White Magic

With a palette of soft whites and creams, these captivating indigenous flowers add understated sophistication to any garden space.

Freylinia helmei ‘Bell Bush’ (Above)

Listed as endangered, this upright evergreen shrub grows to a height of 2.5-metres, with exquisite pendulous white flowers from August to November. An ideal plant for the fynbos garden, it is water-wise and grows well in loamy soil in sunny to lightly shaded areas. Tall and vigorous in habit, it responds well to regular pruning.

Knowltonia vesicatoria ‘Blisterleaf’

This is one of the few and best fynbos plants for the shady garden. In spring, small white flowers are borne in clusters on 1.2-metre stems, followed by black berries. Tough, water-wise and slow-growing, it should be planted in well-drained, shaded soil with no competition from other groundcovers. It responds well to a thick application of compost mulch and regular watering, although mature plants are relatively drought resistant.

Mackaya bella ‘Forest Bell Bush’

This beautiful two-metre-tall shrub occurs only in Southern Africa. It’s a desirable garden subject, growing with slender branches, dark green leaves and racemes of large trumpet-shaped white flowers, and makes a striking pot specimen in a protected position. Thriving in a lightly shaded position, too much sun may cause leaves to yellow. This frost-tender plant loves well-drained soil with plenty of compost and lots of watering over the dry months.

Sparmannia africana ‘Cape Stock Rose’

A fast-growing shrub of about two metres in height, it boasts large, soft, green leaves and pretty clusters of white flowers with protruding golden stamens. Plant in rich, loamy soil, and water and prune to shape regularly. It prefers a lightly shaded and protected position but tolerates some sun.

Zantedeschia aethiopica ‘Green Goddess’

A chic retake on the traditional Arum, the ‘Green Goddess’ is a striking garden subject reaching a height of 1.5 metres. It is dormant during summer in the Western Cape, and in winter in the summer-rainfall areas, while remaining evergreen in all regions if grown in marshy conditions. Plant in partial shade in rich, loamy soil. Flowers appear from August to January.

Leucospermum bolusii ‘Gordon’s Bay Pincushion’

This unfussy plant forms a rounded shrub of about 1.5-metres tall and is easy to grow, with fragranced flowers blooming from spring to mid-summer. Plant in well-drained, acidic sandstone soils in a sunny position. It’s intolerant of rich soils and chemical fertilizers.

For detailed plant information, visit plantzafrica.com.

Photography Heidi Bertish