Southern Africa is a global hotspot for cycads, ancient non-flowering plants whose ancestors date back to the time of the dinosaurs. Of the 65 cycad species that occur in Africa, a great number of these are threatened in the wild. The Garden currently represents 33% of cycad species with plans to expand the collection in the near future.
You will find plantings of two genera in this new garden; Encephalartos which has coarse, often spiny fronds and under the shelter of a large fig tree, Stangeria, which has soft lime green leaves. Nearby are some fine old examples of Encephalartos, these older specimens demonstrate the trunk or caudex that forms with age, as well as displaying the large cones which occur on separate male and female plants.
This glorious flower garden will delight and amaze you!
The garden will also feature some of the magnificent bulbs endemic to southern Africa including Scadoxus, Boophone and Haemanthus. The flowers of these deciduous bulbs have to be seen to be believed. These plantings will be surrounded by flowering annuals and examples of southern African shrubs in the protea family.
Did you know that southern Africa's Proteas and our Waratahs are distant relatives?
If you look closely at some of these colourful shrubs you may be reminded of local plants like Waratahs, Banksias and Grevilleas. This is because they are all in the Proteaceae family, which provides evidence that Australia and southern Africa were once joined as part of the Gondwanan supercontinent millions of years ago.