Plants of the Week

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E.g., 16/07/2024

Setaria megaphylla

Setaria megaphylla
Common names: ribbon grass, broad-leafed bristle grass
Family: Poaceae

Setaria megaphylla may be found along rivers in low-lying areas or forests and in dense bushveld where there is plenty of moisture. ...

29 / 04 / 2002 | Andrew Hankey | Walter Sisulu NBG
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Sideroxylon inerme

Foliage and flower buds  of Sideroxylon inerme
Common names: white milkwood ( Eng. ); witmelkhout, melkhoutboom, melkbessie (Afr.); aMasethole, umQwashu (Xhosa); aMasethole-amhlope, uMakhwela-fingqane (Zulu)
Family: Sapotaceae


26 / 06 / 2006 | Freddie Bosman | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Silene undulata

Silene undulata © Tony Dold
Common names: dream root, gun powder plant, campion (Eng.); unozitholana, ubulawu, undlela zimhlophe (isiXhosa); kleinwildetabak (Afr.)
Family: Caryophyllaceae

This small herb is used as a 'dream plant'....

30 / 09 / 2013 | Vathiswa Zikishe | CREW
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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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Siphonochilus aethiopicus

Siphonochilus aethiopicus
Common names: Natal ginger, Wild ginger (English); Wildegemmer (Afrikaans); indungulo, isiphephetho (Zulu)
Family: Zingiberaceae


11 / 03 / 2002 | Andrew Hankey | Walter Sisulu NBG
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Solanum aculeastrum

Solanum acueleastrum
Common names: goat bitter-apple, bitter-apple, goat apple, poison apple (Eng.); bok-bitterappel, bitterappel, bokappel, gifappel (Afr.); thola (Tswana); murulwa (Ve
Family: Solanaceae


01 / 03 / 2004 | M Welman | National Herbarium Pretoria
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Solanum giganteum

Berries of Solanum giganteum
Common names: healing-leaf tree, giant bitter-apple, red bitter-apple, red bitter-berry, thorny bug-tree (Eng.); geneesblaarboom, grootbitterappel, rooibitterbessie
Family: Solanaceae

This big shrub with its colourful, long-lasting berries and large leaves with silvery undersides, makes an unusual hedge or background plant....

19 / 01 / 2004 | M Welman | National Herbarium Pretoria
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Sorghum bicolor

Sorghum - head of grain
Common names: sorghum (Eng.); graansorghum (Afr); mabele (Pedi,Sotho,Ndebele); amabele(Z); amazimba (Xhosa)
Family: Poaceae

This crop plant has been cultivated in southern Africa for over 3 000 years....

31 / 01 / 2005 | E T Rampho | National Herbarium Pretoria
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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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Sparaxis grandiflora subsp. grandiflora

Flower showing vertical anthers and style  to one side
Common names: Cape buttercup, sparaxis (Eng.); botterblom, ferweel, ferweeltjie, fluweeltjie, perskalkoentjie, perskalossie (Afr.)
Family: Iridaceae

Sparaxis grandiflora is indeed an attractive species and it is not surprising that it was introduced to Kew Gardens as early as 1758. However, as Du Plessis...

14 / 08 / 2006 | Caitlin Von Witt | CREW
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Sparaxis elegans

Sparaxis elegans
Common names: Cape buttercup, sparaxis, pale harlequin flower (Eng.); spogfluweeltjie (Afr.)
Family: Iridaceae

Sparaxis elegans is, as its name suggests, one of the most elegant and aesthetically pleasing species the Greater Cape Floristic Region (GCFR) has to...

09 / 06 / 2014 | Brittany Arendse | CREW
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Sparaxis maculosa

In flower
Common names: Cape buttercup, sparaxis, wandflower (Eng.); botterblom, ferweel, ferweeltjie, fluweeltjie, geelkalkoentjie, geelkalossie (Afr.)
Family: Iridaceae

Known from only two localities, one recently discovered, this spectacularly large-flowered species is sadly frail in its magnificence, a shadow cast upon...

17 / 03 / 2008 | Caitlin Von Witt | CREW
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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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Sparrmannia africana

Common names: Cape stock rose, wild stock rose, African hemp, Cape hollyhock (Eng.); Kaapse stokroos, wildestokroos (Afr.)
Family: Malvaceae

Sparrmannia africana is an easy-to-grow large shrub for a shady area with lush, soft, heart-shaped leaves and pretty white flowers with a puff of...

08 / 04 / 2013 | Alice Notten | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Sarcophyte sanguinea subsp. sanguinea

Sarcophyte sanguinea (Detlef Schnabel)
Common names: wolwekos (Afr.); ihlule, umavumbuka (isiZulu)
Family: Balanophoraceae

Sarcophyte sanguinea subsp. sanguinea is a parasitic plant that occurs on the roots of trees and shrubs, especially on African acacias (Vachellia species)....

25 / 09 / 2017 | Mduduzi Nkwanyana | National Herbarium Pretoria
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Spatalla mollis

Flower spike
Common names: woolly spoon
Family: Proteaceae

Spatalla mollis boasts attractive flower headlets of white or mauve flowers from July to December. The small shrubs blend in well with the surrounding...

29 / 10 / 2012 | Benjamin Festus | Harold Porter NBG
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Sphagnum fimbriatum
Common names: peat moss, bog moss, turf moss
Family: Sphagnaceae

Sphagnum is a cosmopolitan as well as economically and ecologically important genus of mosses. ...

23 / 03 / 2009 | Nonkululo Phephu | National Herbarium Pretoria
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Sphenostylis angustifolia

Sphenostylis angustifolia showing handedness
Common names: wild sweet-pea (Eng.); wilde-ertjie (Afr.)
Family: Fabaceae

Sphenostylis angustifolia, or the wild sweet-pea, is a lovely green perennial shrublet with an extensive woody rootstock that decorates the Highveld with...

01 / 12 / 2008 | Alicia Grobler | National Herbarium Pretoria
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Syncarpha ferruginea

Syncarpha ferruginea
Common names: rusty everlasting (Eng.); verroes-sewejaartjie (Afr.)
Family: Asteraceae

Syncarpha ferruginea is a small fynbos shrub with felted grey leaves and attractive yellow-brown, everlasting flower heads in spring and summer....

20 / 01 / 2020 | Zaynab Shaik | Compton Herbarium
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Spiloxene capensis.  Photo C. Paterson-Jones
Common names: golden star (Eng.); sterretjie (Afr.)
Family: Hypoxidaceae


24 / 09 / 2007 | D Snijman | Compton Herbarium
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