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Aristolochia is a genus of evergreen and deciduous woody vines and herbaceous perennials. The smooth stem is erect or somewhat twining. The simple leaves are alternate and cordate, membranous, growing on leaf stalks.
It has been catagorised as an 1b Invasive plant in South Africa. These plants must be controlled and wherever possible, removed and destroyed. Any form of trade or planting is strictly prohibited.
Vygies – or mesembryanthemums – are truly South Africa’s most colourful plant group. Their silky-textured flowers – in just about every colour of the rainbow – will give an extraordinary luminosity to any border.
Plant vygies in a sunny, well-drained position. Where drainage is a problem, rockeries and north and west-facing slopes are ideal sites. Vygies thrive in many different soil types, and need little nourishment. Perennial vygies can be planted at any time of the year.
Dog Rose – Rosa canina The Dog rose is a sprawling, fast growing, thorny creeper making it a very good security climber and hedging.
In the 18th and 19th century it was used as a cure for rabid dogs, hence the name Dog Rose. Other old folk names include dogberry and witches’ briar.
The fruit is noted for its high vitamin C level and is used to make syrup, tea and marmalade. It has been grown or encouraged in the wild for the production of vitamin C, from its fruit (often as rose-hip syrup), especially during conditions of scarcity or during wartime.
The dog rose was the stylized rose of medieval European heraldry. It is also the county flower of Hampshire. Legend states the Thousand-year Rose or Hildesheim Rose, that climbs against a wall of Hildesheim Cathedral dates back to the establishment of the diocese in 815.
Nasturtiums are a wonderfully colorful and useful annual addition to any garden and they are easy to grow. It has a pleasant peppery taste and has become a favourite world over. The showy flowers come in shades of fiery red, oranges and yellows. The flowers can be single or double.
Sow the seeds in Spring in a sunny spot. It does best in sandy soils, but any well drained soil will do. Interestingly, the poorer the soil, the more flowers the plant will produce. Once they are established they will reseed themselves year after year.
Nasturtiums are wonderful companion plants. Plant them near roses, cucumbers, cabbage and other plants.
All parts of the plant are used. Eat a leaf at the first sign of a sore throat, another an hour later and a third leaf an house later. Nasturtiums have a high vitamin C content, as well as being a natural antibiotic. It is also used to treat bladder and kidney ailments,coughs, colds, flu, sore throats and bronchitis.
The flower has most often been consumed, making for an especially ornamental salad ingredient.