Plants of the Week

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E.g., 01/12/2023
E.g., 01/12/2023

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Hoodia flava

Hoodia flava flower (Martin Heigan).
Common names: yellow-flowered ghaap (Eng.); soetghaap (Afr.)
Family: Apocynaceae

Hoodia flava is an indigenous shrublet of southern Africa that is popularly used amongst the Khoi-San people as a hunger and appetite suppressant....

01 / 02 / 2016 | Lerato Hoveka | National Herbarium Pretoria
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Protea mundii

Protea mundii, flowerhead
Common names: forest sugarbush, white protea (Eng.); witsuikerbos, boswitsuikerbos (Afr.)
Family: Proteaceae

Although not as eye-catching as the glorious king protea (Protea cynaroides), Protea mundii has a pronounced and unusual charm to it that will add value...

08 / 02 / 2016 | Megan Blatchford | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Chasmanthe floribunda

Chasmanthe floribunda, flowers close-up.
Common names: cobra lily, chasmanthe (Eng.); kapelpypie (Afr.)
Family: Iridaceae


08 / 02 / 2016 | John Manning | Compton Herbarium
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Dicliptera cernua

Dicliptera cernua foliage, slightly hairy.
Common names: false buck-weed (Eng.)
Family: Acanthaceae

Dicliptera cernua is a vigorous and versatile winter-flowering groundcover, suitable for sunny or shady areas....

15 / 02 / 2016 | Monique Mcquillan | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Euclea pseudebenus

Euclea pseudebenus in habitat.
Common names: ebony guarri, ebony tree, black ebony, Cape ebony (Eng.); ebbehoutghwarrie, ebbehout, ebbeboom, swartebbenhout (Afr.); tsawib (Nama)
Family: Ebenaceae

Euclea pseudebenus or ebony guarri is a remarkably drought-hardy and tough indigenous tree with a most graceful appearance contrasting its harsh and unforgiving...

15 / 02 / 2016 | Werner Voigt | Karoo Desert NBG
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Leucadendron chamelaea

Leucadendron chamelaea, female.
Common names: Witsenberg conebush
Family: Proteaceae

Leucadendron chamelaea is one of the iconic species of the Upper Breede River Valley. This species once occurred commonly in this area, but through the...

22 / 02 / 2016 | Ismail Ebrahim | CREW
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Aloiampelos tenuior

Aloiampelos tenuior var. rubriflora, Kirstenbosch NBG
Common names: fence aloe, slender aloe (Eng.); heiningaalwyn (Afr.); ikhalana, ikalene, intelezi, impapane, umjinqa, umkrakrane (isiXhosa); inhlaba, inhlaba empofu
Family: Asphodelaceae

This rambling aloe forms large clumps topped with masses of delicate, yellow or red flowerheads in summer, and is a useful and undemanding landscape plant....

22 / 02 / 2016 | Alice Notten | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Berchemia discolor

Berchemia discolor (Brian KD2, iSpot)
Common names: birdplum, brown ivory (Eng.); bruinivoor, voëlpruim (Afr.); mogokgomo (Sepedi); nyiyi, nyiri (Xitsonga); motsintsila (Setswana); munie (Tshivenda), n
Family: Rhamnaceae

Birdplum or brown ivory is an attractive garden tree, with tough, yellow-brown wood that makes excellent furniture and sticks. Berchemia discolor is also...

29 / 02 / 2016 | M.S. Mothogoane | National Herbarium Pretoria
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Watsonia pillansii

Watsonia pillansii
Common names: Pillans’ watsonia, summer watsonia, bugle lily, Beatrice watsonia (Eng.); suurkanol, knolpypie, lakpypie (Afr.); igotyibe (isiXhosa)
Family: Iridaceae


29 / 02 / 2016 | Alice Notten | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Chironia laxa

Chronia laxa
Common names: Cape centaury, wild centaury (Eng.); bitterwortel (Afr.)
Family: Gentianaceae

This is a delightful plant, with shiny, bright pink, star-shaped flowers that are produced in abundance throughout the summer months, ideal for a sunny...

07 / 03 / 2016 | Nomama Mei | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Pelargonium setulosum

Pelargonium setulosum flower, with peculiar, basal nectar spots on the two upper petals (Jeff Shapiro, iSpot)
Common names: bristle-leaf pelargonium, bristle-leaf stork’s-bill (Eng.); malva (Afr.)
Family: Geraniaceae

A beautiful tufted pelargonium from the Western Cape Province, not well known in cultivation but it makes an attractive potplant and is well-suited to...

07 / 03 / 2016 | Marianne le Roux | National Herbarium Pretoria
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Cotyledon gloeophylla

Cotyledon gloeophylla
Common names: sticky-leaved cotyledon (Eng.); taaiblaarplakkie (Afr.)
Family: Crassulaceae

Cotyledon gloeophylla is an exciting, recently discovered species from the Kouga Dam near Patensie in the Eastern Cape; it is a shrublet with decorative,...

14 / 03 / 2016 | Ernst van Jaarsveld | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Lachnospermum umbellatum

Lachnospermum umbellatum
Common names: rooiblombossie (Afr.)
Family: Asteraceae

This little-known species from the extreme southwestern corner of the country thrives in the wet fynbos of the Cape Fold Mountains near the coast. Its...

14 / 03 / 2016 | Nicola Bergh | Compton Herbarium
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