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Zantedeschia aethiopica 'Green Goddess'

(Green Arum)

This is a deciduous Arum that grows to about 1 m tall. It has dark green lance shaped leaves and the flowers are also large and open in spring. They are streaked with green and are very graceful in a flower arrangement. They grow in moist conditions in semi shade and will thrive on the water’s edge or even submerged in the water. The sap may cause skin irritations. The flowers are suitable for the vase.

Zantedeschia aethiopica

(White Arum Lily, Pig's Lily)

Commonly called 'Pig's Lily' as the tubers were boiled and fed to the pigs. The leaves are also cooked as a pot herb, then braised with onions and chilli. A much loved evergreen groundcover which is fast growing in the shade or semi-shade. The large white flowers occur in spring and they attract birds and butterflies. There’s a multitude of uses for this much loved flower, either in wetlands, near water features or in containers. It has medicinal uses as The warmed leaves are used on sores, boils, insect bites, for gout and rheumatism. Leaf, root and stem extracts show antibiotic properties.The leaves produce a yellow dye.

Thunbergia natalensis

(Natal Bluebell)

A deciduous shrub that grows to 1,2m x 90cm. This fast growing shrub prefers a lightly shaded position under trees and forms an attractive and dense shrub. The slightly hairy leaves of the Natal Bluebell shelter attractive tubular blue to blue mauve flowers, each with a white to yellow throat. Brides traditionally take a remedy prepared from this plant to guarantee a happy marriage. The stems of the plant are eaten by the long tailed tree mouse. It prefers moist conditions, so water well in summer or plant alongside a dam or water feature where its roots can reach some of the excess moisture. It attracts butterflies.

Veltheimia bracteata

(Bush Lily)

These beautiful flowers look a bit like an Aloe. They stand about 50cm tall and are a striking pink-red in colour. They are deciduous during mid-summer. These are shade loving bulbs growing naturally in the coastal forests of the Eastern Cape. They are happy growing in a pot on a patio.

Schotia brachypetala

(Weeping Boerbean)

This large, handsome deciduous tree is relatively frost resistant. In warm areas it is evergreen. It is found in riverine forests. It is water wise and grows in the sun, shade or semi-shade. The stunning rich, deep red flowers open in spring and summer and they attract birds, the insect, fruit and nectar eaters. It is also used for nesting sites and attracts butterflies. The bark is traditionally used to make sangoma's red dye and the seeds are roasted and eaten. It’s a magical tree and is used to ward off evil. It’s a show stopper when in flower but do remember that it drops nectar on parked cars, hence the common name!

Scadoxus puniceus

(Paintbrush)

This deciduous bulb is rare and worth trying to track down. It has huge orange flowers that last for about 4 months during summer. The bright red seeds then fill the space and are quite eye-catching. As it is deciduous one doesn't have to worry about it during a frosty winter. It prefers a very shady garden and even does well indoors.

Pteris dentata

(Toothed Brake)

A very attractive fern which forms a clump of bright green fronds that are finely dissected and lacy. It is an evergreen groundcover that grows about 1m x 1m and it is a very fast growing. It is suitable for a moist wetland garden and it thrives in shade or semi-shade. An ideal plant for containers provided they are in the shade and kept well watered.

Rumohra adiantiformis

(Knysna Fern)

The glossy, light green, leathery fronds of the Knysna fern are coarsely toothed and roughly triangular in shape. The attractive foliage lasts well in a vase and is often used in flower arrangements. It is also exported for this purpose. This striking and beautiful fern is perfect for that shady spot in the water garden, near a water feature or a stream. It an ideal plant for a container on a patio but do water it regularly if not planted in a wetland garden in order to have a happy fern.

Setaria megaphylla

(Broad-Leaved Bristle Grass)

This evergreen groundcover grows about 1m tall in the wetlands, sun or semi shade. It is frost resistant, fast growing, and bears white flowers in summer. It makes a very attractive back drop to a wetland garden as the leaves are a pretty green and interestingly 'pleasted.' Birds strip the leaves for nest building and the seed eaters enjoy the fruits. The leaves are palatable and are browsed by game. It also attracts butterflies. Strangely it is also eaten by dogs and antelope.

Rotheca myricoides (was Clerodendrum myricoides)

(Blue Cats Whiskers)

This is an evergreen to deciduous small tree/shrub depending on the environment. Ours in our cold garden are deciduous. It is not fussy requiring full sun, shade or semi-shade. It produces electric blue to purple flowers in Spring and Summer, which are very beautiful. It is a lovely, shrubby tree for an informal border and is also an ideal plant for containers as it can be pruned to any shape of choice. It attracts birds and butterflies.

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