Plants of the Week

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E.g., 04/10/2023
E.g., 04/10/2023

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Moraea hiemalis

Moraea heimalis. Photo Richard Boon
Common names: winter yellow moraea
Family: Iridaceae

A threatened species that is endemic to the grasslands of central KwaZulu-Natal, its striking, rich golden yellow flowers stand out in the winter landscape...

12 / 12 / 2022 | Mlondi Sikhosana | KwaZulu-Natal NBG
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Maerua angolensis subsp. angolensis

Maerua angolensis subsp. angolensis
Common names: bead-bean tree, bead-pod-tree, knobbly-bean tree (Eng.); knoppiesboontjieboom (Afr.); umenwayo, umgodithi (Zulu); umvitsi (Swati.); mogôgwane, mooman
Family: Capparaceae

This frost and drought resistant tree, with its scented flowers from mid-winter until early summer, will attract butterflies and insect-eating birds, in...

06 / 07 / 2020 | Benjamin Festus | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Marasmodes dummeri

Marasmodes dummeri
Common names: whip autumn-aster
Family: Asteraceae

The extremely small, adpressed leaves of Marasmodes dummeri and the terminal, clustered flower heads make it distinct from other species of the same genus....

09 / 01 / 2023 | Naomi Mdayi | Millennium Seed Bank Partnership
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Melinis repens

Melinis repens
Common names: Natal red top (Eng.); bergrooigras (Afr.)
Family: Poaceae

An attractive, yet hardy tufted grass, which requires little maintenance for a showy display in spring and summer....

25 / 06 / 2018 | Phakamani Xaba | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Mentha aquatica

Mentha aquatica by Olexandr Ghryb
Common names: water mint, wild mint, wild thyme, marsh mint, aromatic thyme (Eng); waterment, kruisement, kruistement (Afr), amabunu, imbozisa, umaliwane, umayime,
Family: Lamiaceae

A splendorous plant with purple flowers clustered in balls on the internodes of the stems, to entice anyone passing by the marshy field. Not only are you...

13 / 02 / 2023 | Swinky Nkosi | National Herbarium Pretoria
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Mesembryanthemum varians

Plant in flower
Common names: salt mesemb, skeleton plant (English); soutvygie (Afrikaans)
Family: Aizoaceae

Mesembryanthemum varians was previously known as Sceletium varians. It is known to have few medicinal properties —  unlike Mesembryathemum...

14 / 07 / 2014 | Ricardo Riddles | Karoo Desert NBG
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Monsonia glauca

Monsonia glauca
Common names: dysentery herb (Eng.); naaldebossie, keitabossie, keitabossie (Afr.).
Family: Geraniaceae

This is a perennial herb with a woody base growing in scrubby grassland....

29 / 09 / 2014 | T.T. Masupa | Pretoria NBG
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Melianthus elongatus

Melianthus elongatus in flower in Kirstenbosch
Common names: strandveld honeyflower, dwarf honeyflower, small melianthus, turkey bush (Eng.); kruidjie-roer-my-nie, truitjie (Afr.)
Family: Melianthaceae

...

20 / 02 / 2023 | Mashudu Nndanduleni | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Moraea polystachya

Moraea polystachya
Common names: bloutulp, kraai-uintjie (Afr.)
Family: Iridaceae

Pretty but dangerous (to live-stock, that is)! In a good year, usually in autumn, the large, deep blue to violet or occasionally white, iris-like flowers...

12 / 06 / 2006 | Clare Archer | National Herbarium Pretoria
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Microloma sagittatum

Microloma sagittatum
Common names: firecracker vine, wax creeper (Eng.); bokhoring, bokhorinkies, bokmaellie, heuningblommetjie, kannetjie, melkblommetjie (Afr.)
Family: Apocynaceae

The uniquely attractive flowers of Microloma sagittatum draw attention to this otherwise insignificant, plain looking, slender climber that grows in between...

09 / 11 / 2020 | Shireen Harris | Karoo Desert NBG
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Maytenus procumbens

Maytenus procumbens, fruits. (Ernst van Jaarsveld)
Common names: dune koko tree (Eng.); duinekokoboom (Afr.); umphono-phono (isiXhosa) umphophonono; (isiZulu)
Family: Celastraceae

As the species name suggests, Maytenus procumbens is a tidy and procumbent coastal shrub or small tree. It is very pleasing to the eye especially with...

10 / 09 / 2018 | Sisanda Alakhe Velembo-Mhlauli | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Macledium spinosum

Macledium spinosum
Common names: spiny doll’s protea (Eng.); steekblom (Afr.)
Family: Asteraceae

Cushion-forming, grey-felted shrublet with involucral bracts forming stout, spreading spines....

01 / 05 / 2023 | Thuli Makhoba | National Herbarium Pretoria
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Mackaya bella

Mackaya bella
Common names: mackaya, forest bell-bush, river bells, beautiful mackaya (Eng.); bosklokkiesbos, blouklokkiesbos (Afr.); umavuthwa, uzwathi, uphulule, icaphozi (Zul.
Family: Acanthaceae

A graceful shrub or small tree with slender branches bearing glossy, dark green leaves and beautiful sprays of showy, white to mauve, bell-shaped flowers...

01 / 10 / 2001 | Thompson T Mutshinyalo | Walter Sisulu NBG
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Macledium zeyheri

Macledium zeyher plants
Common names: doll's protea, toy sugarbush (Eng.); skaapdissel, maagbitterwortel, maagbossie (Afr.); mahlabane, somanheva (Swazi); umlunge, umqele (Xhosa); isihlaba
Family: Asteraceae

The doll's protea is a strikingly attractive plant found in the grasslands of the eastern parts of South Africa, and used in traditional medicine.  ...

19 / 07 / 2010 | Marinda Koekemoer | Pretoria NBG
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Macrostylis squarrosa

Macrostylis squarrosa shrub
Common names: None recorded
Family: Rutaceae

Macrostylis squarrosa is a very attractive, densely bushy shrub of about 700 mm high. When it flowers in spring and summer, it is dotted with small...

03 / 01 / 2011 | Jean Meyer | National Herbarium Pretoria
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Macrostylis villosa

Macrostylis villosa
Common names: Buchu (Eng.); kousieboegoe (Afr.)
Family: Rutaceae

Macrostylis villosa is a neat compact aromatic shrub producing clusters of white flowers over a long flowering period. Planted together with other...

15 / 04 / 2013 | Victoria Wilman | Millennium Seed Bank Partnership
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Maerua cafra

Common names: Common bush-cherry, White-wood, Witbos
Family: Capparaceae

 This is an unusual, very attractive little tree, especially when covered in fragrant white flowers in early spring.  You may need to be patient...

29 / 10 / 2001 | Thompson T Mutshinyalo | Walter Sisulu NBG
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Maesa lanceolata

Maesa lanceolata
Common names: false assegai ( Eng. ); valsassegaai (Afr.); umalunguzalazikhakhona, inhlavubele, umaguqu, isidenda, ubhoqobhoqo (Zulu); intendekwane (Xhosa); ligucu,
Family: Maesaceae

An apple-green tree-shrub gives shade to a cool, inviting stream: this idyllic prospect is repeated a million times in KwaZulu-Natal , South Africa 's...

07 / 02 / 2005 | Hugh Glen | KwaZulu-Natal Herbarium
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Malephora

Malephora framesii near Strandfontein
Common names: mesemb ( Eng. ); vygie (Afr.)
Family: Aizoaceae

Species of the mesemb genus Malephora enliven some of the most arid gardens of southern Africa with their brightly coloured flowers and vigorous, creeping...

28 / 02 / 2005 | Pascale Chesselet | Compton Herbarium
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Marasmodes

Marasmodes undulata
Common names: autumn aster
Family: Asteraceae

The relatively unknown genus Marasmodes is confined to the lowlands of the south-western Western Cape and occurs in the critically endangered Renosterveld...

07 / 06 / 2010 | C Cowell | Kirstenbosch NBG
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