Plants of the Week

Browse through all previous entries of Plants Of The Week

  • Sort by date added
  • Sort Alphabetically
Go to Plants of the Week Advanced Search
E.g., 03/06/2023
E.g., 03/06/2023

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
Read More

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
Read More

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
Read More


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
Read More

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
Read More

Coleus kirkii

Coleus kirkii
Common names: prickly sage, blue soldier sage (Eng.); stekelsalie (Afr.); umvuthuza, uhlalawane (Zulu)
Family: Lamiaceae

A beautiful perennial with two-tone, spiky, pale blue and mauve flowerheads in late summer to autumn; a good choice for the mixed border if you live in...

29 / 03 / 2004 | Alice Notten | Kirstenbosch NBG
Read More

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
Read More


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
Read More

Helichrysum 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
Read More

Bulbine frutescens

Bulbine frutescens. Photo: G Nichols
Common names: stalked bulbine, 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
Read More

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
Read More

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
Read More

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
Read More


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 | Koos Roux | Compton Herbarium
Read More

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
Read More

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
Read More

Vangueria infausta

Green fruits of Vangueria infausta: Photo: T Basson
Common names: wild medlar (Eng.); wilde mispel (Afr.); mpfilwa (Tsonga & Shangaan); mmilo (Northern Sotho); muzwilu, mavelo (Venda); umviyo, umtulwa (Zulu); umv
Family: Rubiaceae

This species is one of South Africa's more popular veld fruits, and can be enjoyed while walking. This lovely little tree is considered to possess...

01 / 03 / 2004 | K Behr | Pretoria NBG
Read More

Solanum aculeastrum

Solanum acueleastrum
Common names: goat bitter-apple, bitter-apple, goat apple, poison apple (Eng.); bok-bitterappel, bitterappel, bokappel, gifappel (Afr.); thola (Tswana); murulwa (Ve
Family: Solanaceae


01 / 03 / 2004 | M Welman | National Herbarium Pretoria
Read More

Maytenus acuminata var. acuminata 'Silky Showers'

Common names: silky bark (Eng.); sybas (Afr.)
Family: Celastraceae

Maytenus 'Silky Showers' is a superb garden plant originally found in the warm, partially shaded valleys of the Little Karoo. It grows to...

01 / 03 / 2004 | Anthony Hitchcock | Kirstenbosch NBG
Read More

Frithia humilis

Frithia humilis
Common names: window plants, fairy elephant's feet (Eng.);bobbejaanvingers, glasies, toontjies (Afr.) Status: Endangered
Family: Aizoaceae

This miniature leaf succulent is attractive even when not flowering as the windowed leaves with crenulate markings are showy and unique....

23 / 02 / 2004 | P Burgoyne | Pretoria NBG
Read More