The movement towards locally-sourced products, services, and just about anything and everything you can imagine has been going strong for a few years now. The ‘Local is Lekker’ concept is a great way of supporting local industries, but it’s about time we extend that sentiment to promoting and celebrating indigenous flora!
South Africa has an absolute wealth of indigenous plant species that range from hardy, water-conscious succulents with gorgeous little flowers, to iconic fynbos and magnificent trees, shrubs and bulbs of all types. Not only are our indigenous species attractive additions to any local garden, but they are also perfectly adapted to thrive in South African conditions, climates and seasons. Fynbos, for example has evolved to cope with veld fires and even requires the smoke and heat of the fire to germinate in some cases – South African ingenuity at its finest!
We also have many highly efficacious indigenous species with unique chemical properties, making them essential in drugs and other compounds which can be life-saving interventions. Preserving and protecting our local plant species is in our best interest, and your garden will be the better for it.
Ready to plant local? Here’s a list of indigenous plants that are so on trend right now:
Euphorbia Tirucalli – Firesticks
This gorgeous evergreen succulent shrub resembles something from an alien landscape, or coral in the depths of an exotic ocean. The stems take on an enticing reddish-golden hue that fades to a warm yellow in summer. It is a highly water-wise plant that is perfect for adding vertical accents to your garden scape.
A very popular Aloe variety, the ‘Tiger-Eye’ has beautiful shiny orange blooms that flower continuously throughout the year, don’t fall off in summer and are even rather resistant to insects. The Aloe itself uses very little water, is resistant to nearly all Aloe diseases and will bring a vibrant splash of fiery colour to your garden.
Kalenchoe Thyrsiflora – Flapjack Plant
The Paddle or Flapjack plant is one of the most dramatic of the indigenous succulents, with its basal rosette of thick, fleshy leaves. The plant istelf is shaped like a clam shell and the attractive jade leaves are bedecked in stunning red-wine tips in winter, before it flowers with clusters of pale yellow, tubular flowers towards the start of spring. A fine local jewel in your garden’s crown!