Plants of the Week

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Elephantorrhiza elephantina

Elephantorrhiza elephantina - an individual flowering branch projecting from the ground
Common names: eland's bean, eland's wattle, elephant's root (Eng.); baswortel, elandsboontjie, leerbossie, looiersboontjie, olifantswortel (Afr.); mupangara (Shona)
Family: Fabaceae

Underground trees might sound like a new environmentalist movement, but these fascinating plants do exist in reality. In more than one way, they've...

12 / 07 / 2010 | Alicia Grobler | Pretoria NBG
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Erica cameronii

Erica cameronii. Photo Ross Turner
Common names: Cameron’s heath, crimson heath
Family: Ericaceae

Erica cameronii is a strikingly beautiful, rock-dwelling species, limited to high altitudes in the Hex River Mountains. One particular shrub known amongst...

22 / 06 / 2015 | Anthony Hitchcock | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Empleurum unicapsulare

Empleurum unicapsulare
Common names: false buchu, river buchu (Eng.); bergboegoe, wildeboegoe (Afr.)
Family: Rutaceae

Empleurum unicapsulare is a single-stemmed, evergreen shrub, which has a similar growth habit to a willow tree. It slender and upright growth form with...

19 / 06 / 2006 | Norma Jodamus | 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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Encephalartos striatus

Cones
Common names: Umbeluzi cycad (Eng.); Umbeluzi broodboom (Afr.)

Encephalartos striatus is a small cycad with an unbranched, subterranean stem which rarely forms suckers. It is a frost-hardy species that grows best...

19 / 08 / 2013 | K w Sepheka | National Herbarium Pretoria
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Entada rheedii

Entada rheedii has fragrant flowers in spikes up to 230mm long (Photo Geoff Nichols)
Common names: giant sea bean, African dream herb, snuff box (Eng.); reuseseeboontjie, seeboontjie, boonbobbejaantou (Afr.); inkwindi, intindile, umbhone (isiZulu)
Family: Fabaceae

A perennial climbing vine that is used by African traditional healers to induce vivid dreams that enable them to communicate efficiently with their ancestors....

09 / 01 / 2017 | Lerato Hoveka | National Herbarium Pretoria
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Encephalartos altensteinii

Female cones of E. altensteinii
Common names: Eastern Cape cycad, Eastern Cape giant cycad (Eng.), oos-kaapse broodboom (Afr.), umphanga, umguza, isundu (Xhosa)
Family: Zamiaceae

Encephalartos altensteinii is a very ornamental garden plant and probably the most common of all the cycads in cultivation. This species is long-lived,...

08 / 11 / 2004 | John Winter | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Encephalartos aplanatus

Encephalartos aplanatus cycad
Common names: Swazi north-east forest cycad (Eng.); Umphanga wehlathi (Zulu)
Family: Zamiaceae

Encephalartos aplanatus is a shade-loving cycad that closely resembles E. villosus. The leaflets of E. aplanatus, however, tend to be wider than those...

16 / 11 / 2009 | Phakamani Xaba | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Encephalartos arenarius

Encephalartos arenarius
Common names: Alexandria cycad, Kwa Qaba cycad (Eng.); uMphanga wakwa Qaba (Nguni)
Family: Zamiaceae

Encephalartos arenarius is a medium-sized, multi-stemmed, subterranean  plant about 1-2 m high. It grows well in semi-shade but can tolerate full...

08 / 09 / 2008 | Phakamani Xaba | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Eucomis bicolor

Eucomis bicolor inflorescence
Common names: forest pineapple flower, variegated pineapple flower (Eng.); bontpynappelblom, bospynappellelie (Afr.); imbola, umbola (isiZulu); khampumpu-ya-thaba (
Family: Hyacinthaceae

...

07 / 07 / 2015 | Dineo Dibakwane | Millennium Seedbank Project
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Encephalartos caffer

Encephalartos caffer
Common names: Grahamstown cycad, Rhini cycad (Eng.); kafferkie (Afr.); uMphanga wase Rhini (Nguni)
Family: Zamiaceae

Encephalartos caffer is a relatively rare dwarf cycad in the sour grassveld of the Eastern Cape Province. It appears to be closely related to another grassland...

20 / 07 / 2009 | Phakamani Xaba | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Encephalartos cycadifolius

E. cycadifolius mature plant beginning to cone
Common names: Bedford cycad
Family: Zamiaceae

Encephalartos cycadifolius is a medium-sized, single to multi-stemmed  cycad that is both frost-tolerant and drought-resistant. It is an Eastern...

13 / 04 / 2009 | Phakamani Xaba | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Encephalartos ferox

Encephalartos ferox
Common names: Maputaland cycad, Zululand cycad, Tongaland cycad (Eng.), Maputalandbroodboom, Tongalandbroodboom (Afr.), umthobane, uthobani (Zulu), chihanga (Thonga
Family: Zamiaceae

A cycad with dark green, arching, holly-like leaves and striking red cones....

25 / 02 / 2002 | Sharon Turner | Walter Sisulu NBG
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Encephalartos friderici-guilielmi

Cones emerging
Common names: white-haired cycad
Family: Zamiaceae

Although Encephalartos friderici-guilielmi experiences harsh growing conditions in its natural habitat, it is very adaptable to different climatic conditions....

14 / 08 / 2006 | John Winter | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Encephalartos horridus

E.horridus. Photo Nat Grobbelaar
Common names: Eastern Cape blue cycad, blue cycad
Family: Zamiaceae

This cycad has been described as one of the most unusual of all the South African species. It has been very over-collected in the past, but sufficient...

07 / 04 / 2003 | Lou-nita LeRoux | Lowveld NBG
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Encephalartos inopinus

E. inopinus (female):Photo: Nat Grobbelaar
Common names: Lydenburg cycad
Family: Zamiaceae

This unusual, attractive African cycad (comparable to the Mexican companion Dioon or a Cuban Microcycas) tolerates both sun and frost, making...

12 / 07 / 2004 | T Mukoma | Lowveld NBG
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Encephalartos laevifolius

Encephalartos laevifolius
Common names: Kaapsehoop cycad (Eng.); Kaapsehoop-broodboom (Afr.); mayiphuku (Siswati)
Family: Zamiaceae

Encephalartos laevifolius is a tall, slender cycad with even, regular, smooth leafbases. It grows well in full sun and tolerates any soil type, provided...

13 / 08 / 2012 | K w Sepheka | National Herbarium Pretoria
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Encephalartos lanatus

Encephalartos lanatus
Common names: Woolly cycad (Eng.)
Family: Zamiaceae

Encephalartos lanatus  is normally a medium-sized, single-stemmed plant about 1–1,5 m high. In the garden, it enjoys a position in full sun...

31 / 03 / 2008 | Phakamani Xaba | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Euphorbia globosa

Euphorbia globosa
Common names: globose euphorbia, globose spurge (Eng.); eierpol, knopmelkbol, langbeentjie (Afr.)
Family: Euphorbiaceae

The Eastern Cape Province is home to the charming and spineless Euphorbia globosa. This dwarf succulent, from a near distance, appears as an arrangement...

13 / 02 / 2017 | Tandiwe Nkonki | National Herbarium Pretoria
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Encephalartos latifrons

Encephalartos latifrons
Common names: Albany cycad (Eng.), Albany-broodboom (Afr.)
Family: Zamiaceae

Encephalartos latifrons is extremely rare and virtually extinct in its natural habitat. It is very attractive with the broadest leaves of all the cycad...

11 / 01 / 2016 | John Winter | Kirstenbosch NBG
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