Plants of the Week

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E.g., 24/06/2021
E.g., 24/06/2021

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Ledebouria zebrina

Ledebouria zebrina
Common names: giant false scilla; giant African hyacinth
Family: Hyacinthaceae

This large attractive bulbous plant is the largest of all the ledebourias, the handsome broad leaves which are often marked with dark purple-brown...

25 / 11 / 2013 | Andrew Hankey | Walter Sisulu NBG
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Hyperacanthus amoenus

Hyperacanthus amoenus.Photo Geoff Nichols
Common names: Thorny gardenia (Eng.); Doringkatjiepiering (Afr.); Murombe (Tshivenda); Bembethu (Sesotho); isibhembedu, umbambangwe, umthembezwana (isiZulu); isende
Family: Rubiaceae

This shrub or small tree with its glossy green foliage and pretty flowers is an attractive option for gardeners looking to expand their collection of indigenous...

25 / 11 / 2013 | Thompson T Mutshinyalo | Walter Sisulu NBG
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Streptocarpus dunnii

Streptocarpus dunnii . Image M Lotter
Common names: red nodding bells Cape primrose (Eng.); olifantsoor (Afr.)
Family: Gesneriaceae

Streptocarpus dunnii is a star in its own right. Its bright orange-red trumpet-shaped flowers render it beautiful and exceptional, as most Streptocarpus...

18 / 11 / 2013 | Sisanda Alakhe Velembo-Mhlauli | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Myrothamnus flabellifolius

Leaves. Image A dreyer
Common names: resurrection plant (Eng.); opstandingsplant (Afr.); uvukakwabafile (isiZulu); umazifisi (Ndebele)
Family: Myrothamnaceae

The leaves of the resurrection plant shrink and appear to be dead in the dry season, but miraculously turn green within a few minutes after exposure to...

18 / 11 / 2013 | Mandisa Kondlo | Walter Sisulu NBG
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Crinum macowanii

Crinum macowanii
Common names: river crinum, river lily, common vlei-lily, Sabie crinum, Cape coast lily (Eng.); rivierlelie, boslelie, Sabielelie (Afr.); intelezi (isiXhosa); umduz
Family: Amaryllidaceae


11 / 11 / 2013 | Alice Notten | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Lobelia jasionoides

Common names: No well known common name.
Family: Lobeliaceae

This charming, herbaceous, perennial groundcover with masses of tiny lilac and white flowers is suited to light shady places but will also grow in full...

11 / 11 / 2013 | Jane Forrester | Harold Porter NBG
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Senecio speciosissimus

Senecio speciosissimus flowers
Common names: none
Family: Asteraceae

Senecio speciosissimus boasts attractive flower heads of pink to mauve flowers from July to December, although it seems to flower more abundantly during...

03 / 11 / 2013 | Benjamin Festus | Harold Porter NBG
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Erica halicacaba

Growing amonst the rocks
Common names: bladder-heath, gooseberry heath
Family: Ericaceae

Erica halicacaba is a unique species with no close relatives in the genus Erica. It is notable for its unusual growth form, its particular niche...

03 / 11 / 2013 | Anthony Hitchcock | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Saltera sarcocolla

Flowers with ruptured pollen sacs
Common names: saltera, Cape fellwort, vlieëbos
Family: Penaeaceae

Saltera sarcocolla belongs to the Penaeaceae, which is a family confined to the fynbos region. Despite interesting variations in plant and flower...

28 / 10 / 2013 | Anthony Hitchcock | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Empodium elongatum

Empodium elongatum (David Styles)
Common names: Autumn star
Family: Hypoxidaceae

Autumn stars, elusive among grasses, are spotted by their bright yellow starry flowers....

28 / 10 / 2013 | N Mahvungu | KwaZulu-Natal NBG
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