Plants of the Week

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E.g., 19/09/2021
E.g., 19/09/2021

Viscum crassulae

Viscum crassulae in fruit
Common names: Spekboom mistletoe, Spekboom-voelent
Family: Santalaceae

Viscum crassulae is a rounded, succulent shrublet growing as a parasite on branches of Portulacaria afra (spekboom). It is easily grown by placing its...

01 / 12 / 2013 | Ernst van Jaarsveld | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Mimusops obovata

Mimusops obovata with fruits.  Image Geoff Nichols
Common names: red milkwood (Eng.); rooimelkhout (Afr.); amaSethole-ehlathi, umNolwe, umPhumbulu, (isiZulu); umTunzi wehlathi (isiXhosa)
Family: Sapotaceae

Mimusops obovata is an evergreen tree with sweetly scented whitish yellow flowers to which bumblebees are attracted. Flowers are follwed by edible...

02 / 12 / 2013 | Sifiso Mnxati | KwaZulu-Natal Herbarium
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Salvia schlechteri

Salvia schlechteri
Common names: Xobo Valley sage
Family: Lamiaceae

Little is known about Salvia schlechteri, but with its unusual foliage and pale blue flowers, it deserves a place amid a herbaceous border or summer...

02 / 12 / 2013 | Monique Mcquillan | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Olea capensis

subsp. macrocarpa
Common names: (subsp. capensis ) small ironwood , black ironwood, buchuwood, buckutree, false ironwood (Eng.); kleinysterhout , basterswartysterhout, basterysterhou
Family: Oleaceae

Happy the grandchild who inherits a garden shaded by a black ironwood tree, for they have grandparents of great foresight and intelligence. These trees...

09 / 12 / 2013 | Hugh Glen | KwaZulu-Natal Herbarium
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Watsonia humilis

Pink form
Common names: waxy watsonia (Eng.); waspypie (Afr.)
Family: Iridaceae

Watsonia humilis is a beautiful late-spring flowering cormous plant endemic to the southwestern Cape. Although highly threatened in the wild, successful...

09 / 12 / 2013 | Graham Duncan | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Lachenalia alba

Flower spike
Common names: white lachenalia (Eng.), witviooltjie (Afr.)
Family: Hyacinthaceae

Lachenalia alba has a restricted distribution and is only know from the Nieuwoudtville and Calvinia areas, where it grows in colonies....

23 / 12 / 2013 | Eugene Marinus | Hantam NBG
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Monopsis lutea

Monopsis lutea
Common names: yellow monopsis, gold lobelia; geel lobelia (Afr.)
Family: Lobeliaceae

The riot of bright yellow flowers covering this trailing groundcover makes it an absolute must for colour in the garden in summer. The pretty flowers resemble...

23 / 12 / 2013 | Sisanda Alakhe Velembo-Mhlauli | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Trichostomum brachydontium

Trichostomum brachydontium
Common names: Variable crisp-moss
Family: Pottiaceae

Trichostomum brachydontium is the most widespread and frequently collected moss in South Africa....

23 / 12 / 2013 | Jacques van Rooy | National Herbarium Pretoria
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Gnidia kraussiana

Gnidia kraussiana.  Image Geoff Nichols
Common names: yellow heads (English); harige gifbossie (Afr.); isidikili, imfuzane, umsilawengwe (isiZulu); umarhedeni (isiXhoza)
Family: Thymelaeaceae

Gnidia kraussiana  is a useful medicinal plant, but can be very poisonous to humans. It can also be very poisonous to foraging animals....

31 / 12 / 2013 | M.S. Mothogoane | National Herbarium Pretoria
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Serruria brownii

Shrub in flower
Common names: Bottlebrush spiderhead ; fleskwasbos (Afr.)  
Family: Proteaceae

Serruria brownii is a charming and unusual shrublet. It can be tricky to cultivate but when growing happily will reward you with dense soft foliage...

31 / 12 / 2013 | Louise Nurrish | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Elegia aggregata

Elegia aggregata
Common names: Hermanus riet (Afr.)
Family: Restionaceae

Elegia aggregata is a tufted plant with attractive smooth stems. The stems are blue-green with dark brown inflorescences. This plant can be used in...

06 / 01 / 2014 | Zitobile Sikova | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Monsonia angustifolia

Monsonia angustifolia.  Flower
Common names: Crane's bill; alsbos, angelbossie, teebossie (Afr.), malengoana (Southern Sotho), Tee ya thaba (Sepedi)
Family: Geraniaceae


06 / 01 / 2014 | T.T. Masupa | Pretoria NBG
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Daubenya aurea

Daubenya aurea
Common names: none recorded.
Family: Hyacinthaceae

Although it is dormant during summer and autumn and has a very narrow distribution area, this extraordinary, beautiful member of the Hyacinth family is...

13 / 01 / 2014 | Marinda Koekemoer | National Herbarium Pretoria
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Hypericum revolutum

Bush in flower
Common names: curry bush, forest primrose (Eng.); kerriebos (Afr.)
Family: Hypericaceae

The leaves of the evergreen Hypericum revolutum release a curry-like smell when crushed and after rain. The fresh, green foliage and bright yellow...

13 / 01 / 2014 | Sisanda Alakhe Velembo-Mhlauli | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Cola greenwayi

Cola greewayi ©Geoff Nichols
Common names: hairy cola (Eng.); harige kola (Afr.); iNthandoti (Zulu)
Family: Malvaceae

Cola greenwayi is a small to medium-sized evergreen tree, up to 25m tall with simple, alternate leaves that have a distinct hairy swelling below the blade...

20 / 01 / 2014 | Nonkululo Phephu | National Herbarium Pretoria
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Erica quadrisulcata

Erica quadrisulcata
Common names: orange rock-heath, Swartkop heath, four-groove heath
Family: Ericaceae

A lovely fynbos shrub with bright golden-orange, curved, tubular flowers in showy heads at the tips of branches in mid-summer —  ideal for a...

20 / 01 / 2014 | Alice Notten | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Euclea divinorum

Euclea divinorum, female flowers.  Image Geoff Nichols
Common names: magic guarri (English); towerghwarrie (Afrikaans); mohlakola (Northern Sotho); umhlangula, ubophanyamazane, umncafuzana (Zulu); umdlelanyamatane (Swat
Family: Ebenaceae

The magic guarri is a useful medicinal plant. Although not very tasty to humans, its fruit is enjoyed by birds. The tree is also said to have supernatural...

27 / 01 / 2014 | M.S. Mothogoane | National Herbarium Pretoria
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Protea magnifica

Protea magnifica
Common names: queen protea, queen sugarbush, bearded protea ( Eng. ); wolbaardsuikerbos ( Afr. )
Family: Proteaceae

Protea magnifica has the second largest flower head after P. cynaroides, the king protea. The queen protea is one of the most attractive and sought after...

27 / 01 / 2014 | Melissa Van der Burg | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Nestlera biennis

Nestlera biennis
Common names: None known
Family: Asteraceae

Nestlera biennis is a small, nondescript and short-lived plant with a very specific habitat on the west coast of South Africa. Although not showy...

03 / 02 / 2014 | Nicola Bergh | Compton Herbarium
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Erica recurvata

Image Ross Turner
Common names: Drooping round-headed heath
Family: Ericaceae

Erica recurvata is a critically endangered species that was previously known only from a botanical painting published by Henry Charles Andrews between...

03 / 02 / 2014 | Victoria Wilman | Millennium Seed Bank Partnership
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