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The Botanical Society of South Africa
       Kwa Zulu-Natal Coastal Branch

Herbaceous shrubs 2016

These are the plants we rely on for seasonal colour displays. Generally they are not as long-lived as the woody shrubs but will thrive for several years if rejuvenated and nurtured by cutting back appropriately, feeding well and mulching. Combine them with groundcovers and foliage plants. The range of indigenous herbaceous plants provides for both spare, formal effects and natural, informal plantings.

Anisodontea elegans

Classic Cerise Mallow

Soft bushy shrub 1m for sun near water, with profuse cerise-pink flowers

Artemisia afra

Wormwood / Wilde Als

1-2m, sun. Aromatic feathery foliage used in herbal remedies

Asparagus "Mazeppa"

Mazeppa Asparagus

50cm, ground cover, sun/semi, red berries for birds.

Barleria albostellata

Grey Bush Barleria

2m bushy shrub, sun/dry light shade, attractive silvery foliage; white flowers

Barleria prionitis

Gold Barleria

1m, upright, sun/ semi, golden flowers, hardy

Berkheya speciosa

Beautiful Berkheya

30cm basal leaves in rosette, sun, tall inflorescence of gold coloured daisies.

Ceratotheca triloba

Wild Foxglove

1m, sun, attractive mauve or white tubular flowers

Dermatobotrys saundersii

Tree Jockey

Epiphyte on crowns of forest trees or Pondo Palms. Red flowers, edible fruits

Dissotis canescens

Pink Wild Tibouchina

1m upright shrublet, sun, marshy soil, brilliant pink flowers.

Dyschoriste rogersii

White/Blue Joy

50 cm straggly shrublet, sun, profuse white/blue flowers

Gnidia oppositifolia

White Gnidia

2m, sun, soft, feathery foliage, white-yellow flowers

Gomphostigma virgatum

River Stars

1m lax shrub, sun/semi, charming white flowers, likes damp soil.

Helichrysum populifolium

Poplar Helichrysum

2m, sun/semi-shade, decorative grey leaves. Cream flowers.

Helichrysum splendidum

Cape Gold

Low-growing, hardy ground cover, sun, well-drained soil, heads of cream flowers

Hibiscus pedunculatus

Forest Pink Hibiscus

Small shrub, light shade, pretty pink flowers.

Hibiscus praeteritus

African Red Hibiscus

Hardy small slender shrub, sun or light shade, pretty little red flowers

Hypoestes aristata

Mauve Ribbon Bush

60cm soft shrub, sun/semi-shade, white flowers, attracts bees and butterflies

Hypoestes aristata

White Ribbon Bush

60cm clumping shrublet, semi-shade, white flowers, insects

Indigofera natalensis

Forest Indigo

Delicate upright understorey shrub, 2-5m. Tiny white flowers, rust-red seedpods

Isoglossa woodii


2-3m, forest understorey, butterflies

Juncus effusus

Spreading Rush

Tufted perennial sedge, 1m, prefers damp to wet soil. Good for water features

Justicia capensis

Money Plant

Shrub approx. 1 m. in shade. Small magenta flowers.

Leonotis intermedia

Broad-leaved Leonotis

Shrub of 2m. In forest glades. Orange flowers in autumn.

Leonotis leonurus 'White'

White Wild Dagga

2m herbaceous shrub, full sun, white form less common

Orthosiphon labiatus

Shell Bush

1m compact herbaceous shrub, sun, small tubular flowers all year. Butterflies

Orthosiphon labiatus

Shell Bush

1m compact herbaceous shrub, sun, small tubular flowers all year. Butterflies

Osteospermum ecklonis

Van Stadens River Daisy

50cm, sun, soft bushy shrub, white daisy flowers

Osteospermum Hybrids

Trailing Daisy

Trailing ground cover, morning sun, large daisies.

Pelargonium fragrans

Nutmeg Pelargonium

40cm, sun, white-pink flowers; scented

Peristrophe cernua

False Buckwheat

Fast-growing sprawler, sun dry, pink-purple flowers, attracts birds and butterflies

Phygelius aequalis

River Bell

1m soft shrub for  inland sunny damp places, pretty red tubular flowers.

Plectranthus 'Cape Angels'

Cape Angels

80cm soft shrublet, shade, mauve flowers

Plectranthus ecklonii

Mauve Spur-Flower

1m shrub, delightful purple flowers, light shade

Plectranthus ecklonii

Pink Spur-Flower

1m shrub, delightful pink flowers, light shade

Plectranthus ecklonii

White Spur-Flower

1m shrub, delightful white flowers, light shade

Plectranthus fruticosus 'James'

Pink Spur-flower

2m, shade, pretty pink flowers, good en masse, butterflies

Plectranthus grandidentata

Scented-leaved Spur-flower

60cm spreading shrublet, moist shade, white flowers

Plectranthus 'Mona Lavender'

Mona Lavender

50cm shrublet, light shade, pretty mauve flowers

Plectranthus saccatus

White Stoep Jacaranda

1m soft semi-succulent shrub, profuse mauve-blue flowers, prefers light shade

Plectranthus zuluensis

Zulu Spur-flower

50cm sprawling, semi-shade, pretty blue or white flowers.

Plumbago auriculata

White Plumbago

2m, sprawling, sun, profuse white flowers, butterflies.

Polygala fruticosa

Heart-leaved Polygala

80cm delicate shrub, sun, lovely purple-pink flowers attract insects

Polygala sp.

Dwarf Polygala

Attractive dwarf shrub, purple-pink flowers

Polygala virgata

Purple Broom

Soft upright shrub, sun, pink flowers all year. Rewarding.

Ruspolia hypocrateriformis

Red Ruspolia

Sparse scrambling shrub, 1m, sun-semi, clusters of bright orange-red flowers

Salvia africana-caerulea

Blue Strand Salvia

2m, sun, sandy soil; blue flowers; tea soothes coughs

Salvia africana-lutea

Beach Salvia

1.5m soft shrub, sun, yellow to brown flowers, birds.

Salvia dolomitica

Grey Sage

Grey soft-leaved shrub 1-2m for sun, attractive mauve and cream flowers

Selago canescens

Blue Haze

50cm shrublet in grassland, sun, decorative pannicles of lilac-blue flowers

Selago glomerata


1m, sun, purple flowers, good bedding plant

Syncolostemon densiflorus

Pink Plume

1-2m upright shrub, sun, bright pink flowers, aromatic

Talbotia elegans


Tufted herb, 30cm, damp shade on krantzes, white star flowers; good potplant

Tetradenia riparia

Iboza / Ginger Bush

Fast-growing semi-succulent shrub 3m, sun, lilac plumes, medicinal, birds

Tetradenia riparia

White Ginger Bush

Fast-growing semi-succulent shrub 3m, sun, white plumes, medicinal, birds

Thorncroftia longiflora

Lilac Puff

Semi-succulent shublet with stunning lilac flowers