Tag Archives: Indigenous plants

Bonsai of Portulaca afra (Spekboom).

Indigenous to South Africa this species has been found to extract the most carbon from the air for any tree it’s size. It is found on rocky slopes in arid conditions and flowers in extreme drought conditions.

It is a popular bonsai subject because of it’s caudiciform (tree trunk-like) appearance. Pictured is a variegated type.

I want it to lean over almost horizontally so I used crutch-shaped sticks to prop it up.

Kei apple, Dovyalis caffra. Featured tree at Towerkop Nursery.

Bonsai of the kei apple. An evergreen tree up to about 3-5 m in nature. Native to South africa. Bears yellow fruit which is edible if not somewhat tart. Grown as a hedge it forms an impenetrable barrier because of it’s fierce thorns.

Birds subsequently build nests in it’s protective thicket of thorns.

Delosperma echinatum. Feature plant at Towerkop Nursery.

Low growing shrubby succulent with conspicuously hairy leaves and small yellow flowers.

The name Delosperma is derived from the greek for visible seed, in allusion to the fact that the capsules have no covering membranes so the seeds are exposed when the capsules are open.

The plant is from the mesemb family and is native to Southern Africa.

Arum Lily, Zantedeschia. Feature plant at Towerkop Nursery.

Zantedeschia ‘Picassso’ hybrid.

Arum lillies are native to Southern Africa but are cultivated world wide for their long lasting blooms.

It is dormant or evergreen depending on habitat or location. It remains evergreen under cultivation, given plenty of water in a free-draining substrate.

They make good bedding plants, spaced 15cm apart.

The tubers were boiled and fed to pigs, hence the Afrikaans name ‘Varkoor’.

The common white variety Zantedeschia aethiopica is medicinal. The warmed leaves used a poultice to treat sores, boils, insect bites, gout and rheumatism.

Happy Spring equinox !

You know spring has sprung when the Lampranthus are flowering..

The Wilde dagga, Leonotus ocymifolia, attracts sunbirds to the allotment.

I managed to finally capture the Malachite sunbird feeding .

The plant is used medicinally for the symptomatic treatment of coughs in acute bronchial disease, high blood preasure, headaches, asthma and viral hepatitis.

Guild of plants around the young fig tree.

The guild of plants around the young fig tree include tomatoes interplanted with kakibos (Tagetes minuta), wilde dagga (Leonotus ocymifolia), Butternut pumpkin and Aloe ciliaris and jasmine on the trellis.

My Strelitzia is flowering! Strelitzia reginae, featured plant at Towerkop Nursery.

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Bird of paradise, Strelitzia is a close relative of the banana. The striking flowers of this species are evolved to attract bird pollinators.Birds also eat and disperse the seeds. The cut flowers are popular. This stemless perennial are native to South Africa and occurs in coastal areas in well drained soil along forest margins.

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Seeds with their orange wooly arils.

Today John the farmer spotted this on his walk on the mountain.

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This Babiana plant is a perennial corm bulb in the Iris family. Apparently favoured by baboons that eat it’s corms (hence babiana), it survives amongst rock crevices on sandstone slopes and flats where it flowers in early spring.  Possibly B. ambigua, this one was found growing on the Swartberg mountains in the little Karoo.

Senecio articulatus. Candle plant/ hotdog plant/ worsies. Featured plant at Towerkop Nursery.

Kleinia

Senecio or Kleinia articularis is a succulent with blue-gray jointed stems resembling a string of sausages hence it’s name hotdog plant or ‘worsies’.

It has ivy shaped leaves that are seen seasonally, otherwise the stems are bare.

They spread and ramble under larger shrubs in the spekboomveld and gwarrieveld of the western cape and eastern cape of South Africa.