Plants of the Week

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E.g., 12/08/2022

Cotyledon petiolaris

The inflorescence of Cotyledon petiolaris in cultivation.
Common names: Kei-cotyledon (Eng.); Keiplakkie (Afr.)
Family: Crassulaceae

Cotyledon petiolaris is a shrubby leaf succulent with orange-red bell-shaped flowers during winter, attracting sunbirds. Its short petioles distinguish...

01 / 02 / 2016 | Ernst van Jaarsveld | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Rabiea albinota

Rabiea albinota, in flower.
Common names: clock plant (Eng.); s'keng-kengvygie (Afr.); s`keng-keng (Griqua)
Family: Aizoaceae

When in a powdered state, the s'keng-keng is amongst numerous psychotropic plants that are able to alter the mind and mood of an individual....

25 / 01 / 2016 | Ndamase Nozuko | National Herbarium Pretoria
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Protea aristata

Protea aristata, flowerhead.
Common names: Ladismith sugarbush (Eng.); klein-den-suikerbos (Afr.)
Family: Proteaceae

Protea aristata would surely be among the five best-known South African proteas, even though it had a rather late documented discovery in the 1920s. It...

25 / 01 / 2016 | Megan Blatchford | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Xyris capensis

Xyris capensis (Graham Grieve)
Common names: Cape yellow-eyed grass, common xyris (Eng.); hloho-tsa-makaka, kaka-hlothona (Sesotho); umuzi (SiSwati); udoyi oluncane (isiZulu)
Family: Xyridaceae

Xyris capensis is a perennial grass-like plant growing from a more or less creeping rhizome. Its yellow flowers are clustered in a roundish spike which...

18 / 01 / 2016 | Aluwani Tshiila | KwaZulu-Natal Herbarium
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Salpinctium natalense

Salpinctium natalense (Geoff Nichols)
Common names: none
Family: Acanthaceae

Salpinctium natalense is a lovely and rare herbaceous perennial that is known from only one site in  KwaZulu-Natal; it is well suited to cool, shady...

18 / 01 / 2016 | Sisanda Alakhe Velembo-Mhlauli | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Oxyanthus pyriformis subsp. pyriformis

Oxyanthus pyriformis flowers and foliage (Geoff Nichols)
Common names: hatpins loquat, Natal loquat (Eng.); hoedespeldlukwart, Natallukwart (Afr.); isibinda esingakhali-amasi (isiZulu); umgungununu (siSwati)
Family: Rubiaceae

Medley Wood described this loquat-like shrub as ‘an exceedingly handsome shrub of good habit, growing generally under large trees in those parts...

11 / 01 / 2016 | Alec Naidoo | Pretoria NBG
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Encephalartos latifrons

Encephalartos latifrons
Common names: Albany cycad (Eng.), Albany-broodboom (Afr.)
Family: Zamiaceae

Encephalartos latifrons is extremely rare and virtually extinct in its natural habitat. It is very attractive with the broadest leaves of all the cycad...

11 / 01 / 2016 | John Winter | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Sagittanthera mzimvubuensis

Ruby bulb scales of Sagittanthera mzimvubuensis in cultivation.
Common names: Mzimvubu-ruby (Eng.); kransrobyn (Afr.)
Family: Hyacinthaceae

Sagittanthera mzimvubuensis is a geophyte with decorative club-shaped, ruby-green bulb scales and pendent, terete leaves, growing on cliffs along the Mzimvubu...

04 / 01 / 2016 | Ernst van Jaarsveld | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Fabronia pilifera

Fabronia pilifera growing on the bark of a tree in the Pretoria National Botanical Garden.
Common names: hairy fabronia
Family: Fabroniaceae

This delicate epiphytic moss is frequently encountered in woodlands or savanna areas of South Africa....

04 / 01 / 2016 | Jacques van Rooy | National Herbarium Pretoria
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Vaccinium exul

Vaccinium exul fruiting branch (M.Lötter)
Common names: African blueberry, African cranberry (Eng.); Afrika-bloubessie, bosbessiebos (Afr.)
Family: Ericaceae

In southern Africa the heath family (Ericaceae) is represented by only two indigenous genera: Erica which is extremely speciose, containing ± 770...

28 / 12 / 2015 | Stoffel Petrus Pieter Bester | National Herbarium Pretoria
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Erica peziza

Erica peziza (Andrewm iSpot)
Common names: woollysnow heath, velvet bell heath, white heath (Eng.); kapokkie (Afr.)
Family: Ericaceae

A beautiful fynbos shrub that turns snowy white when it flowers in spring....

28 / 12 / 2015 | Nomama Mei | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Ficus polita subsp. polita

Ficus polita
Common names: heart-leaved fig, wild rubber fig, wild rubber tree (Eng.); hartblaarvy, wilderubbervy, rubberplant (Afr.); umkhiwane (siSwati.); umkhiwane, umphumel
Family: Moraceae

Next time you attend one of Kirstenbosch’s summer sunset concerts, see if you can spot the Afrotropical Ficus polita subsp. polita, growing on the...

21 / 12 / 2015 | Hannelie Snyman | Compton Herbarium
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Searsia lucida

Searsia lucida (Brian KD)
Common names: glossy crowberry, glossy currant, glossy wild currant (Eng.); blinktaaibos, slaptaaibos (Afr.); intlokolotshane-ebomvu, umchane, amapozi (isiXhosa); i
Family: Anacardiaceae

A versatile shrub or small tree, with attractive shiny leaves and creamy white flowers, which are followed by green fruits that ripen to red-brown and...

21 / 12 / 2015 | Cherise Viljoen | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Crassula sarcocaulis

Crassula sarcocaulis (Nick Helme)
Common names: bonsai crassula (Eng.); serelilenyane (S.Sotho); umadinsane (isiZulu)
Family: Crassulaceae

Crassula sarcocaulis is one of the few plants that has a tree-like form, in miniature. It’s also a tough, water-wise, drought- and cold-tolerant...

14 / 12 / 2015 | Samuel Lekhetho | Free State NBG
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Watsonia tabularis

Watsonia tabularis, pink
Common names: Table Mountain watsonia (Eng.); suurkanol, kanolpypie (Afr.)
Family: Iridaceae

Watsonia tabularis has showy summer flowers, attracts Sunbirds and Sugarbirds and is well suited to fynbos gardens....

14 / 12 / 2015 | Alice Notten | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Serruria decipiens

Serruria decipiens
Common names: sandveld spiderhead
Family: Proteaceae

The Sandveld spiderhead is a small rounded fynbos shrub with clusters of sweetly scented, creamy white flowers in spring; it is well suited to fynbos gardens...

07 / 12 / 2015 | Zitobile Sikova | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Ursinia chrysanthemoides

Ursinia chrysanthemoides
Common names: parachute daisy, coral ursinia (Eng.); pokkiesbos, bergmagriet (Afr.)
Family: Asteraceae

A showy upright or mat-forming spring flowering perennial with daisy flowers in various colours....

07 / 12 / 2015 | Anthony R. Magee | Compton Herbarium
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Gymnosporia buxifolia

Gymnosporia buxifolia
Common names: spikethorn, common spikethorn, stinking spike-thorn (Eng.); gewone pendoring, pendoring, stinkdoring, lemoendoring (Afr.); ingqwangane, ubangalala, us
Family: Celastraceae

Gymnosporia buxifolia is a very showy plant when in flower and can grow into an interesting and shapely small tree over time. It can be pruned to form...

30 / 11 / 2015 | Sameer Khan | KwaZulu-Natal NBG
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Sterculia alexandri

Sterculia alexandri
Common names: Cape star-chestnut (Eng.); Kaapsesterkastaiing (Afr.)
Family: Malvaceae

Sterculia alexandri is a medium-sized, thickset tree with compound leaves and yellow flowers. It is endemic to the Eastern Cape, west of Port Elizabeth,...

30 / 11 / 2015 | Ernst van Jaarsveld | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Triumfetta annua

Triumfetta annua. Photo: Geoff Nichols
Common names: bur weed, lesser cockle bur, annual triumfetta (Eng.); klitsbossie (Afr.); umhlabangubo (isiXhosa)
Family: Malvaceae


23 / 11 / 2015 | Nonkululo Phephu | National Herbarium Pretoria
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