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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.

Zantedeschia aethiopica

(White Arum Lily)

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 well as culinary uses as the tubers are eaten and the leaves produce a yellow dye.

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,

Scabiosa africana

(Pincushion)

Low bushing delicate foliage, good groundcover.

Phragmites australis

(Common Reed)

Phragmites australis Common Reed This evergreen reed grows to about 3 meters tall and is found in wetlands and dams. It is frost resistant and has a multitude of uses. The rhizomes are edible and the hollow stems are used for pipes and musical instruments. The seeds are used to make ointment for burns. Weavers use these to build their nests on.

Nymphoides indica

(Water Lily)

It is suitable for ornamental ponds and dams.

Plectranthus fruticosus

(Forest Spurflower)

Rub the stems on a windowsill to repel flies, showy if mass planted.

Gunnera purpensa

(Wild Rhubarb)

Gunnera purpensa Wild Rhubarb This deciduous shrub grows to about 1m in the sun. It is frost resistant and produces reddish brown flowers in spring. As it grows along our rivers it is useful for wetlands or in a dam. The stems and roots are peeled and eaten and it also has medicinal value. The large leaves are attractive next to a water feature.

Juncus effusus

(Common Rush)

It is used for sleeping and sitting mats.

Kniphofia praecox

(Red-Hot Poker)

This is a must for a stunning winter garden. It is an evergreen groundcover which is frost resistant and fast growing. Plant a clump of them in the sun, in a moist area or a wetland. The orange-yellow flowers make a stunning display in winter and attract birds and butterflies. It is suitable for small gardens and the flowers are long lasting in the vase.

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