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South African Winter Flowers

By Maureen Katemopoulos ; Updated September 21, 2017
The African daisy is the pride of Namaqualand.

South Africa's Cape Floral Kingdom, named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, is a narrow coastal strip that accommodates about 3.6 percent of the plant species of the world, according to the website Safari Now. About 70 percent of these plants are endemic. Many thrive in the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens in Cape Town. Winter flowering plants are among these natural attractions, cultivated in botanical as well as residential gardens, and growing in the wild.

Confetti Bush

The confetti bush (Coleonema pulchrum) is spectacular for its abundance of small, star-shaped pink or white flowers and vibrant, green leaves. It blooms from late winter well into summer. This evergreen dwarf plant comes from the western and eastern Cape. It is a versatile plant, doing as well in a pot as in the ground. The confetti bush requires well-drained, slightly acidic and well-watered soil and climates that are not too humid or hot and dry. It grows to heights of just under 4 feet. Varieties of the confetti bush include Coleonema alba with white flowers, Coleonema pulchellum with pink flowers and Coleonema 'Sunset Gold' with pink flowers and golden yellow leaves.

African Daisy

Namaqualand, in the western and northern Cape, is home to the African daisy, or the Namaqualand daisy (Dimorphotheca sinuate). This large, showy orange flower has an orange or yellow center and is at the heart of slender, light green leaves. Namaqualand daisies appear in single file at the tip of each branch. This beautiful annual elects to face the full sun and thrives as it flowers from mid-winter to mid-autumn. After the flowers wilt, papery, brown seeds appear. Collect them as soon as you see them, because otherwise they will be gone with the wind. Other forms of Namaqualand daisies come in orange, cream, yellow and salmon. The Namaqualand daisy is a member of the Asteraceae, or daisy, family.


There are many varieties of Romulea flowers that are native to South Africa. The differences among them are subtle, but that is perhaps part of the charm of these pretty, mostly yellow flowers. Cape Province is where you will find Romulea luteflora's cheerful yellow flowers blooming in the late winter through spring. These flowers have dark lines on the outer edge of the cup. The dark yellow flowers of Romulea membranacea have lines in the cups. They grow in the western Karoo and the Bokkeveld escarpment during the winter months. The yellow Romulea Montana has dark streaks in the throat. It grows in the northwest Cape, usually on sandstone outcrops, looking its best from late winter to early spring. Another star of the northwest Cape is the Romulea monticola, whose small, yellow blooms feature darker lines in the throat. They bloom from winter to spring.


About the Author


Based in Northern California, Maureen Katemopoulos has been a freelance writer for more than 25 years. Her articles on travel, the arts, cuisine and history have appeared in publications such as "Stanislaus Magazine," "Orientations," "The Asia Magazine" and "The Peninsula Group Magazine." She holds a Baccalaureate degree in journalism from Stanford University.