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Tulbaghia simmleri (Tulbaghia fragrans)

(Fragrant Wild Garlic)

This very pretty, fragrant mauve flower is on a 25 cm spike and opens in winter. It is cheerful to have one in your garden during the brown, dry Highveld winter. The leaves are wider than the Tulbaghia violacea and not as pungent. They are also edible. It grows best in the semi shade and is used medicinally for fevers, cold, asthma and TB.

Searsia dentata ( Rhus dentata )

(Nana-Berry)

A deciduous shrub to small tree up to 6 m high, with a smooth, greyish brown bark. The leaves, which are pink when young, turn dull yellow to orange-red in autumn. The small, yellowish green flowers are borne in clusters at the end of the branches from September to November, and this species has male and female flowers on different plants. The flowers are followed by the shiny, bright red fruits, in heavy clusters from November to January on the female plants. This species grows in almost any kind of soil. Young plants need lots of water but once they are established, they do not need much. These plants are therefore good subjects for water-wise gardening. This shrub does well in a cool soil, with a thick layer of leaf mulch on top. It prefers sun or semi-shade. It is frost and drought hardy and makes a beautiful container plant. It attracts birds, butterflies and other insects.

Tabernaemontanum elegans

(Toad Tree)

Edible fruit, latex for bird lime and stops bleeding, medicinal roots.

Syzygium cordatum

(Water Berry)

Beautiful red||brown wood, many medicinal uses, bark produces orange dye and the fruits a purple dye.

Senecio tamoides

(Canary Creeper)

Medicinal, lovely climbing trees or a trellis.

Rothmannia capensis

(Cape Gardenia)

Flowers scented even when dry, medicinal, decorative, wood utilised.

Prunus africana

(Red Stinkwood)

Attractive for large gardens. International medicinal value – France and Italy.

Portulacaria afra prostrata

(Elephants Foot)

Dwarf Elephants Foot is another very versatile plant that grows in full sun to deep shade. It produces lavender coloured flowers in summer. It is water wise and has arching, trailing branches with reddish brown stems. It would be ideal in a pot, to scamper over the edge, a hanging basket or even retaining walls. I saw it flourishing in the baking hot sun in the Kruger Park, in a retailing wall at one of the rest camps in very harsh conditions.

Pavetta gardeniifolia

(Common Brides Bush)

Pavetta gardeniifolia Common Bride's Bush SA Tree No. 716 is a small, deciduous tree, which is drought resistant and has fragrant white flowers in summer. It grows well in the sun and attracts birds and mammals. It is useful for containers as the masses of white flowers in December make it a stunning sight! They have edible fruit and the flowers lure a variety of insects, which become food for insect-eating birds like the Southern Boubou. The nectar is also popular with birds. The fleshy fruits entice Crested and Blackcollared Barbets, Blackeyed Bulbuls and Mousebirds. People and monkeys also eat the fruits.Useful in an informal mixed border and is ideal for a small garden.

Ochna serrulata

(Mickey Mouse Bush)

This small evergreen tree is water wise and thrives in sun or semi-shade. The young spring foliage is a beautiful pinkish-bronze, maturing to glossy green. This beautiful shrub is covered with fragrant The beautiful yellow flowers fade to red and are followed by black seeds which look like Mickey Mouse’s face. They attract fruit eating birds and butterflies.It is frost hardy but slow growing. It’s useful for informal hedging/screening as well as bonsai specimens. It is medicinal and magical as is used as an antidote to evil spirits.

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