Categories
flowers indigenous medicinal

Roadside Aloe

I have posted these elsewhere and Niall also posted some pics but I thought I should share these beautiful Aloes we came across on the side of the road in the Eastern Cape. Happy Monday! 🙂

Beautiful Aloe 1
Beautiful Aloe 1
Categories
flowers indigenous medicinal

Paintbrush Lily

We have already had an introduction to the Paintbrush or Blood Lily… Here is a bit more about this unique flower as well as some pics of it in the wild…

Scadoxus puniceus, commonly known as the Paintbrush Lily, is a Southern African species of Amaryllidaceae, which is also found in Tanzania and Ethiopia. Its preferred habitat is cool, moist leaf litter and it is found in shady places, such as ravines and forests. The plant’s bright red, round fruits are about 10mm in diameter and each produces a single seed. Since the eighteenth century this species has been popular in Europe, partly because of its easy cultivation and high germination rate.

paintbrush 1
paintbrush 1
Categories
medicinal

Bridget Kitley at the Durbanville Garden Expo

Bridget Kitley, bubbly personality of TV program ‘Free Spirit’ that  is an expert on herbs, gave a talk at the Durbanville Garden Expo in CT over the weekend.Bridget with the hat that was the subject of much humour but was fitting for the day.

Categories
flowers garden indigenous medicinal

Iboza!

Iboza Riparia is an indigenous, winter-flowering shrub that grows to about 1.5 metres tall. The species name, riparia, shows that it grows naturally on river banks. Iboza is  super easy to grow from cuttings and can grow up to around 80cm a year. It has pretty, petite, white flowers.

Iboza has been effectively used for centuries in traditional African medicine as a highly powerful anti-microbic agent. The leaves, which have a strange, smoky scent when rubbed,  contain the strongest anti-microbic substance and also have anti-fungal and some anti-malarial properties. Traditional Zulu uses of the leaves include treating respiratory complaints, malaria, flu, diarrhoea, and also as an inhalant for headaches.

I have a fair few cuttings if anyone would like some. Apparently, with spring en route, now is the time to plant.

Iboza bush
Iboza bush
Categories
flowers indigenous medicinal

Snake Charms

One of my all time favourite indigenous plants, and also very popular with landscapers in Durban, is the Wild Garlic (Tulbaghia violacea or Isihaqa).  It grows in clumps of grey-green, strappy leaves that smell strongly of garlic when bruised or, in fact, even when watered.  Beautiful purple flowers appear at the end of stalks throughout summer, and look particularly impressive when grouped together.

A hardy, drought-resistant plant, wild garlic requires little attention once settled in your garden.  The flowers form seed-pods which are very easy to propagate and wild garlic will self-seed itself if left to its own devices.  As the plant grows, larger clumps can also be divided to form new plants.

This plant is also extensively used in traditional medicine – to treat asthma, rheumatism, colds and tuberculosis.  In permaculture, wild garlic is planted among vegetable crops to keep pests away, in particular aphids, and the young leaves can also be eaten as a type of spinach.  In rural areas of KwaZulu-Natal, wild garlic is planted around homesteads to protect them from snakes.  Lastly, and I have no proof that this works, the root of the plant can be used as a love charm by men to attract girls.

What an amazing and useful plant!

Wild Garlic flower.
Wild Garlic flower.