Indigenous plants for shade

Knowltonia vesicatoriaMost of us know that Plectranthus will do well in shady spots, but what fynbos species will thrive in the depths?

If you have ever clambered up Skeleton Gorge on Table Mountain you might have noticed some interesting plants, with distinctive, three-lobed leaves – resembling Hellebores – near the top. The plants bloom in late winter and early spring with tall, showy stems and airy white flowers. Later they develop interesting black, bead-like seeds.

knowltonia vesicatoria

Knowltonia vesicatoria belongs to the Rununculaceae family and is closely related to Anemones (so there is some good garden background built in). Brandblaar is an Afrikaans name for it, and apparently the leaves were used to raise blisters on skin over inflamed joints. Maybe that was so painful that you forgot about the arthritis!

Read more about propagating and growing Knowltonia on PlantzAfrica.

Photo credits: Marijke Honig, author of the new fynbos gardening book, Plant Palettes (Quivertree, November 2014), and Marie Viljoen.

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