There are a few great hardy indigenous South African plant species that can with stand below 0º degree conditions in winter.
Today we will be looking at two great shrub species and two grassland species that are perfect to withstand the harsh highveld winters.
Indigenous Hardy Shrubs:
Freylinia tropica: Blue Honeybells
Description: A erect, narrow shrub with a small dainty blue-mauve, white or lilac flower, amongst bright green leaves. This shrub reaches the height of about 4 meters. Mainly flowers in spring, but throughout the year.
Use in landscaping: As the shrubs is narrow, one can plant many of these shrubs close together (+-60cm apart). They are great to form a hedge with. Freylinia tropica is frost hardy, requires regular watering for the best effect, enjoys full sun, but can grow in semi-shade and attracts useful insects.
Diospyros lycioides: Transvaal Bluebush
Description: Maybe deciduous or ever green shrub (depending on climate), with a cream flower in spring and produces a red fruit, the shrub attracts birds and butterflies and has a non-aggresive root system. Becomes +- 3 meters wide and approximately 5 meters high in size.
Use in landscaping: This shrub can be used for screening, as a specimen, in informal hedging or is a good container plant. This shrub is frost hardy and drought hardy, requires moderate water and full sun.
Indigenous Hardy Grassland Species:
Boophane disticha: Tumbleweed
Description: A deciduous and drought resistant groundcover, with distinctive twisted fan shaped leaves and produces red flowers in spring.
Use in landscaping: This groundcover can be used for grassland landscaping, or inter planted with grasses in large landscapes. Can also be used as a feature in a container. It is frost hardy and drought resistant, needs moderate watering and likes full sun.
Eucomis autumnalis: Pineapple Flower
Description: A deciduous and fast growing groundcover, with long lime green shaped leaves and produces a yellow or green flowers in summer.
Use in landscaping: This groundcover can be used for grassland landscaping and can be planted in containers as a main feature. This groundcover is both frost and drought resistant and attracts butterflies. It can grow in sun, semi-shade and shade. It needs moderate watering.
We hope these four hardy indigenous plant species will inspired you to consider planting them in your latest landscape design.
Please feel free to contact us or to upload your quote on our website, for us to source these or any other plants you choose to use in your landscape design.
The Tshala Plant Brokers Team.
Hardy Highveld Plants, complied by Gretchen Grenville
Creative Gardening with Indigenous Plants, A South African Guide, written by Pitta Joffe and Tinus Oberholzer.