The Drakensberg Daisy
The Drakensberg Daisy is a perennial, evergreen plant in our Mediterranean climate with dark-green mounds of foliage with a gray-white pubescence. It produces flowers from spring through fall. The 12 to 18 inch tall composite daisy flowers pale-yellow orange, white, scarlet, apricot and pink heads that look like the classic Gerbera flower. Plant it in full sun to light shade and give regular to occasional irrigation. This plant is pest resistant and tougher than more common varieties of Gerbera daisies, hardy to 10 - 15 degrees makes this a great plant for our region. Plant size is significantly larger than regular gerbera daisies. The individual flowers are smaller but make up the difference with a mass of color held high above the plant. The Drakensberg Daisy mass blooming species makes them truly outstanding in the landscape or patio pots and they make great cut-flowers, too!
Michelia crassipes Banana Shrub
The Banana Shrub, Michelia crassipes figo, and sometimes listed as a variety of that species, with larger leaves that are much darker green and finely quilted with veins, and with much larger, open, creamy white flowers to 3" across that are showy but barely fragrant, having a faint lemony scent somewhat like that of Magnolia grandiflora. An open to eventually moderately dense spreading evergreen shrub to about 10-15' tall, blooming over a very long period. The figo variety has cream and maroon magnolia flowers with an intense, sharp tutti fruiti fragrance. . Sun to part shade, average to little summer watering. Plants can be fast, reaching 6-8’ in 2 years. Neat, rather formal appearance and strong fragrance make it a natural for use near doorways and entries. USDA zone 8, Sunset zones 5, 8-9, 14-24.
Leucadendron 'Safari Sunset' (Safari Conebush) - This Protea is a vigorous, tall and erect grower to over 8 feet tall but can be kept lower and more dense with regular pruning. This full sun plant has green leaves and very deep red colored bracts forming on longs stems beginning in late summer that are great for cutting in fall and winter and even later into spring as the female flowers develop and terminal bracts take on cream tones. As with the cultivar 'Red Gem' this plant is a tough cultivar that can handle frost, alkalinity and clay soils. This is a wonderful garden plant for specimen planting or as a hedge or wind screen is hardy to 20 to 25 degrees. Its cut stems are excellent for large arrangements and it has remained one of the most popular and longest grown of the Proteaceae for cut flower production.