Shrub medium; Shrub large
4 - 5 m
White; October to January; spring; summer
light shade; screen; sandy soils; am sun; screen; wildlife butterflies insects birds butterfly host; shrubbery; small area tree; narrow spaces;
woodland forest; coastal kzn; bushveld
subtropical east coast; bushveld savanna
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A magnet for birds, this is an essential shrub to have in your garden. The African Dog-rose is usually shrubby growing between 3 and 4 m high. The glossy, dark green foliage is most attractive year round making it a good candidate for a screen as it branches from low down. The flowers are fragrant, large, about 50mm, snow white with yellow stamens that stand up from the petals, remaining on the shrub for a couple of months. Flowering is from October to January. The flowers are followed by woody capsules that split open into a lovely star shape, offering up the red/black seeds to any creature lucky enough to get to the table first. Growth speed is moderate. Plant in semi-shade or sunny positions, and is best in frost free areas, although if protected it can handle light frost. The Dog Rose prefers moderate rains, and soils enriched with compost or leaf mold. It also makes a good container plant if given sufficient and frequent water. The larvae of the Acraea butterfly feed on this shrub. Many gardeners panic when they see their shrub totally ‘infested’ with tiny caterpillars which proceed to munch their way through almost every leaf on the bush. Firstly, this does not kill the shrub and in fact seems to encourage it to grow even faster, and secondly, it emphasizes the importance of planting more than one of a plant species to ensure that there will be enough food for the hatching larvae! Aside from its ability to attract the birds and butterflies, its beauty makes this a great choice for any garden.