Plants of the Week

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E.g., 23/09/2019
E.g., 23/09/2019

Merwilla plumbea

Merwilla plumbea
Common names: wild squill, blue squill, blue hyacinth, blouberglelie, blouslangkop, inguduza
Family: Hyacinthaceae

Merwilla plumbea is a graceful perennial bulb, and with its tall plumes of blue flowers, the showiest of the South African scillas. Merwilla plumbea is...

22 / 10 / 2001 | Alice Notten | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Merciera

Family: Campanulaceae

Merciera, with its white or purple tubular flowers, is a little-known member of the Campanulaceae, endemic to the Cape Floristic Region....

12 / 12 / 2005 | C Cupido | Compton Herbarium
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Mentha longifolia

Mentha longifolia subsp.capensis
Common names: wild mint (Eng.); kruisement, balderjan (Afr.); Koena-ya-thaba (Southern Sotho?); inixina, inzinziniba (Xhosa); ufuthana lomhlanga (Zulu)
Family: Lamiaceae

With its strong mint smell and taste, this herb has found its way into homes for centuries where it has been used in the kitchen and as a medicine. There...

26 / 01 / 2004 | Liesl Van der Walt | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Melinis repens

Melinis repens
Common names: Natal red top (Eng.); bergrooigras (Afr.)
Family: Poaceae

An attractive, yet hardy tufted grass, which requires little maintenance for a showy display in spring and summer....

25 / 06 / 2018 | Phakamani Xaba | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Melinis nerviglumis

Melinis nerviglumis
Common names: bristle-leaved red-top grass (Eng.); ferweelgras (Afr.)
Family: Poaceae

This pretty, tufted grass with its bluish leaves and shining pink inflorescences is an attractive addition to any border or wild garden. It is particularly...

24 / 02 / 2003 | Isabel Johnson | KwaZulu-Natal NBG
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Melica decumbens

Melica decumbens
Common names: staggers grass (Eng.); dronkgras (Afr.)
Family: Poaceae

Melica decumbens is a short grass producing many flowering stems with spikelets (flowers) that usually have dark purple glumes (bracts) that contrast beautifully...

19 / 04 / 2004 | L Fish | National Herbarium Pretoria
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Melianthus villosus

Melianthus villosus
Common names: maroon honey flower, Drakensberg honey flower (Eng.); Drakensbergse kruidjie-roer-my-nie (Afr.); ibhonya (Zulu)
Family: Melianthaceae

A multi-stemmed, soft, evergreen shrub, with showy, serrated leaves that provide a beautiful tropical effect in the garden....

05 / 06 / 2017 | Samuel Lekhetho | Free State NBG
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Melianthus major

Melianthus major
Common names: honey flower, melianthus, giant honey flower, touch-me-not (Eng.); kruidjie-roer-my-nie, heuningblom, klappers, krikkiebos (Afr.); ubuhlungubemamba, u
Family: Melianthaceae

With its decorative blue-green leaves and tall, dark rusty-red flower heads, this is a striking plant. On a sunny day the birds feast on the nectar dripping...

19 / 06 / 2017 | Alice Notten | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Melianthus comosus

Melianthus comosus
Common names: honey flower (Eng); kruidjie-roer-my -nie (Afr.)
Family: Melianthaceae

Melianthus comosus is an ideal plant for a low-maintenance, waterwise garden, but it does need to be pruned to keep it neat and to encourage new growth....

20 / 09 / 2004 | Shireen Harris | Free State NBG
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Maytenus procumbens

Maytenus procumbens, fruits. (Ernst van Jaarsveld)
Common names: dune koko tree (Eng.); duinekokoboom (Afr.); umphono-phono (isiXhosa) umphophonono; (isiZulu)
Family: Celastraceae

As the species name suggests, Maytenus procumbens is a tidy and procumbent coastal shrub or small tree. It is very pleasing to the eye especially with...

10 / 09 / 2018 | Sisanda Alakhe Velembo-Mhlauli | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Maytenus oleoides

Maytenus oleoides in fruit
Common names: mountain maytenus ( Eng. ); klipkershout (Afr.)
Family: Celastraceae

Maytenus oleioides is a handsome tree with a deep green, dense, rounded crown and stout trunk, a good choice for today's smaller gardens as it...

20 / 11 / 2006 | Mandy Barnes | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Maytenus acuminata var. acuminata 'Silky Showers'

Foliage
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
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Maurocenia frangula

Tree in flower
Common names: bittersweet-cherry, Hottentot's cherry, vulture berry, nastergalkersie, hottentotskersie, aasvoelbessie (Afr.)
Family: Celastraceae

Maurocenia frangula provides interest throughout the year; with its scarlet, new growth in winter, bright cerise edible berries in autumn, and its decorative,...

17 / 11 / 2014 | Melissa Van der Burg | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Marsilea schelpeana

Marsilea schelpeana
Common names: water clover
Family: Marsileaceae

Marsilea schelpeana is an aquatic plant with a creeping stem, bearing stalked, floating leaves. It is found in areas that become marshy after rain, but...

25 / 04 / 2016 | Vathiswa Zikishe | CREW
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Markhamia zanzibarica

Flowers
Common names: bell bean tree ( Eng. ); klokkiesboontjieboom (Afr.); mula-kholoma ( Venda )
Family: Bignoniaceae

Markhamia zanzibarica, a small, tropical tree with striking flowers and decorative fruits, is Tree of the Year for 2008, together with Diospyros...

28 / 01 / 2008 | Giles Mbambezeli | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Marchantia berteroana

M. berteroana male plant with antheridia and gemmae cups Photo S. Perold
Common names: umbrella liverwort (Eng.)
Family: Marchantiaceae

Marchantia berteroana is of one the most attractive and relatively large liverworts in South Africa. It thrives in constantly damp, shaded areas....

23 / 04 / 2012 | Nonkululo Phephu | National Herbarium Pretoria
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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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Marasmodes

Marasmodes undulata
Common names: autumn aster
Family: Asteraceae

The relatively unknown genus Marasmodes is confined to the lowlands of the south-western Western Cape and occurs in the critically endangered Renosterveld...

07 / 06 / 2010 | C Cowell | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Manochlamys albicans

Manochlamys albicans
Common names: spanspek soap bush (Eng.); spanspekbos, bobbejaanseep, seepbos, spekbos, hondebossie (Afr.)
Family: Amaranthaceae

Manochlamys albicans is a fast-growing shrub that has a striking appearance and great potential to rehabilitate saline soils....

02 / 05 / 2016 | Vuyelwa Ndevu | Karoo Desert NBG
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Malephora

Malephora framesii near Strandfontein
Common names: mesemb ( Eng. ); vygie (Afr.)
Family: Aizoaceae

Species of the mesemb genus Malephora enliven some of the most arid gardens of southern Africa with their brightly coloured flowers and vigorous, creeping...

28 / 02 / 2005 | Pascale Chesselet | Compton Herbarium
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