Plants of the Week

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E.g., 23/10/2019
E.g., 23/10/2019

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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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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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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Merxmuellera macowanii

Merxmuellera macowanii
Common names: molalashlolo, moseha (South Sotho)
Family: Poaceae

M. macowanii is a wiry grass, forming large, lax tussocks and flowering in summer. Grasses are the most important plant family in the world,...

25 / 04 / 2005 | Thabiso Mpongo | National Herbarium Pretoria
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Mesembryanthemaceae

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
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Mesembryanthemum crystallinum

Mesembryanthemum crystallinum
Common names: common ice plant, crystalline ice plant, rosa de jericho (Eng.); brakslaai, brakvy, noeta, olifantslaai, slaai, slaaibos, slaaibossie, soutslaai, vols
Family: Aizoaceae

This is an extremely stress-tolerant, prostrate, succulent annual with distinctive, glistening bladder cells on its leaves and stems, that look like ice...

15 / 07 / 2019 | Sinikeziwe Ncaphayi | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Mesembryanthemum varians

Plant in flower
Common names: salt mesemb, skeleton plant (English); soutvygie (Afrikaans)
Family: Aizoaceae

Mesembryanthemum varians was previously known as Sceletium varians. It is known to have few medicinal properties —  unlike Mesembryathemum...

14 / 07 / 2014 | Ricardo Riddles | Karoo Desert NBG
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Metalasia aurea

Metalasia aurea flowers. Photo Adriaan Grobler
Common names: golden metalasia, yellow metalasia (Eng.); geelsteekbossie, geelblombos (Afr.)
Family: Asteraceae

Metalasia aurea has the most unusual flower colour for Metalasia, and may be seen when travelling along the N2 freeway from Humansdorp to Port Elizabeth....

23 / 03 / 2015 | Anthony Hitchcock | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Metalasia muricata

Metalasia muricata
Common names: coast metalasia, white bristle bush (Eng.); blombos, witsteekbossie, steekbos (Afr.)
Family: Asteraceae

This is a widespread, tough shrub with honey-scented flowers whose garden potential is often overlooked....

13 / 12 / 2004 | Phakamani Xaba | Harold Porter NBG
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Metarungia galpinii

Flower spike and leaves © Tony Dold
Common names: southern orange-lips
Family: Acanthaceae

Metarungia galpinii is a very rare and attractive garden plant that occurs mainly in the East London area in the Eastern Cape....

17 / 03 / 2014 | Vathiswa Zikishe | CREW
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Metarungia longistrobus

In flower
Common names: sunbird bush (Eng.); sonbekkiebos (Afr.)
Family: Acanthaceae

Metarungia longistrobus is an unusual, attractive evergreen shrub for the shade garden, with long orange-brown flowers in candle-shaped inflorescences...

25 / 02 / 2013 | Alice Notten | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Metrosideros angustifolia

Metrosideros angustifolia flowers
Common names: Cape-gum, lance-leaved ironheart (Eng.); smalblad, smalblaar (Afr.)
Family: Myrtaceae

At first glance this plant creates an alert reaction in the keen Fynbos enthusiast, as it bears a resemblance to  some South African weeds. However,...

28 / 09 / 2015 | Megan Blatchford | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Microsorum

Microsorum scolopendria
Common names: wart ferns
Family: Polypodiaceae

Three species of wart fern occur in South Africa and they all have potential as garden plants for shady, warm areas....

24 / 01 / 2005 | Koos Roux | Compton Herbarium
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Millettia grandis

Millettia grandis
Common names: umzimbeet (Eng.); umsambeet (Afr.); umSimbithwa (Zulu) umKunye (Xhosa)
Family: Fabaceae

This is an attractive shade tree which can also be grown as a specimen tree to display its grey bark, coppery red young leaves and flower buds, lilac to...

30 / 08 / 2004 | J K Baloyi | Pretoria NBG
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Millettia stuhlmanni

Millettia stuhlmannii trees
Common names: panga panga, partridge wood (Eng.); panga-panga, patryshout (Afr.); muangaila (Venda); mpangapanga (Swahili)
Family: Fabaceae

Millettia stuhlmannii is a well known timber tree internationally exported for woodwork. Only one subpopulation of this species exists in South Africa...

13 / 06 / 2011 | Thompson T Mutshinyalo | Walter Sisulu NBG
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Mimetes argenteus

Mimetes argenteus
Common names: silver pagoda, silver-leaved bottle brush,(Eng.); vaal-stompie, luisbos (Afr.)
Family: Proteaceae

‘I once saw two men, veritable rough diamonds, who probably had never noticed a flower before, stop in their tracks before a vase full of these flowers....

18 / 05 / 2015 | Megan Blatchford | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Mimetes capitulatus

Mimetes capitulatus (Robbie Thomas)
Common names: conical pagoda (Eng.); skraalstompie (Afr.)
Family: Proteaceae

This striking plant is a lesser-known gem, whose brightly coloured, red and orange flowerheads, appear in spring time, attracting the sunbirds. Populations...

12 / 09 / 2016 | Karen Wall | Harold Porter NBG
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Mimetes chrysanthus

Mimetes chrysanthus: Photo: Cape Nature Conservation
Common names: golden pagoda, golden mimetes, gouestompie
Family: Proteaceae

The genus Mimetes is one of the most beautiful of the protea family and indeed in the whole of the Cape Floral Kingdom. ...

29 / 04 / 2002 | Anthony Hitchcock | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Mimetes cucullatus

Mimetes cucullatus
Common names: common mimetes, common pagoda, red mimetes, red pagoda ( Eng. ); rooistompie, stompie (Afr.)
Family: Proteaceae

Mimetes cucullatus is eye-catching, unusual and colourful all year round, and it is among the easiest members of the protea family to grow....

20 / 02 / 2005 | Alice Notten | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Mimetes fimbriifolius

Mimetes fimbriifolius
Common names: tree pagoda, cowl pagoda, fringed pagoda (Eng.); kreupelboom, maanhaarstompie (Afr.)
Family: Proteaceae

Mimetes fimbriifolius is a beautiful rounded tree that was once common on Table Mountain, but its numbers have been greatly depleted by harvesting...

16 / 08 / 2010 | Anthony Hitchcock | Kirstenbosch NBG
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