Plants of the Week

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Aristea biflora

Aristea biflora
Common names: windowed aristea
Family: Iridaceae

Aristea biflora is a member of the family Iridaceae and an inhabitant the south-western Cape. It is characterized by attractive violet to purple flowers...

06 / 04 / 2009 | Vathiswa Zikishe | CREW
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Aristea capitata

Aristea capitata
Common names: blue sceptre (Eng.); blousuurkanol (Afr.)
Family: Iridaceae

The Cape is well known for its wealth of beautiful bulbs. If you go walking on Lion's Head above Cape Town in early summer, one of the most striking...

01 / 11 / 2000 | Liesl Van der Walt | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Aristea ecklonii

Flowers
Common names: Blue stars (Eng.); blousterre (Afr.); umhushuza (IsiZulu)
Family: Iridaceae

Aristea ecklonii is an indigenous, evergreen perennial with attractive, blue, star-like flowers that make quite a show in early summer and late spring....

01 / 10 / 2012 | Sthembile Zondi | Kwazulu-Natal NBG
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Arrowsmithia styphelioides

Flowering plant of A. styphelioides
Common names: There are no common names in use for this species.
Family: Asteraceae

This rare and endemic shrublet is a member of the daisy family and occurs only in a restricted area in the Eastern Cape Province....

14 / 02 / 2011 | Nicola Bergh | Compton Herbarium
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Artemisia afra

Artemisia afra, attractive silvery fern-like foliage
Common names: wild wormwood, African wormwood (Eng.); wilde-als (Afr.); umhlonyane (isiXhosa); mhlonyane (isiZulu); lengana (Tswana); zengana (Southern Sotho)
Family: Asteraceae

Named after the Greek goddess Artemis, this soft aromatic shrub is one of the most popular medicinal plants in South Africa. Easy to grow, Artemisia afra...

19 / 04 / 2004 | Liesl Van der Walt | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Asclepias albens

Asclepias albens
Common names: cartwheels (Eng.); idoyi, ishongwe (Zulu); tshalale (Venda)
Family: Apocynaceae

This is the most widespread species of Asclepias in South Africa....

13 / 12 / 2004 | E T Rampho | Pretoria NBG
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Asclepias bicuspis

Critically Endangered Asclepias bicuspis
Common names: none known
Family: Apocynaceae

Thought to be extinct and known from only six collections, two of which were collected over a hundred years ago, Asclepias bicuspis, was unexpectedly rediscovered...

07 / 03 / 2011 | Suvarna Parbhoo | CREW
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Aspalathus

Aspalathus  callosa
Family: Fabaceae

Aspalathus, the genus to which the rooibos tea plant belongs, is the largest member of the pea family endemic to South Africa....

22 / 08 / 2005 | C Cupido | Compton Herbarium
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Aspalathus linearis

Bush in flower
Common names: rooibos tea (Eng.), rooibostee, bossietee (Afr.)
Family: Fabaceae

Aspalathus linearis, the source of rooibos tea, is a shrub found in the western mountainous parts of the Western Cape. Rooibos tea is a most popular drink...

25 / 06 / 2007 | Marcini Govender | National Herbarium Pretoria
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Aspalathus quartzicola

Flowers of Aspalathus quartzicola
Common names: No reported common names.
Family: Fabaceae

Aspalathus quartzicola is one of few species that occur in quartz patches (quartz-silcrete outcrops); a very specialized habitat, hence its species name....

09 / 03 / 2015 | Dewidine van der Colff | CREW
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Asparagus africanus

Asparagus africanus
Common names: bush asparagus, African asparagus, wild asparagus, climbing asparagus fern, ornamental asparagus, sparrow grass (Eng.); haakdoring, katdoring, wag-’
Family: Asparagaceae

A perennial climber or sub-shrub with woody, prickly, scrambling stems, fern-like foliage, clusters of beautiful small, white, sweetly scented flowers...

09 / 01 / 2017 | Nomama Mei | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Asparagus asparagoides

Asparagus asparagoides
Common names: Cape smilax, African asparagus smilax, baby smilax, bridal creeper, bridal veil creeper (Eng.); breȅblaarklimop, krulkransie, gnarboola, narbass (Afr
Family: Asparagaceae

A scrambling shrub with lovely glossy foliage, for shade or sun, in the garden or indoors, and excellent for flower arrangements, but take note that outside...

04 / 09 / 2016 | Samuel Lekhetho | Free State NBG
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Asparagus densiflorus

Asparagus densiflorus 'Sprengeri'
Common names: Asparagus fern, emerald fern, basket asparagus
Family: Asparagaceae

Asparagus densiflorus is an extremely versatile perennial, evergreen plant that can be used as a groundcover or container plant in full sun or light...

25 / 11 / 2002 | Hanneke Jamieson | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Asparagus falcatus

Asparagus falcatus creeper
Common names: large forest asparagus, thorny creeper, sicklethorn, yellowwood asparagus (Eng.); doringtou (Afr.); imblekazana (isiZulu); ubulawu (isiXhosa)
Family: Asparagaceae

Asparagus falcatus is a robust thorny creeper that has attractive white flowers and red berries and will easily double as a safety hedge against unwanted...

10 / 11 / 2008 | Bernard Brown | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Asparagus microraphis

Asparagus microraphis (Geoff Nichols)
Common names: needles wild-asparagus (Eng.), katdoring (Afr.), lala-tau, lehonyeli, lelala-tau, leu-nyeli, mankoe (Sesotho)
Family: Asparagaceae

An evergreen shrub that is used medicinally by Sesotho speaking people for the treatment of venereal diseases....

25 / 07 / 2016 | Aluwani Tshiila | KwaZulu-Natal Herbarium
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Asparagus ramosissimus

Foliage and fruits
Common names: cascade asparagus (Eng.); krulkransie (Afr.); ibutha (Zulu and siSwati); kgopa, sesilatsane (Sesotho)
Family: Asparagaceae

Asparagus ramosissimus is an evergreen perennial with abundant soft, light green foliage and a cascading habit, suited to the shady garden or patio....

11 / 05 / 2015 | Nomama Mei | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Asparagus scandens

Asparagus scandens
Common names: climbing asparagus (Eng.); krulkransie (Afr.)
Family: Asparagaceae

Asparagus scandens is a delicate-looking yet sturdy forest-dwelling climbing perennial, ideal for a trellis in a small garden or as a groundcover under...

15 / 03 / 2010 | Alice Notten | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Asparagus virgatus

Asparagus virgatus. Photo Dr Wynand Uys
Common names: broom asparagus, slender asparagus, ‘Tiki’ fern, African broom fern (Eng.); makkatdoring, katstertjie (Afr.); ibutha, ihabiya, iphinganhloya, unwe
Family: Asparagaceae

Asparagus virgatus is an evergreen, perennial plant that produces small, greenish white flowers in summer, and small, spheroid, red seeds. It is also known...

02 / 02 / 2015 | Aluwani Tshiila | KwaZulu-Natal Herbarium
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Aster laevigatus

Aster laevigatus flower head
Common names: Van Staden's aster
Family: Asteraceae

 Aster laevigatus is a little, white to mauve daisy first discovered in the early 1900's. Only a single specimen was taken to London and...

10 / 05 / 2010 | C Cowell | Kirstenbosch NBG
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Asteraceae

Arctotis stoechadifolia
Common names: daisy family, sunflower family, thistle family (Eng.); madeliefie-familie, sonneblom-familie (Afr.) Class: Dicotyledoneae (Angiospermae) Order: Astera
Family: Asteraceae

This is probably the largest family of flowering plants, with more than 25 000 species world-wide, growing from sea-level to the highest mountain peaks....

26 / 04 / 2004 | Paul Herman | Pretoria NBG
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