Archives

Plectranthus saccatus (Stoep Jacaranda, Stoepjakaranda)

Indigenous

  • Description.  A fast-growing soft-wooded shrub with small light-green leaves. Sprays of delicate pale-purple flowers, the largest of all the South African Plectranthus, appear from midsummer onwards. Mass plant it in light shade under trees to form an excellent and attractive groundcover. Use it to line the front of a border, or plant in groups of 3-5 in partial shade. It also grows very well in a container indoors, next to a north-facing window.
  • 80 cm x 80 cm.
  • Partial shade
  • Small rounded shrub
  • Evergreen
  • Half hardy
  • Moderate water
  • Attracts butterflies
  • Wind resistant
  • Flowering time – Midsummer onwards

Plectranthus fruticosus (Forest Spurflower, Pink Fly Bush, Spoorsalie, Muishondblaar, Cabhozi)

Indigenous

  • Description.  The Forest Spurflower is a fast-growing soft-wooded shrub, with large softly textured heart shaped leaves (tinged purple beneath), that produces masses of attractive pyramidal spikes of pink or bluish-mauve flowers. Stems rubbed on windowsills repel flies. Plant it groups of 3-5, in partial shade under large trees or on the shady side of a house in light well-drained compost-enriched soil. Remember that Plectranthus are forest plants and required plenty of humus and leafmould for their fine roots so always add extra compost and leafmould when planting them. Mulch well and water copiously in summer. Very attractive when mass planted to form a ground cover in a shady corner. Cut the plant back after flowering to encourage new growth. In humid coastal conditions this plant can tolerate a little sun.
  • 1 m x 1 m.
  • Partial or full shade
  • Small rounded shrub
  • Evergreen
  • Half hardy
  • Requires lots of water
  • Attracts butterflies
  • Wind resistant
  • Flowering time – December to February

Plectranthus ecklonii (Large Spurflower Bush, Persmuishondblaar)

Indigenous

  • Description.  The large Spurflower Bush is a soft-wooded shrub with big oval soft-textured dark-green leaves and beautiful tall spikes of purple tubular two-lipped flowers. Pink and white varieties are also available. A traditional remedy prepared from the leaves is used to deal with headaches and hay fever. Mass plant this fast-growing shrub in the shade under trees to form an attractive groundcover. A single strategically placed specimen in a small townhouse garden can be the center of attraction for a couple of weeks in autumn.
  • 1.5 m x 1.5 m.
  • Full sun, partial or full shade
  • Small rounded shrub
  • Evergreen
  • Half hardy
  • Moderate watering
  • Attracts butterflies
  • Wind resistant
  • Flowering time – September to February

Helichrysum patulum (Honey Everlasting, Everlasting, Kooigoed, Impepho)

Indigenous

  • Description.  Soft felt-like aromatic foliage that is unusually grey and smells a little like Comfrey when crushed. Leaves are deep-green above and covered with a whitish felt. Big flattish heads of small creamy flowers are carried on long stalks and have a deep strong honey scent that may bring on sneezes. Originally called Kooigoed in Afrikaans because the plant was traditionally used as bedding material. The foliage repelled parasites and insects and ensured a good night’s sleep. Mass plant to form a grey groundcover or use as a border plant.
  • 1 m x 1 m.
  • Sun
  • Small rounded shrub
  • Evergreen
  • Frost hardy
  • Moderate watering
  • Attracts butterflies
  • Wind resistant
  • Flowering time – September to February

Freylinia tropica (Blue Honeybell Bush, Inyanga Hedge Plant, Blou Heuningklokkiesbos)

Indigenous

  • Description.  Small delicate looking blue-mauve flowers hide amongst the shiny bright-green leaves of this rather erect, narrow and sparse shrub. Flowers may also be white or lilac and in the wild often forms a small tree of 3-4 meters high. Mass plant in very light shade under trees to form a ground cover or use as plant borders in groups.
  • 1.5 m x 75 cm.
  • Sun and semi-shade
  • Small shrub
  • Evergreen
  • Frost hardy
  • Requires consistent watering
  • Attracts butterflies
  • Wind resistant
  • Flowering time – Mainly spring but throughout the year

Euryops virgineus (Honey Euryops, River Resin Bush, Heuningmargriet)

Indigenous

  • Description.  Fast-growing and extremely hardy, the Honey Euryops has fine dark-green needle-like foliage. Stunning in full flower when it becomes covered in masses of small yellow honey scented flowers. Plant in large groups as background shrubs which will once again surprise with a burst of bright colour. Perfect for new gardens and will rapidly fill up empty spaces. Replace every 4 to 5 years.
  • 1.5 m x 1.5 m.
  • Sun
  • Small rounded shrub
  • Evergreen
  • Frost hardy
  • Moderate watering
  • Attracts butterflies
  • Wind resistant
  • Flowering time – July to September

Anisodontea scabrosa (subsp. A. julii) (Pink Mallow, Pienk-kiesieblaar, Harigemalva)

Pink Mallow

Indigenous

  • Description.  The Pink Mallow has soft hairy three-lobed leaves that are aromatic and often sticky. Masses of smallish (about 2 cm diameter) pink-mauve flowers, each marked with dark-pink streaks, grace this rewarding free-flowering shrub.
  • 2 m x 1 m.
  • Sun and semi-shade
  • Small shrub
  • Evergreen
  • Frost hardy
  • Moderate watering
  • Attracts butterflies
  • Wind resistant
  • Flowering time – August to March