Climates vary considerably in relatively short distances travelled through the province of KwaZulu Natal. This allows for a vast array of different plant types to be cultivated in gardens throughout the province. Extreme cold is experienced in many parts of the hinterland. Gardens in these areas require plants to be carefully selected in order to withstand the ravages of incessant winter cold. Using frost cover to protect young plants for their first few winters helps them to get established. As plants mature, they tend to be tougher and become more cold resistant. Some of the older gardens in these regions are packed full of many temperate climate plants that can only grow in those areas. They are generally scarce and not readily available to the garden trade any longer.

This is a short list of some of the more common plants suitable for the colder parts of Kwazulu Natal.

Annuals and perennials (low growing)

Key: (E) = evergreen (D) = deciduous (I) = indigenous (F) = fruit (S) = seed (C) = climber (P) = palm (B) = bulb

Achillea millefolium all types (yarrow) (D)
Alcea rosea (hollyhock) (E)
Aquilegia caerulea all hybrids and cultivars (D)
Armeria maritima (sea thrift) (E)
Astilbe arendsii hybrids (goat’s beard) (D)
Crinum bulbispermum (Orange river lily) (D) (I)
Delphinium nudicaule (delphinium) (E)
Dianthus barbatus (sweet william) (E)
Diascia integerrima and hybrids (E) (I)
Dierama pendulum (harebell) (E)(I)
Digitalis purpurea (foxglove) (E)
Echinacea purpurea all hybrids (coneflowers) (D)
Gaura lindheimeri all hybrids (butterfly flower) (ED)
Heuchera americana all forms and hybrids (coral bells) (ED)
Iberis sempervirens (perennial candytuft) (E)
Iris all bearded hybrids (garden iris) (E)
Iris louisiana all hybrids (Louisiana iris) (E)
Iris siberica all hybrids (Siberian iris) (D)
Kniphofia uvaria and all hybrids (red hot poker) (ED) (I)
Leucanthemum maximum all hybrids (shasta daisy) (ED)
Leucojum aestivum (snowflake) (D) (B)
Lobelia cardinalis all hybrids (cardinal flower) (ED)
Narcissus hybrids and cultivars (daffodil) (D) (B)
Penstemon all hybrids and cultivars (penstemon) (ED)
Phlox paniculata hybrids (perennial phlox) (D)
Physostegia virginiana (obedience plant) (D)
Primula acaulis (primrose) (E)
Rudbeckia hirta all hybrids (coneflower) (ED)
Scabiosa columbaria (cornflower) (E)
Tradescantia virginiana (spider wort) (D)
Tulipa hybrids (tulip) (D) (B)
Verbascum x hybrid (mullein) (ED)
Viola tricolor all forms and hybrids (hearts ease) (E)
Viola x wittrockiana all forms and hybrids (pansy) (E)
Watsonia hybrids (watsonia) (D) (B)
Zantedeschia aethiopica (arum lily) (D) (I)

Groundcovers (low growing)

Key: (E) = evergreen (D) = deciduous (I) = indigenous (F) = fruit (S) = seed (C) = climber (P) = palm (B) = bulb

Acorus gramineus all forms (sweet flag) (E)
Ajuga reptans all forms (carpet bugle) (ED)
Bergenia cordifolia (pig’s ears) (E)
Carex comans all forms and colours (sedge grass) (E)
Cerastium tomentosum (snow in summer) (E)
Dymondia margaretae (yellow daisy) (E) (I)
Erigeron karvinskianus (Mexican fleabane) (E)
Festuca ovina glauca (silver fescue grass) (E)
Juniperus procumbens ‘Nana’ (shore juniper) (E)
Prunella webbiana all forms (self-heal) (E)
Stachys byzantina (lamb’s ear) (E)
Thymus serpyllum (creeping thyme) (E)
Trifolium repens ‘Atropurpurea’ (black shamrock) (E)
Verbena tenuisecta all forms and hybrids (verbena) (E)
Veronica repens (Corsican speedwell) (E)
Viola odorata ‘The Czar’ (sweet violet) (E)

Shrubs and Climbers (medium to tall growing)

Key: (E) = evergreen (D) = deciduous (I) = indigenous (F) = fruit (S) = seed (C) = climber (P) = palm (B) = bulb

Abelia x grandiflora all cultivars and hybrids (glossy abelia) (E)
Agave geminiflora (twin flowered agave) (E)
Aloysia citriodora (lemon verbena) (D)
Aucuba japonica ‘Variegata’ (Japanese laurel)
Berberis thunbergii all cultivars and hybrids (Japanese barberry) (D)
Buxus microphylla ‘Faulkner’ (box) (E)
Buxus sempervirens ‘Superba’ (box hedge) (E)
Camellia sasanqua Hybrids (autumn camellias) (E)
Ceratostigma willmottianum (Chinese plumbago) (D)
Clematis montana ‘Grandiflora’ (Himalayan clematis) (D) (C)
Conifer – Thuja occidentalis all forms and clones (American arbor-vitae) (E)
Conifer –Chamaecyparis all species and clones (cypress) (E)
Conifer – Juniperus all species and clones (juniper) (E)
Conifer – Platycladus orientalis all forms and clones (Chinese arbor-vitae) (E)
Deutzia gracilis (bridal wreath) (D)
Elaeagnus x ebbingei ‘Gilt Edge’ (Russian silver olive) (E)
Esacallonia ‘Pink Princess’ (escallonia) (E)
Euonymous japonicus ‘Aureo-Marginatus’ (Japanese spindle) (E)
Euonymous japonicus ‘Microphyllus’ (dwarf Japanese spindle) (E)
Euryops virgineus (honey marguerite) (E) (I)
Freylinia tropica (honey-bell bush) (E) (I)
Gelsemium sempervirens (Carolina jessamine) (E) (C)
Hebe pinquifolia pagei (veronica) (E)
Hydrangea quercifolia (oak leaf hydrangea) (D)
Hypericum sinense (St. John’s wort) (E)
Ilex aquifolium all hybrids and cultivars (English holly) (E)
Ilex dimorphophylla ‘Hollywood’ (small leaf holly)
Laurus nobilis (bayleaf) (E)
Leucosidea sericea (oldwood) (E) (I)
Ligustrum ovalifolium ‘Aureum’ (golden privet) (E)
Loropetalum chinense ‘Rubrum’ (redleaf) (E)
Nandina domestica all cultivars and hybrids (Japanese sacred bamboo) (E) (D)
Parthenocissus quinqueflia (Virginia creeper) (D) (C)
Parthenocissus tricuspidata (Boston ivy) (D) (C)
Perovskia atrplicifolia (Russian sage) (E)
Photiniax fraseri ‘Red Robin’ (red robin) (E)
Physocarpus opulifolius all cultivars and hybrids (ninebark) (D)
Prunus laurocerasus (English laurel) (E)
Punica granatum (pomegranate) (D) (F)
Rhaphiolepsis delacourii all forms (Indian hawthorn) (E)
Ruscus hypoglossum (buthcher’s broom) (E)
Salvia gregii all forms (autumn sage) (E)
Spiraea cantoniensis ‘Flora Plena’ (Cape may bush) (D)
Trachelosperum jasminoides (star jasmine) (E) (C)
Weigela florida hybrids (weigela) (D)
Wisteria sinensis all hybrids and cultivars (blue rain) (D) (C)
Yucca aloifolia purpurea (Spanish bayonet) (E)

 Trees (tall growing)

Key: (E) = evergreen (D) = deciduous (I) = indigenous (F) = fruit (S) = seed (C) = climber (P) = palm (B) = bulb

Acer palmatum (Japanese maple) (D)
Betula pendula (silver birch) (D)
Butia capitata (jelly palm) (E) (P)
Ceratonia siliqua (carob tree) (E)
Chamaerops humilis (Mediterranean fan palm) (E) (P)
Combretum erythrophyllum (river bush willow) (D) (I)
Conifer – Cedrus deodora (deodar) (E)
Conifer – Cupressus all species and clones (cypress) (E)
Conifer – Ginkgo biloba (maidenhair tree) (D)
Conifer – Taxodium distichum (swamp cypress) (D)
Conifer – Cryptomeria japonica (Japanese cedar) (E)
Conifer – X Cuprocyparis leylandii (Leyland’s cypress) (E)
Cordyline australis (New Zealand cabbage tree) (E)
Liquidambar styraciflua (sweet gum) (D)
Malus floribunda (Japanese crab apple) (D) Note: all Malus are cold hardy
Olea europea africana (wild olive) (E) (I)
Peltophorum africanum (weeping wattle) (D) (I)
Platanus acerifolia (London plane) (D)
Populus simonii ‘Fastigiata’ (upright poplar) (D)
Prunus africana (red stinkwood) (D) (I)
Prunus domestica (plum and flowering plum) (D) (F)
Prunus persica (peach and flowering peach) (D) (F)
Prunus serrulata hybrids (Japanese flowering cherry) (D)
Ptaeroxylon obliquum (sneeze wood) (E) (I)
Quercus palustris (pin oak) (D)
Salix mucronata (Cape willow) (D) (I)
Schotia brachypetala (weeping Boer bean) (E) (I)
Senegalia galpinii (monkey thorn) (D) (I)
Trachycarpus fortunei (Chusan palm) (E) (P)
Vachellia karoo (sweet thorn) (D) (I)
Ziziphus mucronata (buffalo thorn) (E) (I)

Key: (E) = evergreen (D) = deciduous (I) = indigenous (F) = fruit (S) = seed (C) = climber (P) = palm (B) = bulb


Whilst every care and caution has been taken in compiling these lists in terms of correctness and accuracy, Blackwood’s, nor any of their employees can be held liable or responsible if any of the recommendations are found to be incorrect in any way whatsoever. They are merely a guide to help gardeners and staff in finding solutions to gardening problems. All plants listed may not be available for sale at times. They do however all grow in the greater KwaZulu-Natal area and are to be found growing successfully in local gardens.