Plants of the Week

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E.g., 13/07/2024
E.g., 13/07/2024

Aristea capitata

Aristea capitata
Common names: blue sceptre (Eng.); blousuurkanol (Afr.)
Family: Iridaceae

The Cape is well known for its wealth of beautiful bulbs. If you go walking on Lion's Head above Cape Town in early summer, one of the most striking...

01 / 11 / 2000 | Liesl Van der Walt | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Aloe zebrina

Aloe zebrina plant
Common names: zebra leaf aloe, spotted aloe (Eng.)
Family: Asphodelaceae

Imagine creating a breathtaking desertscape of rocks and pebbles and incorporating patches of Aloe zebrina in your illusion. This aloe is a sure must...

24 / 01 / 2011 | Hildegard Witbooi | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Amaryllis belladonna

Amaryllis belladonna
Common names: belladonna lily, March lily, naked lady (Eng.); Maartblom, Maartlelie, belladonnalelie (Afr.)
Family: Amaryllidaceae

The flowering stems of this bulb emerging from the bare ground is a sign that summer is coming to an end in the Cape....

12 / 03 / 2001 | Trevor Adams | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Amaryllis belladonna: Photo C Paterson-Jones
Common names: amaryllis or daffodil family
Family: Amaryllidaceae

Consisting mostly of bulbous plants, this family occurs naturally throughout the tropics and warm temperate regions of the world. Many species have extravagantly...

10 / 05 / 2004 | D Snijman | Compton Herbarium
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Ammocharis longifolia

Ammocharis longifolia
Common names: Malgas lily (Eng.); seeroogblom (Afr.)
Family: Amaryllidaceae

The name Malgas lily is taken from the abundance of this bulb in the Malgas area near the Breede River in the Cape. It is one of South Africa's showiest...

16 / 08 / 2004 | Werner Voigt | Karoo Desert NBG
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Anastrabe integerrima

Photo copyright Geoff Nichol
Common names: pambati tree (Eng.); isipambatihout , pambatihout , pambatieboom (Afr.); isiBhembedu, isiNqunjana (Z); isiPambatho (Z, X)
Family: Stilbaceae

With its clusters of custard-yellow pouch-shaped flowers combined with very attractive leaves that contrast their dark green tops with silvery white and...

24 / 12 / 2012 | Cherise Viljoen | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Agathosma ciliaris

Agathosma ciliaris
Common names: mountain anise buchu (Eng.); bergboegoe (Afr.)
Family: Rutaceae

This is a hardy, easy-growing, aromatic shrublet, which is suitable for pots and the harsh coasts and mountains in the fynbos....

11 / 07 / 2016 | Roger Oliver | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Anchusa capensis

Anchusa capensis
Common names: Cape-forget-me-not, anchusa (Eng.); vergeetmynietjie, ystergras, koringblom, ossetongblaar (Afr.); petlekheme (Sesotho)
Family: Boraginaceae

The Cape-forget-me-not is easy to find flowering in the fields of daisies throughout Namaqualand in the spring, and, although it may be a bit weedy, its...

22 / 08 / 2016 | Monique Mcquillan | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Ancylobotrys capensis

Climbing hooks and flowers at tip hooks
Common names: rock milk apricot, wild apricot, dwarf wild apricot, wild peach ( Eng. ); klipmelkappelkoos, wilde-appelkoos, wilde-perske (Afr.); morobe (Northern So
Family: Apocynaceae

The fragrant, hardy, indigenous wild apricot, Ancylobotrys capensis, is a good substitute for the Chinese jasmine (Jasminum polyanthum) the scent of which...

10 / 10 / 2005 | Stoffel Petrus Pieter Bester | National Herbarium Pretoria
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Anemone fannini

Plant in flower
Common names: giant wild anemone (Eng.); syblom, groot anemoon (Afr.); umanzamnyama (Zulu)
Family: Ranunculaceae

This stately anemone with beautiful white flowers and large, velvety palmate leaves from the eastern grasslands of South Africa would be an asset to any...

07 / 11 / 2005 | Isabel Johnson | KwaZulu-Natal NBG
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Alepidea cordifolia

Alepidea cordifolia inflorescence. Photo Barbara Clulow
Common names: heart-leaf alepidea (Eng.); iqwili (isiXhosa); ikhathazo (isiZulu); lesoko (South Sotho), inkatsankatsa (Swazi)
Family: Apiaceae

A robust, erect herbaceous perennial, with flat-topped flowerheads bearing several star-shaped, white to cream and greenish flowers. It is becoming increasingly...

31 / 10 / 2022 | Mashudu Tshitereke | Walter Sisulu NBG
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Anisodontea julii

Anisodontea julii
Common names: Drakensberg mallow, mountain mallow, African mallow (Eng.); bergroos (Afr.); letjeane-la-noka, llefeta (SS)
Family: Malvaceae

Anisodontea julii, valued for its quick growth, is a tall, graceful shrub with velvety, maple-like leaves and wonderful displays of large pink flowers...

21 / 03 / 2005 | L Badenhorst | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Anisodontea scabrosa

Anisodontea scabrosa flower and foliage
Common names: rough-leaf African mallow, sand rose, pink mallow, hairy mallow (Eng.); sandroos, pienk-kiesieblaar, harigemalva (Afr.)
Family: Malvaceae

Who can resist a bright cheerful shrub that flowers throughout the year? This mallow is ideally suited for home gardens being able to withstand coastal...

02 / 05 / 2011 | N Stoll | Millennium Seed Bank Partnership
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Ansellia africana

Heavily spotten form Photo Martin von Flintel
Common names: leopard orchid (Eng.); luiperdorgidee (Afr.); imfeyenkawu(Zulu)
Family: Orchidaceae


24 / 11 / 2003 | B Tarr | KwaZulu-Natal NBG
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Asparagus densiflorus ‘Meyersii’

Asparagus densiflorus ‘Meyersii’ growing in Kirstenbosch.
Common names: cat's tail asparagus (Eng.); katstert (Afr.); also known under a few variations or misspelling of its cultivar name, such as: ‘Myers’, Asparagus m
Family: Asparagaceae

Striking ornamental perennial with compactly clustered foliage on arched fronds resembling cat’s tails. Tiny, white, fragrant, star-like flowers...

16 / 04 / 2018 | Cherise Viljoen | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Anthocleista grandiflora

Common names: forest fever tree, big-leaf fever tree, big leaf, forest big-leaf, cabbage tree, tobacco tree (Eng.); grootblaarboom, koorsboom, wildetabakboom (Afr.)
Family: Gentianaceae

Anthocleista grandiflora is a striking tree with a tall straight trunk topped with a crown of huge leaves. It needs a warm, sunny garden with plenty of...

10 / 03 / 2014 | Alice Notten | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Antithrixia flavicoma

Antithrixia flavicoma shrub
Common names: None known
Family: Asteraceae

Antithrixia flavicoma is a beautiful but little-known shrub. With its large yellow flower heads and silvery-grey leaves it is immediately noticeable...

01 / 02 / 2010 | Nicola Bergh | Compton Herbarium
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Apodytes dimidiata subsp.dimidiata

Apodytes dimidiata
Common names: white pear, bird's eye (Eng.); witpeer (Afr.); umdakane (Xhosa); umdagane (Zulu); umdzagame (Swati) sephopha-madi, kgalagangwê (N. Sotho), tshiphopha
Family: Icacinaceae

Apodytes dimidiata is the ideal tree for the home garden as it does not have messy fruits and is safe to plant near the house, not disturbing the...

28 / 04 / 2003 | Giles Mbambezeli | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Asparagus virgatus

Asparagus virgatus. Photo Dr Wynand Uys
Common names: broom asparagus, slender asparagus, ‘Tiki’ fern, African broom fern (Eng.); makkatdoring, katstertjie (Afr.); ibutha, ihabiya, iphinganhloya, unwe
Family: Asparagaceae

Asparagus virgatus is an evergreen, perennial plant that produces small, greenish white flowers in summer, and small, spheroid, red seeds. It is also known...

02 / 02 / 2015 | Aluwani Tshiila | KwaZulu-Natal Herbarium
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Adenia spinosa

Adenia spinosa
Common names: spiny greenstem, elephant’s foot (Eng.); tshivhuyu-dumbu (Tshivenda)
Family: Passifloraceae

In the far north of South Africa grows a very special, ancient-looking plant with a stem resembling an elephant’s foot. In our neighbouring country,...

30 / 04 / 2018 | Livhuwani Auldrean Nkuna | Millennium Seed Bank Partnership
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