This selection of indigenous fynbos plants suitable for the Far South Peninsula comes from a longer list identified by the SA Biodiversity Institute for the Cape Metropol.  A healthy and thriving fynbos garden is not just waterwise and an investment in local biodiversity.  It is a wildlife adventure right outside your front door.  Amongst the lizards, Leopard Toads, Cape Sugarbirds and Co, you could be hosting your own `Big Five’!   How to plant and look after newly acquired indigenous plants.  

Do’s:

  1. Dig a hole 2 x depth & 2 x width of planting bag and before planting, fill with water before mixing compost, soil and fertilizer in the hole.
  2. Water fynbos plants 3x a week through the summer months until well established.
  3. Prune fynbos shrubs, including Proteas and Ericas after flowering, to improve shape, increase bud size & remove dead wood.
  4. Mulch as much of the garden as possible to a depth about 5cm.
  5. Take special care when planting small plants out from trays or 6pks during summer – they may need daily watering for a month or two.

Dont’s:

  1. Use compost or fertilizer when planting Proteas. If you use compost don’t use too much. It’s best to feed them with seaweed-derived fertilizer.
  2. Dig the soil over and around your Proteas or Ericas – their roots are very sensitive to disturbance.
  3. Use inorganic poisons in your garden. Rather plant a wide variety of indigenous species and allow nature to establish a balance.
  4. Plant edible bulbs if you have porcupines in your area.
  5. Be too conservative or impatient.  Unless you know what indigenous plants grow well in your area, some experimentation is likely to see what grows well in your particular microclimate. A fynbos garden takes around 3 years to establish.

See the plant list below of indigenous plants recommended for the Scenic South.  PLEASE SEND US YOUR RECOMMENDATIONS, with photos if possible so that we can grow the recommended list and share our knowledge.

Fynbos for Fine Gardeners.

PERENNIALS & GROUNDCOVERS 

Botanical name

Common name

Description / Uses

Anisodentea scabrosa

Wild Hibiscus

Upright shrub to 2m, pink flowers in masses all year around.  Growth rate medium.

Artotis auriculata

Gousblom

Fast growing, drought resistant ground cover, leaves are green grey silvery, flowers are yellow/pink in Spring & early Summer.

Arctotis stoechadifolia

Witgousblom

Groundcover. Grey- green leaves, flowers mixed colours in Spring & early Summer.

Arctotis spp

Gousbom

Fast growing, spreading groundcover, grey-green foliage 300m, flowers mixed colours.

Acmadenia heterophylla

Acmedenia

Medium growing, spreading.  Bright pink flowers in autumn, suitable for rockeries, 0.7m likes full sun.

Agathosma ovata

False Buchu

Used in making buchu brandy. Can be added to potpourris. White/ mauve flowers in summer. Growth rate medium.

Chironia baccifera

Christmas Berries

Fast growing, low rounded bush with soft fresh green foliage. The plant is used to purify the blood, treat acne, skin disease and boils. Growth rate fast. Pink flowers in Summer

Cliffortia ferruginea

Glastee

Hardy evergreen flat groundcover with attractive small green foliage. Yellow- green flowers in winter. Growth rate medium.

Carpobrotus edulis

Sourfig

Succulents with long trailing prostrate stems, long fleshy leaves, edible fruit when ripe. Drought resistant. Yellowflowers all year round.

Carpobrotus acinaciformis

Sour Fig

Hardy succulent with long creeping stems& mauve flowers in spring & early summer.  Llong fleshy leaves, edible fruit when ripe. Suurvy konfyt traditional recipe. Drought resistant. Used as fire break.

Cotyledon arbiculata

Pig’s Ear

Branched succulent plant up to 1m tall. Green greyish foliage with robust orange red flowers.  Growth rate medium.

Chironia baccifera

Christmas Berries

Soft fresh green foliage, low rounded bush. Pink flowers in Summer. The plant is used to purify the blood, treat acne, skin disease and boils.

Dymondia margaretea

Silver carpet

Fast, low growing grey foliage, yellow daisies in early summer. Perfect between stepping stones

Felicia amelloides

Wilde Aster

Compact, neat rounded bush with daisy flowers all year round, grows to 500mm

Felicia filifolia

Draaibossie

Fast growing hardy, covered with showy deep purple to white flowers for long period, grow to 600mm

Gazania rigens

Yellow Gazania

Grey green foliage, with bright yellow flowers in Summer. Growth rate medium.  Groundcover.

Geranium incanum

Carpet Geranuim

Delicate Lacy-leaved spreading groundcover. Mauve or white flowers in Spring. Plant can be brewed to expel worms in people and animals and should be drunk like a tea. Growth rate medium.

Helichrysum cymosum

Everlasting

A fast growing, hardy grey leafed groundcover with yellow flowers in summer, cover from 100-500mm.

Helichrysum petiolare

Kooigoed

The scented foliage was used as bedding and also dried and burned to chase evil spirits away. Cream flowers in early summer.  Growth rate medium.

Lampranthus roseu

Vygie

Riot of colour apricot flowers in spring. Small fleshy foliage, hardy and draught resistant. Fast growing.

Limonium perigrinum

Sea Lavender

Very hardy. Leathery foliage, pink clusters of papery flowers covers 0.3m and up to 0.6m tall.  Growth rate medium.

Orphium frutescens

Orphium

Fast growing erect 0.5m shrub with narrow leathery green foliage, grows well in full sun, great effect when planted in groups. Pink flowers in Summer.

Osteospermum jucundum

Bergbietou

Dark opposite leaves purple flowers during spring.  Growth rate medium.

Pelargonium capitatum

Rose-scented pelargonium

Hairy plant, scented plant up to 0.4m tall with lobed leaves and attractive pink flowers in Spring. Used for its aromatic oils. Great to add to homemade jam, jelly and fruit purees.   Growth rate medium.

Pelargonium tomentosum

Peppermint pelargonium

A vigorous spreading perennial up to 0.5 with large velvety peppermint scented foliage and haze of small white flowers in spring and summer, for sun or semi shade.

Pelargonium betulium

Wilde Malva

Showy rounded bush, with white to magenta flowers in spring. Grows to 0.3-0.5m tall.  Growth rate medium.

Salvia africana- caerulea

Sage

Small shrub 600-900mm. Flowers blue and white in Autumn. Foliage has small hairs. Growth rate medium.

Stoebe plumosa

Slangbos

Entangled shrub with branches at right angles to stem, foliage minute, purple flowers mainly April to May but also in the spring. Fast growing.

Selago corymbosa

Bitterblombos

Attractive, fast growing, small shrub with fine foliage. A ball of white flowers in Dec- May

Scabiosa incisa

Koringblommetjie

Excellent fast growing groundcover, grows very low and holds the ground, forming thick carpet of small dark green foliage. New shoots root as branches spread. In spring the carpet turns mauve with mass of flowers. Flowering stems about 40cm high. Full sun / semi-shade

 

SHRUBS

Botanical name

Common name

Description / Uses

 

 

 

Athanasia

Klaaslouwbos

Fast growing shrub up to 800mm, likes to grow on the south slope. A ball of yellow flowers in Summer.

Cliffotia odorata

Wild grape

Fast growing creeper with green flowers from Autumn to Spring.  Used to treat animal wounds, skin infections, blister, abscesses, tick and insect bites. It can be given cows to prevent miscarriages.

Coleonema album

Confetti Bush

Neat evergreen spreading shrub to 1.5m tall with feathery aromatic foliage, covered with miniature pink/ white starry flowers, hardy, container plant or low hedge. Growth rate medium.

Chrysanthemoides incana

Bietou

Rambling groundcover shrub to 0.5-1m tall, grey foliage with lovely butter-yellow daisy flowers, January to December, withstands hot dry conditions, usually found growing on steep northern slopes good plants for coastal areas.  Growth rate medium.

Chondropetalum tectorum

Cape Thatching Reed

Erect attractive ornamental `grass’ plant, 2m in diameter, uptight, tuft form. Thin, dark green stems.  New stems rise from centre of the plant each year, very attractive with neat black sheaths.  Good feature plant. 1.5m tall. Sun. Growth rate medium.

Erica versicolor

 

Robust shrub with sticky tubular flowers, red base and greenish-white tip. Attracts sunbirds.  Good cut flower. Strong grower. 

Elegia capensis

Fountain Reed

Fast growing, large ornamental feature-plant. Produces a clump of tall (1.5 – 2m) erect strongly growing stems with evenly spaced whorls of foliage that result in a horsetail effect. One of the most beautiful species for the garden, moist areas, full sun or semi-shade.

Leonutus  leonurus

Wild Dagga

Vigorous, erect plant, 1-2 m.  Orange flowers inSummer or Autumn.  Attracts birds. The foliage or roots are widely used t remedy snake bites and other bites and stings

Leonutus ocymifolia

Klippdagga

Fast growing herbaceous shrub, velvety bright orange or white flowers in pom-pom like cluster. Attracts sunbirds. Cut back before next season.

Metalasia muricata

Blombos

Fast growing, hardy fine leaved shrub grows to 1-1.5m tall. Dusty white foliage in winter ideal for sandy conditions

Melianthus major

Touch–me-not

Deep blue –green foliage with rusty red flowers in Winter or Spring. Good accent plant grows to 1-1.5m tall.  Growth rate medium.

Phylica buxifolia

Box hard-leaf

Compact rounded evergreen shrub or small tree (2-3m), very wind-resistant, tidy foliage, dense clusters of white flowers in early winter.  Growth rate medium.

Ischyrolepis subverticillata

Besemriet

1.5m in diameter, finely branched, 0.9m tall, dark green foliage. Suitable for planting in groups or as accent plant, full sun or semi-shade.  Growth rate medium.

Podalyria calyptrata

Sweet Pea Bush

Shrub or small tree too 3m, scented lilac flowers in spring, easy and fast growing. Attracts beautiful, black and yellow carpenter bees.

Polygala myrtifolia

September Bush

Attractive erect shrub, up to 2m. Mauve flowers in winter or spring.  Hardy and self seeding.  Growth rate medium.

Polygala virgata

Purple Broom

Erect shrub, up to 2m.  Purple flowers in winter & spring.  Growth rate medium.

Salvia africana – Lutea

Golden Sage

Attractive hardy scented green grey 1.2m shrub.  Makes an excellent tea for coughs, colds, bronchitis, lactation and asthma. Rich orange brown flowers in Autumn.

Salvia chamelaeagnea

Blou-blommetjiesalie

A fairly fast growing much branched shrub up to 1.5m with soft light green leaves. Blue & white flowers in Autumn.  Used as a culinary herb.

Rhus crenata

Dune Crow-berry

Attractive hardy medium-large bushy bright green up to 3m. Dense shrub can be used as a hedge/ screen plant. Forms sweet scented creamy flowers and small red fruits are loved by birds.  Growth rate medium.

Thamnochortus insignis

Albertina thatching Reed

Very attractive ornamental plant up to 1.5-2m tall. Can be used in a lawn with rocks around it, in rockeries and open beds, beautiful pot plant. Growth rate medium.

 

BULBS

Botanical name

Common name

Description / Uses

Agapanthus africanus

Agapanthus

Hardy bulb.  Ball shaped cluster of blue flowers on tall stalks (0.5) with long strap like green leaves. 

Agapanthus praecox

Agapanthus

Hardy evergreen bulb with leathery leaves, large blue flower heads, 0.6m tall.

Aristea major

Aristea

Forms large clumps of long strappy-leaves, it has star shaped bright blue flowers that are borne on 1.5 spikes. Growth rate medium.

Chasmanthe floribuda

 

Vigorous bulb. Orange flower in winter-spring time, attracts birds. Attractive seeds.  Growth rate medium.

Kniphofia praecox

Red-hot-Poker

Striking red or yellow flowers are carried on long stalks. The foliage is long and light green. Attracts sunbirds.

Zantedescia aethiopica

Arum Lily

Likes damp areas, vigorous up to 0.4-1, but can be deciduous in dry gardens.  Large white flowers in Winter or Spring. The leaf is soothing for burns and insect bites. Draws infection from sores and boils. Place washed and warmed leaf over sore.

 

SUCCULENTS

Botanical name

Common name

Description / Uses

Aloe arborescens

Krantz Aloe

Common Aloe 1-1.5m tall, used medicinally for acne, treats wounds and constipation. Red and yellow flowers in Winter.

Aloe ferox

Bitter Aloe

Up to 1-4m tall. Thick dark green leaves with spikes along the margin. Flowers bright orange-red on a showy candlestick like inflorescence in Winter or Spring. Has many cosmetic & health uses.

 

 PROTEAS

Botanical name

Common name

Description / Uses

Protea neriifolia

Oleander-leaf Protea

Large shrub 1-2m, narrowly oblong bright leaves, large oblong pink-red flowers with white beard in late winter flowers. Good cut flower, tolerant to a wide range of soils.  Growth rate medium.

Protea repens

Sugar Bush

A tough bushy shrub up to 2.5m with white or pink flowers in late winter.  Nectar in flower heads attracts birds esp.CapeSugarbird. Good cut flower.  Growth rate medium.

Protea scolymocephala

Small green protea

Hardy shrub up to 1m.  Attractive delicate light green flowers.  Growth rate medium.

Leucospermum cordifolium

Pincushion

Orange flowers in early summer, very attractive 1-1.5 shrub. Good cut flower.  Growth rate medium.

Leucospermum oleifolium

Overberg pincushion

Compact shrub up to 1m. Flower head open, yellow becoming crimson with age, good cut flower. Growth rate medium.

Leucadendron argenteum

Silver Tree

Ornamental tree with large light reflecting silver leaves up to 4-8m, wind resistant. Used in flower arrangements.  Yellow flowers in Spring.