Plants of the Week

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E.g., 17/07/2018
E.g., 17/07/2018

Erythrina zeyheri

E. zeheri growing in Free State NBG
Common names: harrow-breaker, plough-breaker (Eng.); ploegbreker (Afr.); khungoana, motumo (Southern Sotho?); umnsinsana (Zulu)
Family: Fabaceae

It is only in Africa where one can find this stunning, hardy, deciduous shrublet that produces brilliant scarlet flowers in late spring — local is...

08 / 03 / 2004 | K Behr | Pretoria NBG
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Petalidium bracteatum

Petalidium bracteatum in conservatory at Kirstenbosch
Common names: Ruacana petalidium (Eng.); Ruacana rooibekkiebos (Afr.)
Family: Acanthaceae

The Ruacana petalidium is a fast and easily growing shrub with striking dark red tubular flowers which attract sunbirds. As its name implies, it originates...

08 / 03 / 2004 | Ernst van Jaarsveld | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Polystichum

Polystichum pungens
Common names: shield ferns
Family: Dryopteridaceae

Polystichum (Class: Filicopsida, Order: Polypodiales), or shield ferns, as they are commonly called, is a genus of 160 to 200 species. They occur...

08 / 03 / 2004 | K Roux | Compton Herbarium
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Cotyledon orbiculata

Cotyledon orbiculata
Common names: pig's ears, cotyledon (Eng.); plakkie, platjies, varkoorblare, varkoor, kouterie (Afr.); imphewula (isiXhosa); ipewula (isiZulu)
Family: Crassulaceae

This fast-growing succulent is well known to gardeners, forms a low shrub and adds colour to the winter garden. Forms with handsome grey leaves provide...

15 / 03 / 2004 | Shireen Harris | Free State NBG
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Ficus lutea

Glossy leaves with yellow veins
Common names: giant-leaved fig (Eng.); reuseblaarvy (Afr.); umvubu, omkhulu (Zulu); umthombe, uluzi (Xhosa)
Family: Moraceae

The giant-leaved fig is a magnificent member of the renowned fig family. Like so many of its close relatives, it offers much of ecological and ornamental...

15 / 03 / 2004 | Jan-Hakon Burring | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Carissa bispinosa

Carissa bispinosa. Photo Geoff Nichols
Common names: forest num-num (Eng.); bosnoemnoem (Afr.); isibethankunzi, isabetha (Zul.)
Family: Apocynaceae

The genus Carissa consists of evergreen shrubs and trees, with handsome, glossy foliage and fragrant, starry-white, jasmine-like flowers. Ornamental and...

15 / 03 / 2004 | Stoffel Petrus Pieter Bester | National Herbarium Pretoria
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Bulbine frutescens

Bulbine frutescens. Photo: G Nichols
Common names: snake flower, cat's tail, burn jelly plant (Eng.); balsem kopieva, geelkatstert (Afr.)
Family: Asphodelaceae

This is a popular, waterwise garden plant, especially when planted en masse as a ground cover, or in rock gardens. It is also cultivated for its medicinal...

22 / 03 / 2004 | Shireen Harris | Free State NBG
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Helichrysum umbraculigerum

H.umbraculigerum
Common names: woolly umbrella helichrysum (Eng.); kerriekruie (Afr.)
Family: Asteraceae

Helichrysum umbraculigerum was a relatively new addition to the herbaceous borders in Kirstenbosch in 2004. With its sulphur-yellow flowers and naturally...

22 / 03 / 2004 | T Hutton-squire | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Carissa macrocarpa

Carissa macrocarpa
Common names: Natal plum, big num-num (Eng.); grootnoem-noem (Afr.); Amatungulu (Zulu)
Family: Apocynaceae

The Natal plum is a common and often conspicuous species in coastal bush and sand dunes....

29 / 03 / 2004 | Berenice Carolus | Harold Porter NBG
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Mesembryanthemaceae

Aptenia  cordifolia
Common names: mesembs, fig marigold, midday flower, ice plant (Eng.); vygie (Afr.)
Family: Mesembryanthemaceae

The Mesembryanthemaceae form a major and unique component of southern Africa's arid land flora. Succulent leaves, bright shiny-petalled flowers and...

29 / 03 / 2004 | Pascale Chesselet | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Pycnostachys reticulata

Plants in flower
Common names: slender pycnostachys, blue soldier salvia (Eng.); stekelsalie (Afr.); umvuthuza, uhlalawane (Zulu)
Family: Lamiaceae

Pycnostachys reticulata is a beautiful perennial with spikes of two-tone, pale blue and mauve flowerheads in late summer to autumn; a good choice...

29 / 03 / 2004 | Alice Notten | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Chironia baccifera

Christmas berries ripening
Common names: Christmas berry (Eng.); aambeibossie, bitterbossie (Afr.)
Family: Gentianaceae

Chironia baccifera is not only a highly ornamental plant, but also one that has many medicinal uses even though it is poisonous to stock....

05 / 04 / 2004 | Berenice Carolus | Harold Porter NBG
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Hypoxis

Hypoxis acuminata
Common names: yellow stars, star lily, african potato (Eng.); sterretjie, Afrika-patat (Afr.); inkomfe, ilabatheka (isiZulu)
Family: Hypoxidaceae

Hypoxis, a well-known genus of the family Hypoxidaceae, easily recognizable by its bright yellow star-shaped flowers and strap-like leaves, has a long...

05 / 04 / 2004 | Yashica Singh | KwaZulu-Natal Herbarium
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Coleonema pulchellum

Bush in flower
Common names: confetti bush
Family: Rutaceae

An aromatic, evergreen shrub covered with masses of starry pink flowers in winter and spring....

05 / 04 / 2004 | Norma Jodamus | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Nivenia corymbosa

Nivenia corymbosa
Common names: blue stars (Eng.); blousterretjie (Afr.)
Family: Iridaceae

This attractive shrublet, with striking blue flowers in late summer at the Cape, is an unusual member of the iris family....

12 / 04 / 2004 | Trevor Adams | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Tetragonia decumbens

Flowers,stems and leaves
Common names: dune spinach (Eng.); duinespinasie (Afr.)
Family: Aizoaceae

This widespread dune plant is edible and also performs an important role in stabilizing the sand, enabling the dune to develop into a friendly environment...

12 / 04 / 2004 | Jane Forrester | Harold Porter NBG
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Themeda triandra

Rooigras grasslands
Common names: red grass (Eng.); rooigras (Afr.)
Family: Poaceae

This is a lovely green to blue-green tufted grass that is often flushed with pink and turns red with age. Some forms have bright yellow culms (stems)....

12 / 04 / 2004 | L Fish | National Herbarium Pretoria
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Aloidendron ramosissimum

Bush in flower
Common names: maiden's quiver tree (Eng.); nooienskokerboom (Afr.)
Family: Asphodelaceae

This aloe is without a doubt the most profusely branched of all aloes. Like its closest relative, Aloidendron dichotomum or quiver tree, it has a very...

19 / 04 / 2004 | Werner Voigt | Karoo Desert NBG
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Artemisia afra

Artemisia afra, attractive silvery fern-like foliage
Common names: wild wormwood, African wormwood (Eng.); wilde-als (Afr.); umhlonyane (isiXhosa); mhlonyane (isiZulu); lengana (Tswana); zengana (Southern Sotho)
Family: Asteraceae

Named after the Greek goddess Artemis, this soft aromatic shrub is one of the most popular medicinal plants in South Africa. Easy to grow, Artemisia afra...

19 / 04 / 2004 | Liesl Van der Walt | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Melica decumbens

Melica decumbens
Common names: staggers grass (Eng.); dronkgras (Afr.)
Family: Poaceae

Melica decumbens is a short grass producing many flowering stems with spikelets (flowers) that usually have dark purple glumes (bracts) that contrast beautifully...

19 / 04 / 2004 | L Fish | National Herbarium Pretoria
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