Plant Guide

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Flower display


Phylica pubescens

featherhead, flannel flower

Evergreen shrub from South Africa with narrow grey-green leaves densely covered with soft hairs. Tiny flowers with a very mild cinnamon scent, surrounded by showy, hairy, golden creamy bracts appear at the ends of the branches in autumn through to late winter. Often sold as the smaller growing Phylica plumosa (.3-.6 m tall).

Happiest in full sun and well-draining soil. Copes well with dry conditions and is suitable for coastal gardens. Tolerates light to medium frosts (to about -6 degrees Celsius).

This would be the perfect plant for a 'tactile' garden; it feels so nice and soft. Lasts well on water as a cut flower or cut foliage, and can also dried. Once in flower, Phylica pubescens looks amazing since the whole plant is usually covered with its unusual flowers.


Plumbago auriculata

blue plumbago, Cape leadwort, Cape plumbago

Evergreen shrub in the Plumbaginaceae family, native to South Africa, with long,slender stems, glossy, mid-green foliage and pale blue, phlox-like flowers. The spoon-shaped leaves are about 5 cm long. Flowers are tubular (2.5 cm long), with five petals, and are produced on current season's wood in 15 cm wide, terminal racemes, mainly during late summer and autumn. Plumbago auriculata 'Royal Cape' has more intense blue flowers.

Synonym: Plumbago capensis.

Prefers a position in full sun and well-draining, slightly acidic soil, protected from strong winds. Flowering is somewhat reduced in partial shade. Suitable for coastal areas. Reasonably drought tolerant once established. Prune after flowering or any time during winter to create a more bushy and compact shrub. If damage occurs after moderate frosts, the plant usually recovers (USDA zones 8B-11).

When left to grow without pruning, Plumbago auriculata forms an open shrub with graceful, arching branches. You can grow this as a climber by tying the branches to a support structure like a trellis. Plant next to pink-flowering shrubs for a lovely, soft, colour combination. Add plants with a stronger shape (such as Pittosporum tenuifolium 'Golf ball' or clipped Buxus sempervirens balls) and different textural qualities (such as Phormium 'Green Dwarf' or other plants with spiky or strap-shaped foliage).


Podranea ricasoliana

Port St Johns creeper, pink trumpet vine, Zimbabwe creeper, queen of Sheba, Port St Johns klimop, pink tecoma

Evergreen climber in the Bignoniaceae family with glossy, pinnately compound leaves and showy flowers in clusters during summer. Oval leaflets, 2-9 cm long, with entire to sparsely toothed margins. The trumpet-shaped, 6-8 cm long flowers are pink with darker pink to red stripes. Sometimes the flowers are followed by seed capsules that look like long, narrow green beans (to about 25 cm long and 0.5-1 cm wide). Origin uncertain: possibly indigenous to South Africa, but may have been introduced there by slave traders.

Synonyms: Tecoma ricasoliana, Pandorea ricasoliana, Bignonia rosea.

Prefers a position in full sun, but will handle partial shade. Grows in any rich, well-draining soil. Tolerates coastal conditions and wind. Mature plants can cope with moderate frosts (to about -7 0C). Once established, Podranea ricasoliana is reasonably drought tolerant. It does not produce tendrils, so needs to be tied to a support structure, and can be espaliered. Prune in winter or early spring. In parts of New Zealand this plant is regarded as a weed and a threat for the native vegetation.

Vigorous climber with attractive foliage and a spectacular candy-floss pink flower display in late summer. Great choice where you want a fast cover for fences, walls, arches, or pergolas. Could be used as a ground cover, sprawling over rocks and banks. Grow in a large container in cold climates and move indoors during winter.


Protea neriifolia 'Limelight'

Evergreen shrub with lanceolate leaves, flowering mainly during autumn and winter with creamy-green flower-heads with purple-red tufts on the bracts. Similar to, but a smaller shrub with smaller flowers than 'Green Ice'

'Limelight' (= 'Green Jade') is a cultivar developed in 1950 in New Zealand, originating from the oleander-leaved or narrow-leaved Protea neriifolia, which is endemic to South Africa.

Prefers a sunny position in acidic, and relatively poor soil. Any soil type is suitable but it must be well-draining. A yearly application of blood and bone in spring is recommended, but otherwise keep the nutrient levels low and don't apply any further fertilisers. In general, proteas dislike humidity, so a relatively windy site is ideal, since the wind keeps the humidity down. Staking will be required in very windy locations. No additional watering is necessary, except maybe in extremely dry summers. Mulch to keep the weeds down or grow as a lawn specimen, to limit the need to remove weeds around the plant and thus disturb its sensitive, shallow root system. They can be pruned quite heavily, but not beyond the foliage. Remove dead and damaged wood, as well as the by-pass shoots that the develop just below the flower-head. Suitable for coastal conditions.

Striking plant when in flower. Perfect for coastal gardens. The flowers (and foliage) last for ages on water. Just be careful not to "kill them by kindness"!


Prunus 'Billington'

plum Billington, Japanese plum Billington

Small deciduous tree with white blossoms in late winter and dark red plums in summer. Fruit has firm, sweet tasting, juicy, red flesh. Use as fresh fruit, or for cooking and preserving. Partially self-fertile. Pollinators: 'Black Doris', 'Wilson's Early', 'Omega' or 'Santa Rosa'. Sometimes available as part of a double-grafted plum tree.

Prefers a sunny position in fertile, well-draining soil. Good disease resistance.

Prunus 'Billington' is an early-fruiting plum with a heavy crop of fruits ripening around Christmas time in New Zealand. Beautiful dainty appearance when in flower during winter. Good 'all-rounder'.


Prunus x yedoensis 'Awanui'

Vigorous, ornamental cherry, flowering in spring with masses of slightly fragrant, pale pink-white, single flowers. Foliage turns yellow and orange in autumn. 'Awanui' (and Prunus x yedoensis itself), is propagated by means of grafting, but also roots easily from cuttings. Usually it is top-worked, i.e. grafted at a higher level as opposed to near ground-level) to form a clear-stemmed tree with layered branches. Attracts birds, bees, and butterflies.

'Awanui' is a cultivar of the Japanese Prunus x yedoensis, also known as the Yoshino cherry. It was selected by the New Zealand nurseryman Keith Adams. 'Awanui' was the name of the street that gave access to his property, and is the Maori world for gully.

Prefers a sunny position in any well-draining soil. Provide some shelter to prevent flower damage and prolong flowering. Good disease resistance. Frost hardy (zones 5-9). 

An avenue with a row of flowering Prunus x yedoensis 'Awanui' on either side is breathtakingly beautiful. Make sure you have sufficient space for this gorgeous tree as it gets quite wide.


Psoralea pinnata

Dally pine, blue Psoralea, African scurf pea, blue pea, fountain bush, blue broom, taylorina, fonteinbos, penwortel

Evergreen shrub or small tree in the legume family, with bright green, soft, needle-like leaves. Flowering in early spring with blue and white or lilac and white, pea-like, bee-attracting, scented flowers (to 1.5 cm across) clustered at the ends of the branches. The flowers are followed by small, wrinkled seedpods that each contain a seed. Psoralea pinnata is native to South Africa where it occurs naturally along streams and wet places (i.e. winter-wet areas). It has established itself in other regions of the world such as Southern Australia and the north of New Zealand where it is regarded as a weed. Psoralea pinnata tolerates a wide range of growing conditions, including wind, drought, high rainfall, coastal conditions, and poor soils. Because it is a nitrogen-fixer, it changes the growing environment for the original native plant species that may no longer be able to compete as a result. Germination is stimulated by fire. The pant is relatively short-lived (about 10 years).

Psoralea pinnata prefers a sunny position, except in areas with very high summer temperatures where a partially shaded site is better. Tolerates waterlogged soils, but also copes with occasional drought once estabished. Prune after flowering. Self-seeds quite easily. Tolerates light to moderate frosts (zones 9-11).

Striking tree when in flower. You may need to give it some help in the form of pruning and training to develop a good shape as it does not appear to do so naturally and often has a somewhat straggly, unbalanced appearance.


Rhaphiolepis indica 'Enchantress'

pink Indian hawthorn

One of the cultivars of Rhaphiolepis indica, the Indian hawthorn, a tough evergreen shrub from to southern China. 'Enchantress' is also known as 'Pinkie'. Thick, leathery, oblong leaves with toothed margins, dark green above, olive green beneath, developing a bronze tinge later in winter. Star-shaped, 5-petalled, pink with white flowers, 2-3 cm across, in clusters at the ends of branches, mainly during spring. Flowers are followed by small dark blue berries. Most named cultivars of Rhaphiolepis indica are smaller-growing than the species itself which usually reaches a height of about 2.5 m, but can grow even taller in suitable growing conditions.

Prefers a position in full sun and well-draining soil. In extremely hot climates, a partially shaded position is better. Tolerates coastal conditions, wind exposure, and relatively dry soils once established. Trim once a year after flowering to keep compact. Withstands hard pruning. Resents root disturbance.  Moderate frosts to about -10 deg C.  

Great choice for a coastal hedge. Also suitable as a filler, clipped specimen, container plant, or a shrub for flower display after the winter-flowering plants have stopped flowering, and just before the roses begin to flower.  


Rhodohypoxis baurii

Rhodohypoxis baurii

Ground-covering herbaceous perennial from South Africa with grassy leaves, 3-10 cm long, and pink, white or red, star-shaped flowers, 2-3 cm wide, opening in spring and summer. Spreads with small dark brown rhizomes.

Prefers a sunny spot with well-draining soil, moist during the growing season and relatively dry during the dormant time in winter. Multiplies well. Propagate from seed in spring, or by division in late autumn. Tolerates moderate frosts (USDA zones 9-10). In areas with wet or very cold winters, Rhodopoxis baurii is best grown in a pot that can be moved indoors when the plant is dormant. Water sparingly in winter; just enough to prevent the rhizomes from completing drying out. Generally disease free.

Forms a lovely colourful carpet, flowering for a long time. Good for under-planting, as long as the plant still receives lots of sun. Perfect for containers.


Rosa 'Absolutely Fabulous'

Repeat-flowering floribunda rose with glossy mid green foliage and old-fashioned, butter yellow flowers with an unusual sweet anise-licorice scent. Flowers have 30-45 petals, and are about 10 cm across. Neat, rounded growing habit and self-cleaning (petals of spent flowers drop off).

Registration name: Rosa 'WEKvossutono'. Bred by Tom Carruth (USA). Introduced in Australia as Rosa 'Soul Mate' and in the USA as Rosa 'Julia Child'. Master chef Julia Child selected this rose herself to bear her name. Known as Rosa 'Absolutely Fabulous' in the UK and New Zealand.

Prefers a sunny position in any well-draining soil with a generous amount of organic matter. Good mildew and blackspot resistance. Heat tolerant. Fertilise in early spring and again in early summer. Dead-head during the flowering season and prune in winter.

Gorgeous rose for flower display, flowering prolifically throughout the season. Can be grown as a standard or a shrub in garden beds or borders, as a single specimen or en masse. Good for cutting. Suitable for containers.


Rosa 'Alberic Barbier'

Very vigorous, rambling rose with dark green, glossy foliage. Flowers profusely for about two months during the main flush starting in spring with apricot-yellow flowerbuds opening to creamy white flowers with a hint of yellow, fading to white. Some flowers throughout the rest of the season, possibly with a second, smaller flush. Mild apple fragrance.

Registered as Rosa 'Albéric Barbier'. Bred by Barbier Frères & Compagnie in 1900 (France) from a cross between Rosa luciae (Rosa wichurana) and Rosa 'Shirley Hibberd'. 

Suitable for a sunny position in any well-draining soil with a generous amount of organice matter. Partial sun is best in areas with a hot climate. Shade tolerant. Fertilise in early spring and again in early summer. Prune after flowering. Suitable for coastal gardens. Good disease resistance.

Make sure you have enough space for this one! Rosa 'Albéric Barbier' really goes for it, and is the perfect climber to cover fences, buildings, and arbors.


Rosa 'Andrea Jane'

Hybrid tea rose, flowering in flushes throughout the season with showy, delicately perfumed flowers and dark green foliage. Large, 10-14 cm wide, double flowers with creamy white and pale yellow petals and rosy pink edges.  

Registration name: Rosa 'MACberli'. Bred by Sam McGredy (New Zealand).

Prefers a position in full sun and any well-draining soil with a generous amount of organic matter. Frost-hardy, but may need some protection from spring frosts in cold climates. Dead-head during the flowering season and prune in winter.

Gorgeous full flowers with beautiful colour combinations. Good for sunny beds and borders. Excellent for cutting.


Rosa 'Class Act'

Vigorous, but well-behaved floribunda rose with dark green foliage, flowering continuously throughout the season with small clusters. Yellow buds with a hint of reddish, opening to semi-double, pale lemon yellow to white flowers, gradually revealing yellow stamens. Very faint fragrance only. Attractive hips.

Bred by William A. Marriner (USA, 1988). Registered as Rosa 'JACare'. Also traded as Rosa 'First Class' or Rosa 'White Magic'.

Prefers a sunny or lightly shaded position in any, well-draining soil with a generous amount of organic matter. Fertilise in early spring, and again in early summer. Dead-head during the season. Good disease resistance. Prune in winter or early spring. Frost-hardy; tolerates -20 deg C. 

Rosa 'Class Act' is a very classy rose with strong, straight stems and beautiful, long-pointed buds with delicate colour combinations of yellow and a little bit of red. Initially the flowers themselves are white with a pale yellow sheen, maturing to white and opening to show the yellow stamens.  Good all-round performer in groups or as a single specimen in beds, borders, or containers. Suitable for cutting. 


Rosa 'Dark Moments'

Vigorous floribunda rose with glossy dark green foliage and russet brown flowers with a clove-like fragrance. Flowers are medium-sized, and are produced throughout the season in both small and large clusters. May produce long stems in autumn, reducing flower production later in the season.

Registration name: Rosa 'Simdamo'. Bred by Nola Simpson (New Zealand) from a cross between Rosa 'Mary Sumner' and Rosa 'Kirsty Jayne'.

Prefers a sunny position in any well-draining soil with a generous amount of organic matter. Fertilise in early spring and again in early summer. Dead-head during the flowering season and prune in winter. Good disease resistance, but may get some powdery mildew. Grows wider than many other roses, so needs to be given sufficient space.

Who wouldn't like a rose with flowers in the colour of dark chocolate! The flowers hold their unusual colour well (unlike some other brown roses). Good for cutting. 


Rosa 'Dear One'

Floribunda rose, free-flowering in flushes throughout the season with soft pink flowers, fading to white. Flowers have a mild fragrance.

Registration name: Rosa 'CAMalpha'.  Cross between Rosa 'Sexy Rexy' and Rosa 'Valentine Heart'. Bred by David Benny (New Zealand).

Prefers a sunny position in any well-draining soil with a generous amount of organic matter. May be somewhat slow in getting established. Fertilise in early spring and again in early summer. Dead-head during the flowering season and prune in winter.

Very pretty rose with exquisitely shaped flowers. Lovely shrub for flower display in garden beds and borders.