Category Articles RSS Feed
Acacia xanthophloea
Viewed 3682 times since Fri, Mar 16, 2012
Acacia xanthophloea   (Fever Tree) The well known Fever Tree is planted mainly for its greenish yellow bark coated in a yellow powder. It grows to between 15 and 25m and has a spreading crown with small leaves and bright yellow ball flowers... Read More
Aloe ‘Bush Baby Red’
Viewed 4349 times since Thu, Apr 11, 2013
  Aloe 'Bush Baby Red'   Aloe ‘Bush Baby Red' is a delicate aloe hybrid with leaf rosettes that do not get bigger than 35 cm in diameter. Once it is growing comfortably, the number of leaf rosettes increases at a rapid... Read More
Aloe ‘Bush Baby Yellow’
Viewed 5018 times since Thu, Apr 11, 2013
Aloe ‘Bush Baby Yellow'   Aloe ‘Bush Baby Yellow' is another stemless dwarf hybrid. It has rosettes of bright green leaves that multiply quickly. Lovely, soft yellow flowers are borne on long stems in winter and a mature... Read More
Aloe ‘Ivory Dawn’
Viewed 4958 times since Thu, Apr 11, 2013
  Aloe 'Ivory Dawn' Aloe ‘Ivory Dawn' is a medium-sized aloe, with rosettes of leaves with a diameter of about 60 cm. It flowers repeatedly throughout the year (with no set timetable, simply whenever it feels like doing... Read More
Aloe ‘Mango Mix’
Viewed 8025 times since Thu, Apr 11, 2013
Aloe 'Mango Mix'   Aloe ‘Mango Mix' is a stemless, medium-sized aloe that produces very colourful racemes of reddish-orange to orangey-yellow flowers. The colours are reminiscent of those of ripe mangoes, hence its name. ... Read More
Aloe Barberae
Viewed 1997 times since Fri, Mar 16, 2012
Aloe Barberae (Tree Aloe) The tree aloe can grow as tall as 12m and branch broadly. It is one of mother nature's architectural masterpieces. There is no better example of stately 'green' elegance than a tree aloe happily growing... Read More
Aloe pruinosa
Viewed 3513 times since Fri, Mar 9, 2012
Aloe pruinosa (Kleinaalwyn) Type: Succulent groundcover, 70cm. Form: Short stem with spotted, toothed leaves. Flowers: Dusty pink tubular flowers covered with ‘waxy' white bloom, on single branched inflorescence, from February to March.... Read More
Anisodontea julii
Viewed 3895 times since Fri, Sep 7, 2012
Anisodontea julii (African mallow, Bergroos) This outstanding garden plant is endemic to rocky mountain slopes of the Drakensberg in the eastern summer rainfall zone of South Africa, at altitudes of between 1200m and 2300m. It is a sparsely... Read More
Anisodontea scabrosa
Viewed 3084 times since Fri, Sep 7, 2012
Anisodontea scabrosa (Pink mallow, Sandroos) The Pink mallow has a very wide, mainly coastal, distribution from Saldanha on the Cape west coast to the Cape Peninsula and east to southern KwaZulu-Natal, and inland to the western Karoo. It forms... Read More
Anisodonteas
Viewed 14319 times since Tue, Jun 5, 2012
Anisodonteas   African mallows are endemic to South Africa and form a small group of 21 species of pink, mauve, magenta or white-flowered sprawling shrublets and erect shrubs belonging to the hibiscus and hollyhock family Malvaceae, which also... Read More
Apodytes dimidiata
Viewed 6846 times since Fri, Sep 7, 2012
Apodytes dimidiata   (White pear) This is a bushy, evergreen tree that can easily be shaped into a slender growth form. The leaves are glossy and bright green and the smooth bark an attractive light grey. A profusion of lightly fragrant... Read More
Arctotis x hybrida ‘Red Radiance’
Viewed 6729 times since Fri, Apr 12, 2013
Arctotis x hybrida 'Red Radiance'   Arctotis x hybrida ‘Red Radiance' has red flowers with a prominent yellow throat.   Instant colour is not just an industry buzz word, it's a horticultural reality. In their... Read More
Arctotis x hybrida ‘Rose’
Viewed 1847 times since Fri, Apr 12, 2013
Arctotis x hybrida 'Rose'   Arctotis x hybrida ‘Rose' has dark pink flowers. Instant colour is not just an industry buzz word, it's a horticultural reality. In their busy lives, modern gardeners sometimes want... Read More
Arctotis x hybrida ‘Sunset Radiance’
Viewed 9127 times since Fri, Apr 12, 2013
Arctotis x hybrida 'Sunset Radiance'   Arctotis x hybrida ‘Sunset Radiance' has orange flowers. Instant colour is not just an industry buzz word, it's a horticultural reality. In their busy lives, modern gardeners... Read More
Bacopa
Viewed 3859 times since Tue, Jul 30, 2013
Bacopa Gardeners know them by many names – Bacopa, indigenous Phlox, Sutera or James brittennia. Whatever the name, these ankle-high ground covers with their graceful flowers and light, airy foliage, are a charming addition to any border. A new... Read More
Bersama lucens
Viewed 2991 times since Fri, Mar 9, 2012
Bersama lucens (Glossy White Ash) Type: Small tree, 4m. Form: Compact multi-stemmed tree, prominent foliage. Flowers: Spikes of small, greenish flowers, from September to May. This tree is most noted for the glossy copper foliage it... Read More
Bolusanthus speciosus
Viewed 2449 times since Fri, Sep 7, 2012
Bolusanthus speciosus (Tree wisteria) This is a truly elegant deciduous tree with a neat, elongated silhouette in the landscape. It is multi-stemmed with thick outer branches. The bark is rough and fissured and the main trunk has great... Read More
Buddleja saligna
Viewed 3829 times since Fri, Mar 16, 2012
Buddleja saligna   (White Olive) Use this hardy, fast-growing small tree of large shrub as a windbreak or hedge in difficult climatic conditions. It has narrow grey green leaves and sweet-smelling white to creamy-white flowers and responds... Read More
Bulbine frutescens
Viewed 2722 times since Mon, Mar 12, 2012
Bulbine frutescens (Snake flower) (Balsemkopiva) This small but hardy perennial plant, with its distinguishing aloe-like growth, has smooth narrow-tipped light green succulent leaves and yellow flowers with hairy stamens that are characteristic of... Read More
Carissa macrocarpa ‘Green carpet’
Viewed 6014 times since Thu, May 9, 2013
Carissa macrocarpa 'Green carpet'   Carissa macrocarpa ‘Green carpet' is a dwarf cultivar with dark green foliage. Planted en masse, it makes an exceptionally pretty ground cover. It is handy for beds on pavements, because... Read More
Chlorophytum saundersiae
Viewed 11564 times since Mon, Mar 12, 2012
Chlorophytum saundersiae   (Weeping anthericum) Type: Groundcover, 50cm. Form: Like tufts of wispy grass. Flowers: Little white ‘stars' arranged along erect stalks, from September to March. This groundcover grows fast and is... Read More
Clausena anisata
Viewed 3700 times since Mon, Mar 12, 2012
Clausena anisata   (Perdepis, Horsewood) Type: Medium Shrub, 3 to 5m. Form: Multi-stemmed and slender, with fine glossy foliage. Flowers: Bunches of small creamy-yellow ‘stars' with pronounced stamens, from May to August. This... Read More
Cotyledon orbiculata
Viewed 4869 times since Wed, Mar 21, 2012
Cotyledon orbiculata (Pig's ear) Leaf-colour and shape varies tremendously with the very worthwhile indigenous Cotyledon orbiculata. Amongst the different forms and varieties, you will find luscious emerald-green to grey... Read More
Dais cotinifolia
Viewed 2462 times since Fri, Sep 7, 2012
Dais cotinifolia (Pompon tree) This slender little tree is the perfect size for a small townhouse garden. It has a rounded crown, blue-green leaves and attractive greyish-brown bark. It can be evergreen or deciduous, depending on the... Read More
Designer trees for small spaces
Viewed 5511 times since Fri, Sep 7, 2012
Designer trees for small spaces Our choice of seven local trees to enhance small gardens. Even in a small garden there is space for at least one small tree. Like climbers, trees help to give your garden a very necessary dimension of height. But... Read More
Dietes bicolor
Viewed 3771 times since Mon, Mar 12, 2012
Dietes bicolor   (Yellow Wild Iris) Type: Groundcover, 1m. Form: Clumping and stemless, with strap-like leaves, flowers on elongated branched stems. Flowers: Lemon yellow irises with three dark brown spots, from October to January. Why... Read More
Dietes bicolor 2
Viewed 15708 times since Tue, May 14, 2013
Dietes bicolor   Dietes bicolor forms dense clumps in nature, reaching a height of up to 1,2 m along the banks of perennial streams and in marshy areas. This is the clue to the fact that in gardens it is suitable for soil that has poor drainage... Read More
Dietes grandiflora
Viewed 7190 times since Tue, May 14, 2013
Dietes grandiflora   Dietes grandiflora is a hardy species. It grows up to 1,5 m tall and makes an excellent garden plant for both small and large gardens, including coastal gardens. Use it as a lovely filler plant between other perennials,... Read More
Diospyros whyteana
Viewed 3973 times since Mon, Mar 12, 2012
Diospyros whyteana   (Bladdernut) The Bladdernut is one of those small trees with so many uses in both small and larger gardens. Its natural habitat extends right from the Western Cape up the coastal belt through to the Highveld, in forest... Read More
Dombeya rotundifolia
Viewed 5541 times since Wed, Apr 4, 2012
Dombeya rotundifolia Dombeya rotundifolia, one of the most attractive and reliable of the indigenous trees suitable for suburban gardens, has long been a favourite of mine. This tree can certainly be described as a true harbinger of spring:... Read More
Dovyalis caffra
Viewed 3807 times since Fri, Sep 7, 2012
Dovyalis caffra (Kei apple) Kei apples have dense, glossy, oval leaves with a leathery feel – always a good sign that you are dealing with a hardy plant. Long, sharp thorns lurk between the leaves, making criminals think twice before... Read More
Elegia capensis
Viewed 14506 times since Fri, Mar 16, 2012
Elegia capensis   (Horsetail restio) Elegia is one of many plant species belonging to the family Restionaceae, a group of rush-like plants found largely in the Western and Eastern Cape provinces, although others occur in Australia and... Read More
Erica nana
Viewed 9770 times since Tue, Jun 25, 2013
Erica nana   The family Ericaceae contains more than 100 genera of mostly small to large shrubs and trees. It includes well known garden and fruit favourites like Erica, Rhododendron and Vaccinium (blueberries) and is represented worldwide,... Read More
Eriocephalus ericoides
Viewed 11155 times since Mon, Mar 12, 2012
Eriocephalus ericoides   (Wild rosemary) (Kapokbossie) This hardy, multi-branched evergreen shrublet that has small but aromatic silver-coloured leaves bears clusters of white to pink flowers in spring. The flowers are followed by seeds... Read More
Eucomis vandermerwii
Viewed 10980 times since Mon, Mar 12, 2012
Eucomis vandermerwii   (Dwarf Eucomis) The mountainous area around Dullstroom in Mpumalanga has yielded a very unusual dwarf Eucomis. The Eucomis vandermerwii grows to only 10cm high and has variable maroon-green spots on its strap-like... Read More
Euryops pectinatus
Viewed 2785 times since Tue, May 21, 2013
Euryops pectinatus   It's almost impossible to be upset if you are standing in front of Euryops pectinatus in bloom – this indigenous shrub is just too cheerful. On a bright sunny, day, the hundreds of butter-yellow daisies stand out... Read More
Freylinia lanceolata
Viewed 4218 times since Mon, Mar 12, 2012
Freylinia lanceolata   (Honeybell) Freylinia lanceolata is described by some gardeners as a rather wild and untidy plant, but it has so many positives to offer that it really is an ideal indigenous plant for the garden.   It is aptly... Read More
Freylinia tropica
Viewed 3771 times since Fri, Aug 31, 2012
Freylinia tropica (Blue honeybell bush) Type: Shrub, up to 2m high and spreading 1m. Form: Evergreen and narrow with bright green foliage – sometimes forming a small tree. Flowers: Small mauve-blue to lilac or white flowers, mainly in... Read More
Gomphostigma virgatum
Viewed 1907 times since Fri, Mar 16, 2012
Gomphostigma virgatum   (River stars) The beautiful river stars are a shining light amongst other greenery with its silvery foliage. Its size is about 1m x 40cm and is a winner planted around water features. The tiny white star-shaped flowers... Read More
Growing ericas
Viewed 7250 times since Mon, Nov 11, 2013
Simply irresistible The exceptional beauty and diversity of their floral form make Ericas irresistible to gardeners; these three species are well suited to cultivation. The family Ericaceae contains more than 100 genera of mostly small to large... Read More
Halleria lucida
Viewed 2217 times since Tue, Jul 30, 2013
Halleria lucida Although the Halleria lucida or Tree Fuschia is well known amongst the indigenous fraternity, it is such an exciting tree that it deserves a place in every garden, big or small. April through to August sees great clusters of red or... Read More
Helichrysum petiolare
Viewed 1705 times since Mon, Mar 12, 2012
Helichrysum petiolare   (Cascading everlasting) An indigenous, shrubby plant with woolly, grey leaves and an untidy, cascading habit. It is significant because of its immense value as a filler plant in mixed hanging baskets and pots, where... Read More
Heteropyxis natalensis
Viewed 4264 times since Fri, Sep 7, 2012
Heteropyxis natalensis (Lavender tree) The lavender tree has a neat, small crown with pendant, shiny, dark-green leaves that turn yellow and later rusty-red in autumn before they fall. Although this tree is deciduous, it may be semideciduous... Read More
Jasminum multipartitum
Viewed 3831 times since Fri, Aug 24, 2012
Jasminum multipartitum (Starry wild jasmine) Type: Evergreen shrub up to 3m. Form: Creeping or bushy (train long shoots can be trained over archways or along fences or it can be clipped into a handsome shrub or hedge plant). Flowers:... Read More
Kniphofia ‘Royal Strain’
Viewed 5515 times since Tue, May 28, 2013
Kniphofia 'Royal Strain'   Kniphofia 'Royal Strain' bears fiery orange-red flowers in winter. The buds at the top of the flower stem are dark red and as they get bigger and begin to open they brighten to orange. The open... Read More
Kniphofia ‘Yellow Cheer’
Viewed 4834 times since Tue, May 28, 2013
Kniphofia 'Yellow Cheer' Kniphofia ‘Yellow Cheer' is a lovely hybrid that bears bright yellow flowers from summer to autumn. Nine times out of ten, the bright orange-red flashes that catch your eye as you walk past an... Read More
Leucadendron argenteum
Viewed 3570 times since Thu, Aug 30, 2012
Leucadendron argenteum (Silvertree) One of the most well known species, this fast-growing tree (which grows up to 10m high) has long, shiny blue-grey leaves covered with slanting silvery hairs that glitter brightly in sunlight. It flowers... Read More
Leucadendron sessile
Viewed 3184 times since Thu, Aug 30, 2012
Leucadendron sessile 'Western Sunbush' Forming a neat rounded shrub that grows up to 1,5m high, this easily-grown species has bright yellow involucral leaves from late winter to early spring that mature to dark red in summer. The... Read More
Leucadendron tinctum
Viewed 9576 times since Thu, Aug 30, 2012
Leucadendron tinctum 'Spicy Conebush' One of the most appealing features of this greatly under-utilised Leucadendron is the strong spicy aroma given off by the female cones (illustrated). An easily grown plant, it flowers for several... Read More
Mackaya bella
Viewed 3121 times since Fri, Mar 16, 2012
Mackaya bella Commonly called river bells, this evergreen shrub grows naturally under trees and close to water. Hence the same position in the garden setting would be ideal for it to flourish. The flowers are very pretty – white to pale pink... Read More
Metarungia longistrobus
Viewed 3720 times since Mon, Mar 12, 2012
Metarungia longistrobus   (Sunbird Bush) This is a robust plant and it needs little attention, provided that the plants are well mulched and fed with an organic fertiliser twice a year. It can be planted in sun or semi-shade, where it will... Read More
Mmmm marshmallows and butter....
Viewed 6414 times since Fri, May 2, 2014
Mmmm Marshmallows and butter by Jenny Dean This month’s subjects all belong to the family Malvaceae; common names for this family include ‘mallow family’ and ‘hibiscus family’ (hibiscus is the Greek name for marsh... Read More
Monanthotaxis caffra
Viewed 3492 times since Fri, Aug 31, 2012
Monanthotaxis caffra (Dwaba-berry) Type: Medium shrub, 2m. Form: Woody scrambler with sparse foliage. Flowers: Insignificant cream flowers, from December to March. Why plant it? The Dwaba-berry is a useful plant in a shade garden as it... Read More
Murdannia simplex
Viewed 13110 times since Mon, Mar 12, 2012
Murdannia simplex (Murdannia) Type: Groundcover, 10cm. Form: Clumping, with lanceolate dark green leaves. Flowers: Mauve, in terminal clusters, from September to May. This groundcover is easy to grow and spreads easily. Its delicate flowers open... Read More
Pavetta lanceolata
Viewed 12207 times since Fri, Mar 16, 2012
Pavetta lanceolata The forest bride's bush is an indigenous evergreen shrub or small tree about 5 x 3 m has dense clusters of starry white flowers that attract plenty of bees. Plant in full sun to light shade as a windbreak, hedge or specimen... Read More
Pelargonium tongaense
Viewed 3036 times since Tue, Oct 29, 2013
Pure Delight The Tonga Pelargonium Pelargonium tongaense – the Tonga pelargonium – is truly one of my favourite plants for a garden. It is extraordinarily useful in that it is the only pelargonium I know that thrives here in the mist belt of... Read More
Polygala fruticosa
Viewed 3315 times since Fri, Apr 13, 2012
Polygala fruticosa Butterfly Bush In the wild, Polygala fruticosa occurs from the south western Cape to KwaZulu-Natal. It is an attractive shrub that grows up to 2 metres tall and has lance- or heart-shaped, greenish-grey leaves. The... Read More
Polygala myrtifolia
Viewed 3251 times since Fri, Apr 13, 2012
Polygala myrtifolia September Bush This reliable, well-known species is similar to P. fruticosa and occurs across winter- and summer-rainfall parts of South Africa, stretching from Nieuwoudtville in the north western Cape to the south... Read More
Polygala virgata
Viewed 4658 times since Fri, Apr 13, 2012
Polygala virgata   Purple Broom Polygala virgata is an erect shrub with a willowy branched crown that grows from a single slender main stem and reaches a height of 2,5 metres. It makes an outstanding but as yet much... Read More
Polygalas
Viewed 43409 times since Fri, Apr 13, 2012
Polygalas Members of the Polygalaceae family occur worldwide in temperate and warm climates and comprise about 17 genera and almost 1000 species of perennials, shrubs and trees. Their common names include milkwort, false legume and butterfly bush.... Read More
Portulacaria afra
Viewed 4010 times since Fri, Mar 16, 2012
Portulacaria afra   (Pork Bush) Few garden designers would recommend the pork bush as a hedging plant, but this evergreen succulent is indeed the dream plant of any hasty hedge grower with a limited budget and living in a very hot climate.... Read More
Rhus crenata 2
Viewed 3046 times since Thu, Mar 28, 2013
Rhus crenata (raisin bush, dune crowberry) Given its many potential garden uses, R. crenata is one of the most undervalued of our indigenous species. It is a lovely evergreen shrub that enjoys full sun, is semi-hardy (can take light frost), fast... Read More
Ruschia lineolata
Viewed 3760 times since Fri, Mar 16, 2012
Ruschia lineolata This tough succulent is a versatile ground cover which produces masses of pretty striped pink to cerise and white flowers. By tough we mean you can drive over it with a car without too much damage to the plant. It is easily... Read More
Salvia africana-lutea (brown sage)
Viewed 3275 times since Fri, May 31, 2013
Salvia africana-lutea (brown sage)   Salvia africana-lutea (brown sage) is an exceptionally drought-hardy, indigenous sage with faded green leaves and unusual brown flowers. It is a good plant for gardens where brackish water is the only... Read More
Scabiosa africana
Viewed 4530 times since Fri, May 31, 2013
Scabiosa Africana   Scabiosa africana is an indigenous species that bears large mauve flowers (up to 50 mm in diameter) on long stems of about 1 m. The robust leaf rosette is made up of large, light green, velvety leaves. These perennials... Read More
Scabiosa columbaria ‘Pink Mist’
Viewed 4807 times since Fri, May 31, 2013
 Scabiosa columbaria 'Pink Mist' Scabiosa columbaria ‘Pink Mist' is a compact hybrid with soft pink flowers. Our colleague, Gerald Schofield, once described the hybrids of Scabiosa columbaria as ‘totally loveable&... Read More
Scabiosa incisa
Viewed 14556 times since Fri, May 31, 2013
Scabiosa incisa   Scabiosa incisa is another indigenous species, is favoured by butterflies. The flowers are light purple, mauve or white and bloom from September to December. Both these indigenous species love the coastal climate of the Cape... Read More
Searsia pendulina
Viewed 3497 times since Fri, Sep 7, 2012
Searsia pendulina (White karee) This tree has a slightly weeping growth habit and a neat crown that casts filtered shade. The leaves, in a set of three individual leaflets, are light green and the bark is an attractive light grey, becoming... Read More
Selago corymbosa
Viewed 3094 times since Fri, Aug 24, 2012
Selago corymbosa (Bitterblombos) Type: Dainty shrublet, 60cm. Form: Upright growth with feathery foliage. Flowers: A fine mist of delicate lacy white flowers cover the plant from spring to autumn. Why plant it? It survives quite... Read More
Strelitzia juncea
Viewed 7651 times since Fri, May 31, 2013
Strelitzia juncea   Strelitzia juncea is a very sought-after species, but unfortunately also rather scarce and costly. S. juncea grows naturally in the driest, most arid regions of the Eastern Cape and has adapted to these conditions. It has... Read More
Strelitzia reginae
Viewed 1110 times since Thu, Mar 15, 2012
Strelitzia reginae   (Bird of paradise) One of our best known indigenous plants that has established itself as a top quality cut flower all around the world. The stout, stately stems are topped with the unmistakeable boat-shaped spathe and... Read More
Syzygium pondoense (Pondo water wood)
Viewed 126215 times since Fri, May 31, 2013
  Syzygium pondoense (Pondo water wood)   Syzygium pondoense (Pondo water wood) is a scarce indigenous species, but with a bit of luck you might find one in a specialist nursery. It forms a small shrub or tree with bright, deep... Read More
Tecoma capensis ‘Apricot’
Viewed 1846 times since Fri, May 31, 2013
Tecoma capensis 'Apricot'   Tecoma capensis ‘Apricot' has light apricot-coloured flowers. Plant size about 3 x 3 m.   Expect a lively concert from the garden wildlife if, perchance, you end up alongside a Cape... Read More
Tecoma capensis ‘Lutea’
Viewed 5360 times since Fri, May 31, 2013
Tecoma capensis 'Lutea' Tecoma capensis ‘Lutea' is a smaller plant that grows to just slightly larger than 1 x 1 m. ‘Lutea' planted with plumbago is lovely.   Expect a lively concert from the garden wildlife if,... Read More
Tecoma capensis ‘Salmon’
Viewed 15173 times since Fri, May 31, 2013
Tecoma capensis 'Salmon' Tecoma capensis 'Salmon' has salmon-coloured flowers. Plant size about 3 x 3 m.   Expect a lively concert from the garden wildlife if, perchance, you end up alongside a Cape honeysuckle hedge in... Read More
Watsonia species
Viewed 3762 times since Thu, Mar 15, 2012
Watsonia species and hybrids This is an indigenous cut flower that continues to impress globally. Some form evergreen clumps of sword-like foliage whilst others are deciduous. All produce sturdy flower spikes with tubular flowers arranged along the... Read More
Zantedeschia aethiopica
Viewed 826 times since Thu, Mar 15, 2012
Zantedeschia aethiopica   (White Arum lily) Bold and dramatic, the common white arum lily still remains an all time favourite in local homes. The sheer perfection of each bloom, comprising of a white spathe encasing the inner spadix never... Read More
Zantedeschia aethiopica ‘Speck leaf’
Viewed 12737 times since Fri, May 31, 2013
  Zantedeschia aethiopica 'Speck leaf'   Zantedeschia aethiopica ‘Speck leaf' green leaves with white specks, and the spathes are white.   "Out of the blackest mud, come the whitest lilies” – this saying... Read More
Zantedeschia aethiopica 2
Viewed 7191 times since Fri, May 31, 2013
Zantedeschia aethiopica   "Out of the blackest mud, come the whitest lilies” – this saying is a double-edged remark made about human characteristics, but it can be far better and less cynically applied to the lovely indigenous... Read More