Plants of the Week

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E.g., 20/07/2024

Carissa macrocarpa

Carissa macrocarpa
Common names: Natal plum, big num-num (Eng.); grootnoem-noem (Afr.); Amatungulu (Zulu)
Family: Apocynaceae

The Natal plum is a common and often conspicuous species in coastal bush and sand dunes....

29 / 03 / 2004 | Berenice Carolus | Harold Porter NBG
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Aptenia  cordifolia
Common names: mesembs, fig marigold, midday flower, ice plant (Eng.); vygie (Afr.)
Family: Mesembryanthemaceae

The Mesembryanthemaceae form a major and unique component of southern Africa's arid land flora. Succulent leaves, bright shiny-petalled flowers and...

29 / 03 / 2004 | Pascale Chesselet | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Helichrysum umbraculigerum

Common names: woolly umbrella helichrysum (Eng.); kerriekruie (Afr.)
Family: Asteraceae

Helichrysum umbraculigerum was a relatively new addition to the herbaceous borders in Kirstenbosch in 2004. With its sulphur-yellow flowers and naturally...

22 / 03 / 2004 | T Hutton-squire | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Bulbine frutescens

Bulbine frutescens. Photo: G Nichols
Common names: stalked bulbine, snake flower, cat's tail, burn jelly plant (Eng.); balsem kopieva, geelkatstert (Afr.)
Family: Asphodelaceae

This is a popular, waterwise garden plant, especially when planted en masse as a ground cover, or in rock gardens. It is also cultivated for its medicinal...

22 / 03 / 2004 | Shireen Harris | Free State NBG
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Carissa bispinosa

Carissa bispinosa. Photo Geoff Nichols
Common names: forest num-num (Eng.); bosnoemnoem (Afr.); isibethankunzi, isabetha (Zul.)
Family: Apocynaceae

The genus Carissa consists of evergreen shrubs and trees, with handsome, glossy foliage and fragrant, starry-white, jasmine-like flowers. Ornamental and...

15 / 03 / 2004 | Stoffel Petrus Pieter Bester | National Herbarium Pretoria
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Ficus lutea

Glossy leaves with yellow veins
Common names: giant-leaved fig (Eng.); reuseblaarvy (Afr.); umvubu, omkhulu (Zulu); umthombe, uluzi (Xhosa)
Family: Moraceae

The giant-leaved fig is a magnificent member of the renowned fig family. Like so many of its close relatives, it offers much of ecological and ornamental...

15 / 03 / 2004 | Jan-Hakon Burring | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Cotyledon orbiculata

Cotyledon orbiculata
Common names: pig's ears, cotyledon (Eng.); plakkie, platjies, varkoorblare, varkoor, kouterie (Afr.); imphewula (isiXhosa); ipewula (isiZulu)
Family: Crassulaceae

This fast-growing succulent is well known to gardeners, forms a low shrub and adds colour to the winter garden. Forms with handsome grey leaves provide...

15 / 03 / 2004 | Shireen Harris | Free State NBG
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Polystichum pungens
Common names: shield ferns
Family: Dryopteridaceae

Polystichum (Class: Filicopsida, Order: Polypodiales), or shield ferns, as they are commonly called, is a genus of 160 to 200 species. They occur...

08 / 03 / 2004 | Koos Roux | Compton Herbarium
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Petalidium bracteatum

Petalidium bracteatum in conservatory at Kirstenbosch
Common names: Ruacana petalidium (Eng.); Ruacana rooibekkiebos (Afr.)
Family: Acanthaceae

The Ruacana petalidium is a fast and easily growing shrub with striking dark red tubular flowers which attract sunbirds. As its name implies, it originates...

08 / 03 / 2004 | Ernst van Jaarsveld | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Erythrina zeyheri

E. zeheri growing in Free State NBG
Common names: harrow-breaker, plough-breaker (Eng.); ploegbreker (Afr.); khungoana, motumo (Southern Sotho?); umnsinsana (Zulu)
Family: Fabaceae

It is only in Africa where one can find this stunning, hardy, deciduous shrublet that produces brilliant scarlet flowers in late spring — local is...

08 / 03 / 2004 | K Behr | Pretoria NBG
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Vangueria infausta

Green fruits of Vangueria infausta: Photo: T Basson
Common names: wild medlar (Eng.); wilde mispel (Afr.); mpfilwa (Tsonga & Shangaan); mmilo (Northern Sotho); muzwilu, mavelo (Venda); umviyo, umtulwa (Zulu); umv
Family: Rubiaceae

This species is one of South Africa's more popular veld fruits, and can be enjoyed while walking. This lovely little tree is considered to possess...

01 / 03 / 2004 | K Behr | Pretoria NBG
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Solanum aculeastrum

Solanum acueleastrum
Common names: goat bitter-apple, bitter-apple, goat apple, poison apple (Eng.); bok-bitterappel, bitterappel, bokappel, gifappel (Afr.); thola (Tswana); murulwa (Ve
Family: Solanaceae


01 / 03 / 2004 | M Welman | National Herbarium Pretoria
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Maytenus acuminata var. acuminata 'Silky Showers'

Common names: silky bark (Eng.); sybas (Afr.)
Family: Celastraceae

Maytenus 'Silky Showers' is a superb garden plant originally found in the warm, partially shaded valleys of the Little Karoo. It grows to...

01 / 03 / 2004 | Anthony Hitchcock | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Frithia humilis

Frithia humilis
Common names: window plants, fairy elephant's feet (Eng.);bobbejaanvingers, glasies, toontjies (Afr.) Status: Endangered
Family: Aizoaceae

This miniature leaf succulent is attractive even when not flowering as the windowed leaves with crenulate markings are showy and unique....

23 / 02 / 2004 | P Burgoyne | Pretoria NBG
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Jasminum multipartitum

Jasminum multipartitum
Common names: starry wild jasmine (Eng.); sterretjies-jasmyn (Afr.); imfohlafohlane (Zulu)
Family: Oleaceae

This is a very rewarding plant with sweetly scented, white, waxy flowers displayed against glossy, dark green foliage. Consider it a 'must-have'...

23 / 02 / 2004 | Cherise Viljoen | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Osmunda regalis

Young frond & unfurling crozier. Photo A Klopper
Common names: royal fern (Eng.); adelvaring (Afr.)
Family: Osmundaceae

Osmunda regalis is unusual in that it forms new fertile fronds in autumn, and not in spring or summer as is common in most ferns....

16 / 02 / 2004 | Ronell R. Klopper | National Herbarium Pretoria
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Agapanthus inapertus subsp. hollandii

Common names: drooping agapanthus (Eng.); bloulelie (Afr.); isicakathi (Xhosa)
Family: Agapanthaceae

'Sky' and 'Lydenburg' are two of the most floriferous and attractive forms of agapanthus to grace the summer garden. Both were thought...

16 / 02 / 2004 | Y Reynolds | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Elegia capensis

Elegia capensis
Common names: horsetail restio (Eng.); besemriet, fonteinriet, katstert, kanet (Afr.)
Family: Restionaceae

This restio is a tall, dark green, elegant plant with large, decorative, papery sheaths along the stems. It is a good feature plant next to a pond, a swimming...

09 / 02 / 2004 | Hanneke Jamieson | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Polystichum sp.
Common names: wood fern family
Family: Dryopteridaceae

The Dryopteridaceae is a large and diverse fern family with a near cosmopolitan distribution. Arachniodes (East Indian holly fern), Cyrtomium (net-veined...

09 / 02 / 2004 | Koos Roux | Compton Herbarium
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Oldenburgia grandis

Oldeburgia  grandis
Common names: Suurberg cushion bush, mountain hunchback, rabbit's ears, lamb's ears, donkey's ears (Eng.); Suurbergkussingbos, Suurbergse dikblaarlepelboom, basters
Family: Asteraceae

Oldenburgia grandis is a remarkable, small, thick-set, tree similar in appearance to some tree proteas, but this strange plant's thistle-like flowers...

02 / 02 / 2004 | Anthony Hitchcock | Kirstenbosch NBG
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