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Bowkeria verticillata


Water Needs

moderate; high

Bowkeria verticillata
Shrub medium; Shrub large
Southern Shell-flower (Suidelike Skulpblombos)

3 - 5 m


Light Conditions

sun; semi-shade


light; moderate; hardy


white; November and January; spring summer

Garden Situation

light shade; semi-shade; screen; am sun; container; damp shade; wildlife insects


woodland forest; water; coastal eastern cape; grassland


Subtropical East Coast; highveld; thicket

Rain Season


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The white flowering Southern Shell-flower (Suidelike Skulpblombos,) is another higher altitude frost-hardy species, ranging through the KwaZulu-Natal uplands, Free State, Lesotho and the Eastern Cape. Natural habitats are similar to the Yellow Shell-flower, along forest edges, among evergreen scrub, and along water courses. This is a variable shrub or small tree, growing to between 3 and 5m high. Leaves are stiff, dark green, with a patterned surface variously described as corrugated or quilted. Fragrant flowers grow in pairs close to the tips of stems between November and January and are relatively large at 20mm in size. Their sticky surface is an identifiable characteristic. Dense foliage from ground level makes it an excellent privacy screen candidate though the growth rate is on the slow side at only 50cm a year in areas receiving good rains. I have only encountered these shrubs in Mistbelt Gardens in Pietermaritzburg and Hilton, and in the gardens of a few Drakensberg resorts.

Bowkeria verticillata
Bowkeria verticillata
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