Plants with bold foliage (leaves that are larger than normal) always stand out from the rest of the plants in the garden. They are important elements in the landscape as focal points or features at the ends of important lines of sight. Many are used as specimens in pots and containers due to their architectural shapes. Clumps of bold foliaged perennials always add interest and create contrast in mixed herbaceous borders. Look out for these proud plants with bold leaves.


Acanthus mollis (Greek rhubarb) D
Aechmeafasciata (bromeliad) E
Alocasiamacrorrhiza (elephant’s ear) E
Aspidistra elatior (cast iron plant) E
Aspleniumnidus (bird’s nest fern) E
Bergeniacordifolia (pig’s ears) E
Canna hybrids (canna) D
Digitalis purpurea (foxglove) E
Gunnera manicata (giant rhubarb) D
Heliconiarostrata (lobster’s claw) E
Hostafortunei hybrids (plantain lily) D
Ligulariatussilaginea (nun’s tears) E
Rheum rhaponticum (rhubarb) D
Spathiphyllum‘Sensation’ (peace lily) E
Zantedeschiaaethiopica (arum lily) E | I


Agave americana ‘Medio-Picta’ (century plant) E
Agave attenuata(swan’s neck) E
Aloe marlothii (mountain aloe) E | I
Aucuba japonica ‘Variegata’ (Japanese laurel) E
Dicksoniaantarctica (tree fern) E
Fatsia japonica (Japanese aralia) E
Furcraeafoetidavarmediopicta (Mauritius hemp) E
Hydrangea quercifolia(oak leaf  hydrangea) D
Kalanchoebeharensis (donkey’s ears) E
Kalanchoegastonis-bonnieri  (palm beachbells) E
Mahonialomarifolia (Chinese mahonia) E
Melianthusmafor (honey flower) E | I
Monsteradeliciosa (delicious monster) E
Philodendron ‘Xanadu’ E
Philodendron selloum E
Strelitziareginae (crane flower) E | I


Aloidendron (was Aloe)barberae (tree aloe) E | I
Anthocleistagrandifolia (forest fever tree) E | I
Bismarckianobilis (Bismarcks palm) E
Butiacapitata (jelly palm) E
Castanospermumaustrale (Australian chestnut) E
Cussoniapaniculata (Natal cabbage tree) E | I
Cussoniaspicata(Highveld cabbage tree) E | I
Enseteventricosa (Abyssinian banana) E | I
Erythrinalatissima (broad-leaved coral tree) D | I
Ficuslyrata (banjo fig) E
Firmiana simplex (parasol tree) D
Harpephyllumcaffrum (wild plum) E | I
Livistonachinensis (Chinese fan palm) E
Magnolia grandiflora (bull bay) E
Schizolobiumexcelsum (tree of heaven) D
Stenocarpussinuatus (fire wheel tree) E
Strelitzianicolai (wild banana) E | I
Trachycarpusfortunei (windmill palm) E
Trichiliaemetica (Natal mahogany) E | I
Washingtoniafilifera (hula skirt palm) E

DECIDUOUS:  Plants that shed or lose foliage annually at the end of their growing season.
EVERGREEN:  Plants that retain their green leaves throughout the year.
INDIGENOUS:  Plants that originate or occur naturally in a place; native.

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 Pietermaritzburg area and surrounding districts and are to be found growing successfully in gardens.