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Wachendorfia thrysiflora

(Blood Root)

Wachendorfia thrysiflora or Blood root has very distinctive leaves that are pleated. The flower spike can grow to 1.5m and is covered in star shaped yellow flowers. It occurs in the winter rainfall areas so would need watering during the winter on the Highveld. It has beautiful red colouration on the bottom of the stems and their roots are red as indicated by their common name. A very dramatic plant and worth planting near a pond, water feature or dam.

Typha capensis

(Bulrush)

Typha capensis Bulrush These plants are deciduous and grow to about 2 m tall. They are often seen on the verge of a dam, wetland or river where the roots filter the water. It is frost resistant, fast growing and has brownish flowers in summer. Birds use these as nesting sites and humans utilize it for many things eg the rhizomes are used for meal and the leaves are useful for brooms, weaving and thatching. It is also medicinal,

Vangueria infausta

(Wild Medlar)

Vangueria infausta Wild Medlar SA Tree No. 702 is a deciduous tree, (small) which is frost resistant, drought resistant and is happy in the full sun. The cream flowers occur in spring. This tree attracts birds and mammals and has non-aggressive roots. The fruit is used to distil brandy and is edible. The roots and leaves are medicinal yet it is considered unlucky so the wood is not used.

Tulbaghia violacea

(Wild Garlic)

This is a popular evergreen groundcover which is frost resistant and fast growing in the sun. The mauve flowers open in summer and attract birds and butterflies. It is traditionally used as a snake repellent and they have many traditional medicinal uses. The leaves are delicious chopped into a salad or omelet and the flowers are also edible. This is a perfect choice for small gardens.

Thunbergia alata

(Black-Eyed Susan)

Cheerful, evergreen shrub which is frost resistant, water wise and fast growing in the sun or semi-shade. The orange flowers occur all year and they attract birds - insect eaters. It is useful for containers and is ideal for small gardens where is can be grown on a trellis to act as a screen. I’ve used it floating in a globlet as a table arrangement. It is popular throughout the world.

Watsonia pillansii

(Watsonia)

This is an evergreen Watsonia which flowers with Orange red flowers from late summer into autumn. They stand 50 cm tall and attract butterflies and birds. They prefer full sun and are water wise. They are very pretty if mass planted or even if one plants clumps of them in a sunny spot.

Ziziphus mucronata

(Buffalo Thorn)

This medium sized, deciduous tree is frost resistant, water wise and grows in the sun. This is a great bird garden tree as it attracts the insect, fruit and nectar eaters as well as being used for nesting sites. It also attracts butterflies. It could be used as an informal hedge/screen or as a thorny security barrier. It is an important fodder tree for game farms. It is protected in Free State. The raw fruit is edible, or it can be cooked into a porridge or roasted and used as a coffee substitute. The nutritious leaves are cooked as spinach and the wood is useful fuel. It is an important medicinal tree and it has many magical uses.

Zanthoxylum capense

(Small Knobwood)

Protected in Free State, seeds used to make perfume, bark used for toothbrushes.

Zantedeschia rehmanni

(Pink Arum)

Grassland specie, flowers last well in the vase.

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