Plants of the Week

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E.g., 18/10/2019
E.g., 18/10/2019

Marasmodes trifida

Marasmodes trifida
Common names: trifid autumn-aster
Family: Asteraceae

This little known and not so beautiful plant is highly threatened; it is easily identifiable from other members of the genus by its leaves that split into...

05 / 08 / 2019 | Naomi Mdayi | Millennium Seed Bank Partnership
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Schizaea pectinata

Schizaea pectinata
Common names: curly grass-fern; cockscomb fern, toothbrush fern (Eng.); grasvaring (Afr.)
Family: Schizaeaceae

Is it a restio? Is it a sedge? No! It is Schizaea pectinata. When walking in the fynbos of the Western Cape of South Africa, one is likely to come across...

29 / 07 / 2019 | Karen Wall | Harold Porter NBG
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Prenia vanrensburgii

Prenia vanrensburgii
Common names: Cape spinach, sea pumpkin (Eng.); seepampoen, strandspinasie (Afr.)
Family: Aizoaceae

A fast-growing, short-lived perennial succulent, endemic to the sunny, windy, littoral seafront or shoreline zone in the coastal parts of the eastern part...

29 / 07 / 2019 | Ernst van Jaarsveld | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Papaver aculeatum

Papaver aculeatum
Common names: bristle poppy, orange poppy (Eng.); doringpapawer, koringpapawer, wildepapawer (Afr.); sehlohlo (South Sotho)
Family: Papaveraceae

Papaver aculeatum is an attractive, orange- or red-flowered annual, or short-lived perennial, and the only poppy endemic to the southern hemisphere. It...

22 / 07 / 2019 | Graham Duncan | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Agathosma orbicularis

Agathosma orbicularis
Common names: Caledon buchu (Eng.); Caledon-boegoe (Afr.)
Family: Rutaceae

A vigorous, low-growing, lilac-flowering buchu, teetering on the brink of extinction....

22 / 07 / 2019 | Roger Oliver | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Mesembryanthemum crystallinum

Mesembryanthemum crystallinum
Common names: common ice plant, crystalline ice plant, rosa de jericho (Eng.); brakslaai, brakvy, noeta, olifantslaai, slaai, slaaibos, slaaibossie, soutslaai, vols
Family: Aizoaceae

This is an extremely stress-tolerant, prostrate, succulent annual with distinctive, glistening bladder cells on its leaves and stems, that look like ice...

15 / 07 / 2019 | Sinikeziwe Ncaphayi | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Encephalartos msinganus

Encephalartos msinganus
Common names: Msinga cycad (Eng.); msinga-broodboom (Afr.)
Family: Zamiaceae

A medium-sized, glossy green cycad, that occurs in the Msinga area in KwaZulu-Natal; it grows in short grassland on steep north-facing slopes, often suckering...

15 / 07 / 2019 | Lungisani Zondi | Walter Sisulu NBG
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Justicia aconitiflora

Justicia aconitiflora, flowers. (Alice Notten)
Common names: yellow pistolbush, lemon pistolbush (Eng.); geelpistoolbos, lemoenpistoolbos (Afr.)
Family: Acanthaceae

A beautiful shrub with fresh green foliage and showy pale yellow flowers in autumn, suitable for sun, semi-shade or shade. This species was for many years...

09 / 07 / 2019 | Nomama Mei | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Justicia adhatodoides

Justicia adhatodoides
Common names: pistol bush (Eng.); pistoolbos (Afr.); ihlwalane, isepheka, ihlwehlwe (Xhosa); uthabe, lothabe (Zulu)
Family: Acanthaceae

A fast-growing, late summer-flowering shrub for semi-shade or sun, with showy and fragrant white flowers that show up well against its glossy dark green...

09 / 07 / 2019 | Alice Notten | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Phygelius capensis

Phygelius capensis, flowers. (Photo Geoff Nichols)
Common names: southern river bell, wild fuchsia, Cape fuchsia (Eng.); rivierklokkie, foksia (Afr.); metsi-matsho (Sesotho)
Family: Scrophulariaceae

Phygelius capensis is a hardy, evergreen semi-shrub that bears wonderful bright red or orange, drooping, tubular flowers throughout summer. ...

08 / 07 / 2019 | Stemmer Ngalo | Free State NBG
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Ziziphus rivularis

Ziziphus rivularis (Photo Geoff NIchols)
Common names: false buffalo-thorn, river buffalo thorn, river jujube (Eng.); rivierblinkblaar, vals-wag-’n-bietjie (Afr.); mukhalu-vhufa, mulalantsa (Tshivenda)
Family: Rhamnaceae

Ziziphus rivularis is drought-resistant and has attractive, glossy, olive-green foliage with variable venation, as well as an attractive grey stem. This...

08 / 07 / 2019 | Sisanda Alakhe Velembo-Mhlauli | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Lannea edulis var. edulis

Lannea edulis var. edulis
Common names: grape lannea, wild grape (Eng.); wildedruif (Afr.); umgabunkhomo (isiZulu); mutsambatsi (siSwati); phepo (Setswana).
Family: Anacardiaceae

A dwarf shrub, with stubby stems arising from a woody rootstock; it bears large leaves compared to the size of the plant. The fruits are edible, with a...

01 / 07 / 2019 | Fergy Nkadimeng | Millennium Seed Bank Partnership
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Willdenowia incurvata

Willdenowia incurvata
Common names: sonkwas restio (Eng.); sonkwasriet (Afr.)
Family: Restionaceae

This is a tough, densely tufted plant that can be used as an accent plant and is ideal for fynbos gardens. The plants produce attractive brown bracts during...

01 / 07 / 2019 | Mashudu Nndanduleni | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Sporobolus africanus

Sporobolus africanus
Common names: rat’s tail dropseed, rat’s tail grass, rush grass, tough dropseed (Eng.); fynsaadgras, saadgras, taaipol, vleigras, rotstert, taaipolfynsaadgras (
Family: Poaceae

Sporobolus africanus is a tough, palatable, perennial grass with a low leaf production. It is a good indicator of disturbed veld....

24 / 06 / 2019 | Aluoneswi Caroline Mashau | National Herbarium Pretoria
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Plectranthus laxiflorus

Plectranthus laxiflorus
Common names: citronella spurflower (Eng.); sitrinella spoorsalie (Afr.); ubebebe (isiXhosa)
Family: Lamiaceae

An erect, easy-to-grow, aromatic, herbaceous shrub with decorative, light green foliage, suitable for planting in humid, moist and slightly shaded areas...

24 / 06 / 2019 | Mpendulo Gabayi | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Xanthocercis zambesiaca

Xanthocercis zambesiaca
Common names: nyala tree (Eng.); njalaboom, hoenderspoor (Afr.); moladi (Setswana); umhlwati (siSwati); mutshato (Tshivenda)
Family: Fabaceae

This is a large impressive, evergreen tree with an exceptional dense, rounded to wide-spreading crown of glossy, drooping, dark green leaves and sprays...

17 / 06 / 2019 | Winfred Velephi Ngwenya | Lowveld NBG
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Lachenalia reflexa

Lachenalia reflexa
Common names: yellow soldier
Family: Hyacinthaceae

A bulbous plant with bright yellow, urn-shaped flowers, and ascending, strap-shaped leaves; this winter-flowering plant is in danger of extinction in its...

17 / 06 / 2019 | Mpho Mathalauga | KwaZulu-Natal NBG
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Disa nivea

Disa nivea
Common names: snow disa
Family: Orchidaceae

Its common name may suggest the pure white colour of the flowers, the red spots, however, carries the mystery for its survival, where it occurs in the...

10 / 06 / 2019 | Vathiswa Zikishe | CREW
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Asparagus rubicundus

Asparagus rubicundus
Common names: red-stemmed asparagus, wild asparagus (Eng.); wag-‘n-bietjie, swart haakdoring (Afr.)
Family: Asparagaceae

An erect thorny shrub with glossy, reddish brown, thorny stems, soft feathery foliage and starry white flowers, and one of the fastest growing species...

10 / 06 / 2019 | Loretta Floors | Harold Porter NBG
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Ficus sycomorus subsp sycomorus 

Ficus sycomorus subsp. sycomorus 
Common names: sycamore fig, common cluster fig, mulberry fig (Eng.); trosvy, geelrriviervy, geelstamvy, gewone trosvy, wildevyeboom, sycomorusvy (Afr.); umkhiwa (Nd
Family: Moraceae

A medium-sized tree with yellowish red edible figs....

03 / 06 / 2019 | Cathbert Makgakga | National Herbarium Pretoria
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