Size 45cm

  19. Rotheca myricoides

    Rotheca myricoides (= Clerodendrum myricoides) is a fairly hardy, medium sized, evergreen, very decorative shrub with beautiful foliage. 

    It has massed spikes of purple flowers in spring and summer which attract the beautiful Carpenter Bees. 

    The edible fruit attracts birds to the garden.

  20. Gardenia volkensii

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

    It has attractive shiny, bright green leaves.

  21. Gloriosa superba

    Gloriosa superba is a hardy, deciduous, trailing or scrambling plant with shiny light green leaves that taper to tendrils at the tips, which help it to climb.

    It grows from a ‘U’ shaped tuber that is deeply buried.

  22. Scilla natalensis

    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

  23. Monopsis unidentata

    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.

  24. Streptocarpus formosus

    Streptocarpus formosus is a hardy, evergreen perennial with clumps of long, quilted, strap shaped leaves that are arranged in a basal rosette.

    It bears one or two large, purple, trumpet-shaped flowers that have dark purple streaks and are carried at the tips of long, delicate flowering stems from late spring to early autumn. The name "Streptocarpus" refers the the twisted fruiting bodies / seed capsules ("Strepto" meaning twisted and "karpos" meaning fruit). As they mature and dry out, they twist to realease the tiny seeds.

    This beautiful plant grows naturally in forest that are hot and humid in summer and warm and dry in winter. Water thoroughly only when the plants are dry. Water less during winter. Streptocarpus should rather be under watered than over watered.

    Plant in a well-composted medium with good drainage in a shady position, where the soil is moist, rather than wet.

    Looks beautiful planted alongside a shady pond or in containers.

    Size: up to 15cm tall

  25. Galpinia transvaalica

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

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

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

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

    Size 3 to 10 m

  26. Galpinia transvaalica

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

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

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

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

    Size 3 to 10 m

  27. Brillantaisia subulugurica

    Brilliantasia subulugurica is a fairly hardy, semi-deciduous, vigorous, fast growing shrub with large, glossy, attractive leaves.

  28. Aloe arborescens Yellow

    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.

  29. Diascia genta Hybrids

    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.

  30. Gardenia cornuta

    Gardenia cornuta is a small, evergreen, decorative tree. It is multi-stemmed with grey-green mottled bark on erect, stiff branches.

    The leaves are clustered at the ends of the hard twigs, and are shiny light green with wavy margins.

    Scented, star-like white flowers adorn the tree from December to March, making it a sight to behold. They fade to creamy yellow as they get older.

    These are followed by oval woody fruit that turn yellow. The fruit is eaten by monkeys when it is young, and nyala also relish the fruit.

    Plant in a spot that is protected from frost, in sun or very light, dappled shade.

    Size up to 5m

  31. Nymphaea nouchali

    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

  32. Turraea floribunda

    Turraea floribunda is a hardy, small, deciduous tree with a rounded crown of olive-green leaves that have distinct herringbone design veins.

    It drops its leaves in early spring and then the clusters of sweetly scented, large white flowers are borne in profusion along the bare stems (September to November).

    The beautiful green and white Honeysuckle-type flowers adorning the tree are a sight to behold and the scent is divine. The pretty red seeds are borne on large woody star-shaped pods.

    It is an important host tree for butterflies and moths and attracts many sunbirds and seed eating birds to the garden.

    This attractive tree is ideal for a small garden. Plant in well-drained, compost rich soil. Grows best in full sun.

    Size 3 to 5m

  33. Lapeirousia sandersonii

    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

  34. Plectranthus hereroensis

    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

  35. Pycnostachys urticifolia

    Pycnostachys urticifolia is a hardy, evergreen, herbaceous perennial with angular pinky-brown stems and bright green, toothed leaves that are roughly triangular. The leaves are aromatic when crushed.

    The flowers are borne in autumn (April to June) in spikes at the ends of branches. The beautiful deep blue to mauve flowers attract bees and other pollinating insects to the garden.

    Hedgehog Sage is an ideal ingredient to a cottage garden, and contrasts beautifully with other plants flowering at this time of the year (for example: orange flowers of Leonotis leonurus and pink flowers of Hypoestes aristata and Syncolostemon densiflorus)

    To make sure that one can benefit from the lovely flowers in late autumn, it needs to be planted in a spot that is protected from frost. It prefers well-drained, well-composted soil in sun or semi-shade.

    Size: 1 to 2m tall

  36. Strelitzia reginae

    Strelitzia reginae is a hardy, evergreen shrub with large, ornamental, banana-like leaves.

    The brilliant orange and shimmering peacock-blue flowers have an interesting structure resembling an exotic bird and flower from May to Dec. The nectar attracts sunbirds while the black seeds with an orange aril attracts many seed eating birds to the garden.

    The blade-shaped leaves and flowers are widely used for flower arranging. This beautiful shrub makes a stunning accent and container plant. 

    On the Highveld and in other dry regions it grows best in partial shade.

    Size 1 to 1.75m

  37. Lippia javanica

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

  38. Tulbaghia violacea

    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.

  39. Leonotis leonurus

    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.

  40. Leonotis leonurus

    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.

  41. Jamesbrittenia grandiflora

    Jamesbrittenia grandiflora is a hardy, evergreen, fast-growing small shrub with multiple stems.

  42. Petalidium oblongifolium

    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.

  43. Cyrtanthus mackenii

    Cyrtanthus mackenii is a hardy, evergreen bulbous plant has attractive glossy, dark green, narrow, strap-like leaves.

    It bears umbels of narrow tubular flowers, in profusion, from July to February. in a variety of colours ranging from white and yellow to pink and even red.

    It prefers semi-shade and moist, compost rich soil.

    It is a beautiful addition to any garden, and makes a wonderful container subject.

    Size 20cm

  44. Scabiosa columbaria Pink

    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.

  45. Jasminum multipartitum

    Jasminum multipartitum is a very hardy, evergreen, fast-growing creeper or scrambler with small, glossy, dark-green foliage.

    It bears masses of fragrant, white (with deep pink undersides), star-shaped flowers, from August to January.

  46. Jasminum stenolobum

    Jasminum stenolobum is a hardy, evergreen, scandent, bushy shrub or climber, with glossy, dark-green leaves.

    Masses of large, fragrant, white, star-shaped flowers with a pink underside are borne from August to January.

  47. Scadoxus puniceus

    Scadoxus puniceus is a very hardy, deciduous, beautiful, bulbous plant that varies hugely in size, depending on where it comes from. The large, glossy leaves have wavy margins and are speckled at the base.

    It bears a large inflorescence of red, powder-puff-like flowers on a long stem, which appears before the leaves, from July to October.

  48. Scadoxus puniceus Tall Natal Form

    This form of Scadoxus puniceus is much taller, more robust and has larger flowers with a less intense red colour than our Highveld form.

    It is a very hardy, deciduous, beautiful, bulbous plant that varies hugely in size, depending on where it comes from.

  49. Gladiolus crassifolius

    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

  50. Thespesia acutiloba

    Thespesia acutiloba is a hardy, semi-deciduous small tree or large shrub with pale grey bark that becomes furrowed with age.

  51. Ruspolia hypocrateriformis

    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

  52. Chironia linoides

    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.

  53. Carissa macrocarpa Green Carpet

    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

  54. Strophanthus speciosus

    Strophanthus speciosus is a semi-hardy, evergreen small tree, shrub or climber with greenish bark that has raised white dots. The leaves are leathery and, like the rest of the plant, contain a poisonous, water sap.

    The flowers, borne from September to December, are striking – with long spidery tepals that are creamy yellow to orange, with a brighter orange marking towards the centre of the flower. The greenish yellow, two-horned fruit that develops after flowering becomes brown, and splits to release seeds attached to silky hairs that assist with dispersing them by wind.

    The seeds, leaves and latex of this plant are poisonous, and are nevertheless used in traditional medicine – particularly in the treatment of snakebites.

    An interesting container plant, that can be grown as a woody climber or planted and pruned up to remain a small tree or large shrub. It requires well-composted soil, moderate watering and plant in a semi-shade to shady position.

    Size: can climb up to 10m if supported

  55. Calodendrum capense

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

  56. Zantedeschia aethiopica

    Zantedeschia aethiopica is a very hardy, evergreen, clump-forming perennial with big, heart-shaped leaves.

    The Arum Lily inflorescence has one distinctive large, white, cone-shaped petal and a central column which carries the tiny flowers and the yellow pollen.

  57. Berula erecta

    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.