The colour yellow injects optimism and enlightenment into landscaping design. For a corporate gardens yellow (aureolin) is a very stimulating colour and is believed to activate the nervous system and increase memory in employees. Time to start planting yellow flowering shrubs!
Yellow is not a serious colour, if the garden is meant to be a place of relaxation, it is often associated with children, making it ideal for school gardens.
Life Green Group likes planting aureolin flowering plants work well when planted in conjunction with purple plants. Yellow is also the preferred colour of bees, as a rule yellow flowering plants are pollinated by bees and daylight insects like butterflies, making all of these shrubs ideal for a bee gardens.
Here are 13+ indigenous yellow flowering plants that can assist one on their yellow brick road to an all indigenous yellow palette garden, complied by Life Landscapes.
Yellow flowering Grewia species:
The rubber-duck-yellow flowers of the South African Grewia species are a must have for a yellow palette garden. Grewia species are also a favourite with fruit-eating birds and the fruits can be eaten by humans. For more on South Africa’s Grewia species read: Grewia-cious.
• Brandybush (Grewia flava) – desert water-wise shrub
• Giant raisin (Grewia hexamita) - Perfect for a Durban landscape
• Sandpaper raisin (Grewia flacescens) - also prefers a warmer environment
• White raisin (Grewia bicolor) – An ideal South African garden specimen.
Yellow Cape Honeysuckle (Tecoma capensis)
The Cape honeysuckle is a popular plant countrywide. There are a variety of colours but the pale yellow flowers of this scrambling shrub make for a brilliant hedge or screen plant. Shrubs naturally have magnificent flowers and tend to be on the overgrown, messy side of things. However, if you are looking to shape your shrub do so from a young age, yearly shear work in August can sculpt a shrub into a neat tree.
Karoo Rhigozum (Rhigozum obovatum)
The Karoo rhigozum is an excellent subject for a xeriscape garden as it is a water-wise plant desert plant. Being a rewarding garden subject it needs very little TLC. It makes for a protective hedge as it has nasty thorns. It works well in rockeries style gardens and gets eye catching cobalt yellow flowers after the first rains. Effective if planted in groups.
Long-tail Cassia (Cassia abreviata)
Along with the wild laburum, the long-tail cassia this is a fantastic indigenous small tree that does not require any shear work. It occurs in the warmer eastern regions of the country and gets perfumed clusters of sunflower-yellow flowers. This is a great tree to attract parrots and fruit eating birds. For more on how to attract parrots and barbets to your garden read: How to attract fruit eating birds to a garden.
Sun Hibiscus (Hibiscus calyphyllus)
The sun hibiscus has the largest flowers of South Africa’s hibiscuses. This shrub gets lemon-yellow flowers and is ideal for a small landscape. Unlike the wild cotton tree it can handle a little frost and make for a great messy divider in the garden. Life Landscapes suggest you make it the centre of attention in a little garden, as it is a real eye-catcher.
Wild cotton tree (Hibiscus tiliaceus)
The hibiscus tiliaceus’ claim to fame is that it is the only hibiscus in the world to be bestowed with the title of a tree and is frequently used as a street tree in Durban. Although, its flowers are smaller than its Polynesian cousins they still look distinctly hibiscus-like. The wild cotton tree loves a tropical humid environment and true to the tropical nature of hibiscuses this shrub flirts with the South African coastline all the way from the Eastern Cape through Zululand and into Mozambique – growing by estuaries and lagoons – where it gets its other common name, lagoon hibiscus.
Wild Laburnum (Calpurnia aurea)
The wild laburnum does not require any pruning – it is naturally neat with a round evergreen crown. It gets brilliant gold-yellow flowers and will flower prolifically when it is as small as one metre. Being a landscaper’s darling it makes for an excellent street tree because it is so naturally neat.
Snot apple (Azanza garckeana)
The snot apple is not common but there is no reason why the snot apple shouldn’t be - perhaps it’s its unusual name. It provides good shade and gets sunshine-yellow flowers for five months of the year. Its blossoms are distinctly similar to the yellow tree bauhinia and the wild cotton tree. The snot apple is one of the larger shrubs without an invasive root system.
Yellow mallow (Pavonia praemorsa)
They call this plant “Yellow ‘Mallow!’” the lemon-yellow shrub Pavonia praemorsa are a horticulturist’s delight. The yellow mallow thrives in sandy solid and full sun. It is a low maintenance plant and incredibly rewarding, attracting butterflies and birds with its yellow disposition. Landscapers appreciate it for its hardiness and year round blooms.
Yellow tree bauhinia (Bauhinia tomentosa)
The lime green leaves and bright yellow flowers of the yellow tree bauhinia inject warmth into a landscape. This is a larger shrub and if pruned correctly can make a superb tree. However, if planted with other bauhinia species or fellow aureolin flowering shrubs the Bauhinia tomentosa can make for wild looking scrubbery. The Bauhinia tomentosa can handle coastal conditions and the larve of the orange barred playboy butterfly pupate in the pods of the bauhinia tomentosa… so for the love of butterflies plant a yellow tree bauhinia!