top of page

Thorncroftia succulenta


Water Needs


Thorncroftia succulenta
Rock Sage

1 - 1,5 m<


Light Conditions



Light; moderate


Purple, mauve; February - June; summer; autumn; winter

Garden Situation

sun; rockery; sandy soils; dry soils; walls shrubbery; wildlife butterflies; narrow spaces; fast-growing easy-care


rocky places; grassland; bushveld; urban streets


highveld; bushveld savanna

Rain Season


Find informative indigenous gardening articles in our web magazine -


Plants grow from a short, single stem before splitting into a few side branches reaching 1m in height, occasionally 1,5 m. The succulent green stems eventually become quite woody and grey-brown in colour. Leaves are small but numerous, grey-green in colour, opposite each other along the entire stem, often covered in velvety hairs when young. Leaves are oblong with rounded teeth on the upper two-thirds of the leaves. Spikes of pink, mauve, purple flowers cover the shrub from February to June. These are long, thin and tubular in shape with a flared mouth and dark purple spots on the lower petal. Flowers are followed by small black to brown seeds only visible once the flower tube has fallen off. The Rock Sage enjoys full sun in well- draining soil. In the wild plants usually grow on rocky outcrops it grows in humus filled crevices, thus ideal for hot rockeries where plants will need to cope with the heat given off by the surrounding rocks. Thorncroftia succulenta will grow well in shallow soils and can thus cope with drought conditions and is hardy enough to survive frost. A summer rainfall shrub it prefers to be kept dry in winter but is versatile enough to handle winter rains as long as the soil is free draining. In this climate make sure it receives some water during summer. Propagation is via soft or hardwood cuttings in summer and spring. Seed can be collected in winter and planted out in spring.

Thorncroftia succulenta
Thorncroftia succulenta
bottom of page