Plants of the Week

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Searsia chirindensis

In fruit. Photo:Geoff Nichols
Common names: red currant (Eng.); bos-taaibos (Afr.); motha-thaa (North Sotho); umhlakothi (Xhosa); inhlokoshiyane enkulu (Xhosa); muvhadela-phanga (Venda)
Family: Anacardiaceae

The red currant, Searsia chirindensis, is an attractive, African tree with lovely reddish autumn foliage. It is common throughout the eastern part...

27 / 01 / 2003 | Sharon Turner | Walter Sisulu NBG
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Rhus chirindensis

In fruit. Photo:Geoff Nichols

This tree is now called Searsia chirindensis....

27 / 01 / 2003 | | Walter Sisulu NBG
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Crassula streyi

Crassula streyi
Common names: Pondo cliff crassula (Eng.); pondo-plakkie (Afr.)
Family: Crassulaceae

This forest jewel with deep green and red leaves grows in the deep shade of the coastal forest growing the sandstone cliffs of the Pondoland river gorges....

03 / 02 / 2003 | Siyabulela Nonjinge | Kwazulu-Natal NBG
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Pterocarpus angolensis

Seedpod Photo Geoff Nichols
Common names: kiaat, bloodwood, paddle-wood, sealing-wax tree, wild teak, Transvaal teak (Eng.); kiaat, bloedhout, dolfhout, greinhout, kajatenhout, lakhout, wilde-
Family: Fabaceae

A brown and papery, spiky, fried egg is what the seed pod of this beautiful tree looks like. The pods remain on the tree long after the leaves have fallen...

03 / 02 / 2003 | Alice Aubrey | Walter Sisulu NBG
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Celtis africana

Celtis africana
Common names: white stinkwood; witstinkhout (Afr.); umVumvu (Xhosa); uSinga lwesalukazi (Zulu); Modutu (Sotho & Tswane); Mpopano (Venda)
Family: Cannabaceae

There is no doubt that this is an excellent tree to use in a landscape, and it is a rewarding garden tree. It gives shade in summer, and is fast and easy...

03 / 02 / 2003 | Giles Mbambezeli | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Ficus sur

Fruits and tbark of Ficus sur
Common names: broom cluster fig (Eng.); besem-trosvy (Afr.); mogo-tshetlo (North Sotho); umkhiwane (Xhosa); umkhiwane (Zulu)
Family: Moraceae

The broom cluster fig is a key element in the environment providing medicine, food, shade and shelter for all nature of animals, large and small. This...

10 / 02 / 2003 | Andrew Hankey | Walter Sisulu NBG
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Adansonia digitata

Baobab in the dry season
Common names: baobab, Cream of Tartar tree, monkey-bread tree, lemonade tree (Eng.); kremetartboom(Afr.); isimuku, umShimulu, isiMuhu (Zulu); ximuwu (Tsonga); mowan
Family: Malvaceae

Regarded as the largest succulent plant in the world, the baobab tree is steeped in a wealth of mystique, legend and superstition wherever it occurs in...

10 / 02 / 2003 | Andrew Hankey | Walter Sisulu NBG
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Dracaena aletriformis

Dracaena aletriformis
Common names: large-leaved dragon tree; grootblaardrakeboom (Afr.)  
Family: Ruscaceae

The large-leaved dragon tree is a wonderful, showy foliage plant with large strap-shaped leaves in rosettes at the tips of the branches, ideal for shady...

10 / 02 / 2003 | Cherise Viljoen | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Catha edulis

Catha edulis: Photo G Nichols
Common names: Bushman's tea (Eng.); Boesmanstee (Afr.); umhlwazi (Zulu); iqgwaka (Xhosa); khat (Arabic)
Family: Celastraceae

This is a very attractive, small deciduous tree, with bright green leaves that turn to a pleasing yellowish colour in autumn. Its beauty is also complemented...

17 / 02 / 2003 | Mhlonishwa D Dlamini | Walter Sisulu NBG
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Gardenia thunbergia

Gardenia thunbergia
Common names: white gardenia, forest gardenia, wild gardenia (Eng.), witkatjiepiering, buffelsbal, kannetjieboom (Afr.), umKhangazi (Xhosa), umValasangweni, umKhwak
Family: Rubiaceae

...

17 / 02 / 2003 | Alice Notten | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Harpochloa falx

Harpochloa falx - caterpillar grass
Common names: caterpillar grass (Eng.), ruspergras (Afr.)
Family: Poaceae

The caterpillar grass, Harpochloa falx, is a wonderful garden plant, which forms neat, dark green tussocks which persist throughout the year and produce...

17 / 02 / 2003 | Isabel Johnson | Kwazulu-Natal NBG
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Erica jasminiflora

Erica jasminiflora
Common names: jasmine heath, trompetheide (Afr.)
Family: Ericaceae

Erica jasminiflora forms an erect spindly shrub growing up to 600 mm high. ...

24 / 02 / 2003 | Anthony Hitchcock | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Englerophytum magalismontanum

Fruit. Photo: Geoff Nichols
Common names: Transvaal milkplum (Eng.); stamvrug (Afr.), motlhatswa (Tswana); mohlatswa (Northern Sotho); munombelo (Venda); amanumbela (Zulu); umnumbela (Swati) O
Family: Sapotaceae

This species is better known by its Afrikaans name, stamvrug and is one of South Africa's more popular veld fruits, a thirst quencher to...

24 / 02 / 2003 | K Behr | Pretoria NBG
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Melinis nerviglumis

Melinis nerviglumis
Common names: bristle-leaved red-top grass (Eng.); ferweelgras (Afr.)
Family: Poaceae

This pretty, tufted grass with its bluish leaves and shining pink inflorescences is an attractive addition to any border or wild garden. It is particularly...

24 / 02 / 2003 | Isabel Johnson | Kwazulu-Natal NBG
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Polyxena corymbosa

This plant is now known as Lachenalia corymbosa...

01 / 03 / 2003 | | Kwazulu-Natal NBG
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Pterocarpus rotundifolius

Pterocarpus rotundifolius
Common names: Muhataha (Tshivenda), round-leaved bloodwood (Eng.), dopperkiaat (Afr.)
Family: Fabaceae

Flowers of Pterocarpus rotundifolius are strongly honey-scented. Bee-keepers like to plant this tree as a good source of nectar and food for bees....

03 / 03 / 2003 | Thompson T Mutshinyalo | Pretoria NBG
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Lampranthus affinis

Lampranthus affinis
Common names: cliff lampranthus (Eng.), kransvygie (Afr.)
Family: Aizoaceae

Lampranthus affinis is a striking, easily grown shrublet, with large, pale pink flowers, and is one of only a few mesembs that will flower in shady...

03 / 03 / 2003 | Ernst van Jaarsveld | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Nerine masoniorum

Nerine masoniorum
Common names: Masons' nerine, Transkei lily
Family: Amaryllidaceae

A bulbous plant with a profusion of pink flowers, Nerine masoniorum is ideally suited to cultivation in pots and window-boxes. ...

10 / 03 / 2003 | Graham Duncan | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Schotia afra var. afra

Schotia afra var.afra
Common names: Karoo boer-bean (Eng.), Karoohuilboerboon (Afr.)
Family: Fabaceae

This delightful, small, water-wise tree is a must for the home gardener who wants an attractive evergreen tree. ...

10 / 03 / 2003 | Roger Oliver | Karoo Desert NBG
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Brunsvigia orientalis

Brunsvigia orientalis
Common names: candelabra flower, red candelabra flower, king candelabra, chandelier lily, chandelier plant, sore-eye flower (Eng.), ajuinbol, koningskandelaarblom,
Family: Amaryllidaceae

Brunsvigia orientalis is one of the exciting surprises experienced in the late summer, when little else is flowering. The emergence of large pinkish...

17 / 03 / 2003 | Jane Forrester | Harold Porter NBG
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