Plants of the Week

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E.g., 11/08/2022
E.g., 11/08/2022

Solanum africanum

Solanum africanum
Common names: dune nightshade, drunken berry, drunken rope (Eng.); dronkbessie, dronktou (Afr.)
Family: Solanaceae

A hardy creeper or shrub, with yellow-centered, purple, mauve or white flowers in midsummer to spring. It can be successfully utilized to cover a trellis...

16 / 09 / 2019 | Benjamin Festus | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Solanum giganteum

Berries of Solanum giganteum
Common names: healing-leaf tree, giant bitter-apple, red bitter-apple, red bitter-berry, thorny bug-tree (Eng.); geneesblaarboom, grootbitterappel, rooibitterbessie
Family: Solanaceae

This big shrub with its colourful, long-lasting berries and large leaves with silvery undersides, makes an unusual hedge or background plant....

19 / 01 / 2004 | M Welman | National Herbarium Pretoria
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Sorghum bicolor

Sorghum - head of grain
Common names: sorghum (Eng.); graansorghum (Afr); mabele (Pedi,Sotho,Ndebele); amabele(Z); amazimba (Xhosa)
Family: Poaceae

This crop plant has been cultivated in southern Africa for over 3 000 years....

31 / 01 / 2005 | E T Rampho | National Herbarium Pretoria
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Sparaxis elegans

Sparaxis elegans
Common names: Cape buttercup, sparaxis, pale harlequin flower (Eng.); spogfluweeltjie (Afr.)
Family: Iridaceae

Sparaxis elegans is, as its name suggests, one of the most elegant and aesthetically pleasing species the Greater Cape Floristic Region (GCFR) has to...

09 / 06 / 2014 | Brittany Arendse | CREW
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Sparaxis grandiflora subsp. grandiflora

Flower showing vertical anthers and style  to one side
Common names: Cape buttercup, sparaxis (Eng.); botterblom, ferweel, ferweeltjie, fluweeltjie, perskalkoentjie, perskalossie (Afr.)
Family: Iridaceae

Sparaxis grandiflora is indeed an attractive species and it is not surprising that it was introduced to Kew Gardens as early as 1758. However, as Du Plessis...

14 / 08 / 2006 | Caitlin Von Witt | CREW
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Sparaxis maculosa

In flower
Common names: Cape buttercup, sparaxis, wandflower (Eng.); botterblom, ferweel, ferweeltjie, fluweeltjie, geelkalkoentjie, geelkalossie (Afr.)
Family: Iridaceae

Known from only two localities, one recently discovered, this spectacularly large-flowered species is sadly frail in its magnificence, a shadow cast upon...

17 / 03 / 2008 | Caitlin Von Witt | CREW
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Sparrmannia africana

Common names: Cape stock rose, wild stock rose, African hemp, Cape hollyhock (Eng.); Kaapse stokroos, wildestokroos (Afr.)
Family: Malvaceae

Sparrmannia africana is an easy-to-grow large shrub for a shady area with lush, soft, heart-shaped leaves and pretty white flowers with a puff of...

08 / 04 / 2013 | Alice Notten | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Spatalla mollis

Flower spike
Common names: woolly spoon
Family: Proteaceae

Spatalla mollis boasts attractive flower headlets of white or mauve flowers from July to December. The small shrubs blend in well with the surrounding...

29 / 10 / 2012 | Benjamin Festus | Harold Porter NBG
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Sphagnum fimbriatum
Common names: peat moss, bog moss, turf moss
Family: Sphagnaceae

Sphagnum is a cosmopolitan as well as economically and ecologically important genus of mosses. ...

23 / 03 / 2009 | Nonkululo Phephu | National Herbarium Pretoria
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Sphenostylis angustifolia

Sphenostylis angustifolia showing handedness
Common names: wild sweet-pea (Eng.); wilde-ertjie (Afr.)
Family: Fabaceae

Sphenostylis angustifolia, or the wild sweet-pea, is a lovely green perennial shrublet with an extensive woody rootstock that decorates the Highveld with...

01 / 12 / 2008 | Alicia Grobler | National Herbarium Pretoria
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Spiloxene capensis.  Photo C. Paterson-Jones
Common names: golden star (Eng.); sterretjie (Afr.)
Family: Hypoxidaceae


24 / 09 / 2007 | D Snijman | Compton Herbarium
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Spirostachys africana

Fruits of the tamboti.Photo: G Nichols
Common names: tamboti (Eng.); tambotie (Afr.); umThombothi (Zulu); Modiba (Northern Sotho); umThombotsi (siSwati); Ndzopfori (Tsonga); Morukuru (Tswana); Muonze (ts
Family: Euphorbiaceae

Renowned for its beautiful wood, Spirostachys africana is a medium-sized, semi-deciduous tree with a round crown which occurs in low altitude bushveld,...

04 / 10 / 2004 | Avhurengwi Phillemon Ndou | Walter Sisulu 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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Staavia radiata

Staavia radiata
Common names: mini diamond eyes (Eng.); altydbos, altydbossie, glasogies (Afr.)
Family: Bruniaceae

A daisy-like fynbos shrub and a favourite in horticulture, with a good reputation, as it responds well to being trimmed and maintained, once propagated....

24 / 05 / 2021 | Siqamo Yeko | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Staberoha cernua

Staberoha cernua, female plant. (Photo Felix Riegel)
Common names: droopy tasselreed
Family: Restionaceae

An attractive, small, tufted restio, with brown-tan seed heads that is ideal for fynbos gardens. ...

03 / 08 / 2020 | Mashudu Nndanduleni | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Stachys aethiopica

Stachys aethiopica
Common names: African stachys, wild sage (Eng.); katbossie, katpisbossie (Afr.);bokhatha, bolae-ba-litaola, likhobe-tsa-balisana (SSo.)
Family: Lamiaceae

Stachys aethiopica is a vigorous and versatile spring-flowering groundcover, suitable for sun to shade areas....

12 / 02 / 2018 | Monique Mcquillan | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Stachys rugosa

Stachys rugosa (Adam Harrower)
Common names: grey tea stachys (Eng.); vaaltee, bojanntee, boesmantee, dassiekruie (Afr.); taraputsoe (SSo.)
Family: Lamiaceae

Spring flowering Stachys rugosa is a water-wise, ornamental, herbaceous perennial, with felted leaves that have a pungent aroma of pyrethrum or sheep dip,...

19 / 02 / 2018 | Monique Mcquillan | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Stachys tubulosa

Stachys tubulosa
Common names: mauve sage, mauve stachys
Family: Lamiaceae

Best grown in shady conditions, Stachys tubulosa is an attractive, evergreen and hardy plant that displays its tubular mauve flowers during the summer...

06 / 06 / 2016 | Sisanda Alakhe Velembo-Mhlauli | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Stadmania oppositifolia subsp. rhodesica

Stadmania oppositifolia supsp. rhodesica
Common names: silky-plum (Eng.); sypruim (Afr.)
Family: Sapindaceae

An awesome small tree with the most attractive flowers and fruits....

27 / 04 / 2020 | Sephatle Evans Molekoa | Lowveld NBG
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Stangeria eriopus

Growing in Kirstenbosch
Common names: Stanger`s cycad, Natal grass cycad (Eng.); bobbejaankos (Afr.); Imfingo (Zulu); Umfingwani (Xhosa)
Family: Zamiaceae

Stangeria eriopus, not often seen in cultivation, develops into a most attractive perennial with large fern-like leaves, which is why it is often mistaken...

13 / 11 / 2006 | John Winter | Kirstenbosch NBG
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