Plants of the Week

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E.g., 17/07/2024
E.g., 17/07/2024

Secale africanum

Secale africanum, African Rye
Common names: African rye, wild rye (Eng.); wilderog, Afrika-rog (Afr.)
Family: Poaceae

The African rye is a tufted, weakly perennial grass to about 1 m high, growing in seasonally moist meadows and river banks on the Roggeveld Plateau. It...

03 / 07 / 2023 | Ernst van Jaarsveld | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Tylecodon wallichii subsp. wallichii

Tylecodon wallichii ssp. wallichii in flower. Photo Alexey Yakovlev
Common names: pegleg butterbush, quiver bush (Eng.); kokerbos, kandelaarbos, krimpsiektebos, krimpsiekkandelaar, nenta, bandjiesbos, tnjoemsganna, koni-ganna, karke
Family: Crassulaceae

A succulent shrub with thick, knobby branches and many nodding, pale greenish-yellow flowers on long stems in early summer. It is widely spread in dry,...

03 / 07 / 2023 | Zamasodi Mkhungo | Pretoria NBG
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Gethyllis afra

Gethyllis afra as a container subject
Common names: kukumakranka, many-leaved Cape crocus (Eng.); bramakranka, koekoemakranka (Afr.).
Family: Amaryllidaceae

Noted for its curious tuft of spirally twisted leaves, sweet-scented blooms and aromatic berries, this Western Cape bulb has for centuries been cherished...

10 / 07 / 2023 | Graham Duncan | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Euphorbia pseudoglobosa

Euphorbia pseudoglobosa
Common names: false milkballs, false globosa, false globose spurge, false globose euphorbia (Eng.);
Family: Euphorbiaceae

This dwarf succulent has a nearly geophytic habit, with the stems and branches almost entirely subterranean. It flowers in autumn, when it is adorned  with...

10 / 07 / 2023 | Nokukhanya Nozipho Mhlongo | TSP
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Aulax pallasia

Aulax pallasia male plant
Common names: needle-leaf featherbush (Eng.); dunbeentjieebos, naaldbaarkanariebos, kersbos (Afr.).
Family: Proteaceae

A needle-leaved, long-lived, evergreen fynbos shrub with male and female flowers on separate plants that look quite different from each other. The male...

17 / 07 / 2023 | Yonela Dyakobe | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Chloris gayana

Chloris gayana spikelet
Common names: Hunyani grass, Rhodes grass, Rhodesian blue grass (Eng.); bruinvingergras, rhodes-gras, rooiklossiegras (Afr.); nyankomo, umyaka (isiZulu)
Family: Poaceae

Rhodes grass is a very leafy grass which spreads by means of stolons. It is a fairly distinctive grass, not easily confused with other grasses....

17 / 07 / 2023 | Aluoneswi Caroline Mashau | National Herbarium Pretoria
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Erica calcareophila

Erica calcareophila
Common names: limestone heath (Eng.)
Family: Ericaceae

With the limestone hills of Groot Hagelkraal being its only home, Erica calcareophila occurs on cliffs and rock ledges, showcasing its pure white, urn-shaped...

24 / 07 / 2023 | Yandisa Ndzeku | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Crassula expansa

Crassula expansa subsp. expansa
Common names: Fragile crassula (Eng.)
Family: Crassulaceae

Crassula expansa is a dwarf, soft, decumbent, scrambling succulent plant with small green, red or pinkish-green leaves and white, cup-shaped flowers. Best...

24 / 07 / 2023 | Andrew Hankey | Walter Sisulu NBG
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Maclura africana

Maclura africana fruits
Common names: African Osage-orange, thorny mulberry (Eng.); Afrikasoetlemoen (Afr.); mupulumbu (Tshivenda); pumbula (Tsonga);
Family: Moraceae

A dioecious, evergreen, spiny, climbing shrub whose stems provide a yellow dye....

31 / 07 / 2023 | Mpho Mathalauga | Pretoria NBG
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Peperomia tetraphylla

Peperomia tetraphylla
Common names: four-leaved peperomia, acorn peperomia (Eng.)
Family: Piperaceae

A low-growing herb with creeping stems forming mats, with small, thick, rounded leaves, typically dark green with lighter stripes, and are excellent at...

31 / 07 / 2023 | Luckyboy Nduli | KwaZulu-Natal NBG
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Merwilla dracomontana

Merwilla dracomontana
Common names: miniature blue squill, moutain squill, dragon mountain squill, alpine squill
Family: Hyacinthaceae

The miniature blue squill is a bristly, dwarf bulbous plant from the hyacinth family in the genus Merwilla, native to the Drakensberg foothills of KwaZulu-Natal...

07 / 08 / 2023 | Dineo Dibakwane | Walter Sisulu NBG
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Dioscorea sylvatica

Dioscorea sylvatica caudex
Common names: forest elephant’s foot, forest tortoise plant, elephant’s foot yam, wild yam (Eng.); olifantsvoet, skilpadknol (Afr.); nakaa, usikolipati (isiXhos
Family: Dioscoreaceae

Dioscorea sylvatica, commonly known by the name of wild yam, is a slow-growing, caudiciform plant that has an interesting structure which gives it great...

07 / 08 / 2023 | Lufuno Nenungwi | Free State NBG
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Portulacaria pygmaea

Portulacaria pygmaea
Common names: pygmy porkbush, dwarf porkbush (Eng.); dwergspekboom (Afr.)
Family: Didiereaceae

The pygmy porkbush is a shrublet with a tuberous, succulent base (caudex), small, grey-green, succulent leaves and small, light purplish, inconspicuous...

14 / 08 / 2023 | Ernst van Jaarsveld | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Cyrtanthus breviflorus

Cyrtanthus breviflorus flowering after fire
Common names: yellow fire lily, wild crocus (Eng.); geelvuurlelie, wildekrokus (Afr.); umpimpilizi (SiSwati); injobo, uvelabahleke (isiZulu)
Family: Amaryllidaceae

Yellow fire lily is a small grassland bulb from the amaryllis family, with bright yellow flowers all year round. It grows naturally in moist or dry grasslands...

14 / 08 / 2023 | Itumeleng Machete | KwaZulu-Natal NBG
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Dimorphotheca fruticosa

Dimorphotheca fruticosa growing on the KwaZulu-Natal coast. Photo Geoff Nichols
Common names: trailing daisy (Eng.); rankmagriet, rankbietou (Afr.)
Family: Asteraceae

Growing along the South African coastline, intermingled with a variety of species, Dimorphotheca fruticosa can be found displaying a beautiful carpet of...

21 / 08 / 2023 | Karen Wall | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Senecio deltoideus

Senecio deltoideus has a distinct zigzag branching pattern
Common names: zigzag canary creeper (Eng.); sigsag-kanarieklimop (Afr.); undenze (isiXhosa)
Family: Asteraceae

Senecio deltoideus is a vigorous creeper producing spectacular displays of sweet-scented bright yellow flowers in early winter. Flowers produce copious...

21 / 08 / 2023 | Katlego Molele | National Herbarium Pretoria
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Tribolium uniolae

Tribolium uniolae fresh and dried inflorescence
Common names: hare grass (Eng.); haasgras, koringgras (Afr.)
Family: Poaceae

A small, tufted, perennial grass with attractive inflorescences that are used in flower arranging....

28 / 08 / 2023 | Laura Dineo Selepe | Karoo Desert NBG
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Carruanthus peersii

Carruanthus peersii in flower in cultivation
Common names: Toorwaterpoort mesemb (Eng.); Toorwatervygie (Afr.)
Family: Aizoaceae

Carruanthus peersii is only known from the cliffs of Toorwaterpoort. It is a small, cliff-hugging, branched shrublet becoming a hanger with age, with pale...

28 / 08 / 2023 | Ernst van Jaarsveld | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Ozoroa barbertonensis

Ozoroa barbertonensis in flower and with fruit
Common names: Barberton ozoroa
Family: Anacardiaceae

Ozoroa barbertonensis is different from the rest of the southern African species of Ozoroa, with its beautiful, much longer, narrow leaves with shiny upper...

04 / 09 / 2023 | Sefularo Ramaboea | National Zoological Gardens
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Roepera flexuosa

Roepera flexuosa
Common names: thin twinleaf (Eng.); spekbossie, spekbroodbossie, maerbossie, skilpadbos, vyfpondbos (Afr.)
Family: Zygophyllaceae

A bright-flowering and hardy small shrub for the fynbos, succulent or semi-succulent garden alike....

04 / 09 / 2023 | Roger Oliver | Kirstenbosch NBG
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