My agapanthus africanus (Kleinbloulelie, uBani) are in bloom. They really are great plants as, for most of the year, they just fade into the foliage and then, come summer, they shoot up these magnificant flowers that attract a variety of insects. The name is from the Greek agape (love) and anthos (flower) – superb!
They also used by inyangas (traditional South African herbalists) in antenatal and post-natal medicine.
Just a short post – my Cape Honeysuckle has trailed up a Wild Fig tree and is flowering in the top branches. The bright orange contrasts strikingly with the dark green fig leaves and as the tree grows its going to drag the honeysuckle up with it. Its the start of a wonderful relationship …
I picked up this interesting-looking pot plant last week at the Shongweni Farmers Market (for a cool R100!). The guy selling it didn’t have much information for me but could tell me it was part of the Ipomoea family.
From Wikipedia, “The genus Ipomoea (Greek Ips, Ipos, worm or bindweed and Homoeos, resembling, referring to the twining habit) is the largest in the family Convolvulaceae, with over 500 species. Most of these are called “morning glories”, but this can refer to related genera also. The genus occurs throughout the tropical and subtropical regions of the world, and comprises annual and perennial herbaceous plants, lianas, shrubs and small trees; most of the species are twining climbing plants.”
After a bit of Googling, I think it may be Ipomoea lapathifolia as the leaf structure looks similar … check it out here.
I really do love aloes and the aloe tenuior (Basutho Kraal Aloe, inhlaba empofu) in my garden is currently flowering. This plant forms a thick shrub with spikes of red flowers shooting off it, attracting both whitebellied and Black Sunbirds. The plant is also used as a protective charm by inyangas and a remedy (made from roots and leave) treats tapeworm infestations (from Pitta Joffe’s Creative Gardening with Indigenous Plants).
It is really easy to propagate – just break off a branch and stick it straight into the soil.
I remember as a kid getting lectured at school about the evils of lantana – I think I even went on a school trip to clear it out of our neighbourhood. Back then it was the number one invader species in Durban and everyone was out to get it (see more about invader species and, in particular, the Syringa berry in an upcoming guest post by Grant).
Imagine my surprise when a few years back I saw lantana for sale at my local, indigenous nursery. Well, it turns out there is an indigenous species of lantana, with exactly the same flower and leaf structure as the invader. The main differences are that this one is low-growing ground-cover as opposed to a shrub and the flowers are yellow as opposed to purple. Plus, it is a great plant to have in your garden. It flowers throughout the summer and the butterflies really dig it.