Plants of the Week

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E.g., 30/06/2024
E.g., 30/06/2024

Salvia thermarum

Common names: Goudini sage (Eng.)
Family: Lamiaceae

S. thermarum (also sometimes mistakenly called S. thermara), with its pale red flowers and red bracts, makes a beautiful garden specimen. An added bonus...

03 / 01 / 2005 | De La Cruz P | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Euryops wageneri

Euryops wageneri flowers
Common names: Wagener's resin bush (Eng.); Wagener se harpuisbos (Afr.)
Family: Asteraceae

Anyone who has seen this species will agree that this is probably one of the most magnificent of all the Euryops species. It has the same visual impact...

03 / 01 / 2005 | Marinda Koekemoer | National Herbarium Pretoria
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Ekebergia capensis

Fruit (Photo Geoff NIchols)
Common names: Cape ash, dogplum (E), essenhout (A), mmidibidi (NS), umnyamatsi (SW), nyamaru (Ts)
Family: Meliaceae

This is a large attractive evergreen tree that has been used as a street tree in many towns and cities of South Africa, Uganda and the Democratic Republic...

27 / 12 / 2004 | Mhlonishwa D Dlamini | Walter Sisulu NBG
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Clivia caulescens

Common names: stem clivia, stalked clivia
Family: Amaryllidaceae

Clivia caulescens is a strong grower, with stems up to 2 m long. It flowers in midsummer and will attract birds to the garden....

27 / 12 / 2004 | John Winter | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Helichrysum odoratissimum

Flowers Photo B.E. van Wyk
Common names: most fragrant helichrysum (Eng.); kooigoed, kruie (Afr.); imphepho (Xhosa & Zulu)
Family: Asteraceae

As its name implies, this plant has a strong smell. It is widely used as a perfume, but also as an insect repellent....

27 / 12 / 2004 | N Swelankomo | Pretoria NBG
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Agapanthus caulescens

Agapanthus caulescens subsp. caulescens
Common names: stem agapanthus
Family: Agapanthaceae


27 / 12 / 2004 | Richard Jamieson | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Polygala virgata

Polygala virgata
Common names: Purple Broom (Eng.); Persboom, Bloukappie (Afr.); Ea moru (Nd); Hlokoa leleue (Sotho); Ithethe (Z)
Family: Polygalaceae

This charming slender shrub, bearing spikes of bright purple magenta winged flowers is an eye-catcher in any garden. Polygala virgata is one of the beautiful...

20 / 12 / 2004 | Norma Jodamus | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Momordica balsamica

Flowers and green fruit
Common names: balsam pear (Eng.); laloentjie (Afr.); mohodu (Sotho); nkaka (Thonga); intshungu, intshungwana yehlathi (Zulu)
Family: Cucurbitaceae

This climber with bright green leaves bears striking orange to red spindle shaped ripe fruit....

20 / 12 / 2004 | M Welman | National Herbarium Pretoria
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Cussonia spicata

Photo: Geoff Nichols: Cussonia spicata
Common names: cabbage-tree, common cabbage tree; kiepersol (Afr); umsenge(S, Z & Xh.); motshetshe (NS)
Family: Araliaceae

The cabbage-tree is a strikingly beautiful garden tree which is widely cultivated both locally and abroad for its striking evergreen foliage. Its unusual...

20 / 12 / 2004 | Andrew Hankey | Walter Sisulu NBG
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Trichilia dregeana

Large specimen of Trichilia dregeana, with dark foliage
Common names: forest mahogany, forest Natal-mahogany, Cape mahogany, thunder tree, Christmas bells, red ash (Eng.); rooiessenhout, bosrooiessenhout, basteressenhout
Family: Meliaceae

Trichilia dregeana is a lovely large tree that inhabits evergreen forests in high rainfall areas. It is a highly ornamental species with considerable cultural...

13 / 12 / 2004 | Jan-Hakon Burring | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Metalasia muricata

Metalasia muricata
Common names: coast metalasia, white bristle bush (Eng.); blombos, witsteekbossie, steekbos (Afr.)
Family: Asteraceae

This is a widespread, tough shrub with honey-scented flowers whose garden potential is often overlooked....

13 / 12 / 2004 | Phakamani Xaba | Harold Porter NBG
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Asclepias albens

Asclepias albens
Common names: cartwheels (Eng.); idoyi, ishongwe (Zulu); tshalale (Venda)
Family: Apocynaceae

This is the most widespread species of Asclepias in South Africa....

13 / 12 / 2004 | E T Rampho | Pretoria NBG
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Ixianthes retzioides

Ixianthes retzioides
Common names: river bells (Eng.); rivierklokkies (Afr.)
Family: Stilbaceae

This is a beautiful plant, seldom seen. It is a rare endemic, confined to a few streams of the winter-rainfall Western Cape. It has striking, yellow, bell-shaped...

06 / 12 / 2004 | Ernst van Jaarsveld | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Phylica pubescens

Common names: featherhead (Eng.); veerkoppie (Afr.)
Family: Rhamnaceae

This attractive bush is densely covered with hairy leaves and each hair seems to gather the sunlight and make it glow. Early morning or late afternoon...

06 / 12 / 2004 | Jane Forrester | Harold Porter NBG
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Hydrostachys polymorpha

Growing in white water
Common names: white-waters plant (Eng.), phophoma-lasemanzini (Z)
Family: Hydrostachyaceae

This unusual plant is unable to survive without the turbulence of water. It thrives in the white waters which give such a thrill to rafters. Living life...

06 / 12 / 2004 | R Glen | KwaZulu-Natal NBG
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Psychotria capensis

Common names: black bird-berry, bird-berry, bastard lemonwood, lemon bush (Eng.); swart-voelbessie, voelbessie, baster-lemoenhout, lemoenbos (Afr.); iZele, isiThiti
Family: Rubiaceae

Bulbuls, robins and barbets are a few of the locals spotted dining at the black bird-berry, with its attractive glossy foliage and showy red and yellow...

29 / 11 / 2004 | L Badenhorst | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Oncoba spinosa

Oncoba spinosa (Geoff Nichols)
Common names: snuff-box tree (Eng.); snuifkalbassie (Afr.)
Family: Salicaceae

This spiny shrub or small tree with pretty white flowers is known for the snuff boxes that can be made from its hard-shelled fruit....

29 / 11 / 2004 | K Behr | Pretoria NBG
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Lobelia erinus
Family: Lobeliaceae

A large cosmopolitan genus of many garden ornamentals of which the popular Lobelia erinus is one of the sixty-nine species native to South Africa....

29 / 11 / 2004 | C Cupido | Compton Herbarium
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Galpinia transvaalica

Flowerheads. Photo Geoff Nichols
Common names: wild pride of India (Eng.); knoppieblaar (Afr.); UmDlampangele ( Zulu)
Family: Lythraceae

This tree is part of a small family of herbs, small trees and shrubs found in subtropical and tropical regions. Its attractive flowerheads and coloured...

22 / 11 / 2004 | Linette Ferreira | Pretoria NBG
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Felicia filifolia subsp. filifolia

In full flower
Common names: fine-leaved felicia, needle-leaved felicia, wild aster (Eng.); draaibos (Afr.); sehalahala-seseholo (Southern Sotho)
Family: Asteraceae

When in flower Felicia filifolia is an eye-catching mass of mauve flowers with pretty yellow centres that will create a stunning splash of colour in your...

22 / 11 / 2004 | Cherise Viljoen | Kirstenbosch NBG
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