Silver and grey foliage is invaluable in the landscape as a contrast or foil for dark colours. These pale shades lighten heavy or dreary plantings and create a striking visual impact against darker backgrounds. Silver and grey also combines effectively with brightly coloured flowers in mixed hanging baskets and pots. 

This is a list of plants for KwaZulu-Natal gardens – both cold, temperate climates and warm sub-tropical regions. Check on climatic preferences before making any final selections.

Annuals and perennials (low growing)

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

Arctotis x hybrida (African daisy) (E) (I)
Bromeliad Aechmea fasciata (vase plant) (E) – Note:  many bromeliads have silver or grey leaves
Cerastium tomentosum (snow in summer) (E)
Cineraria maritime ‘Silverdust’ (dusty miller) (E)
Cynara scolymus (globe artichoke) (E)
Dichondra argentea ‘Silver Falls’ (silver falls) (E)
Festuca glauca (silver fescue grass) (ED)
Gazania rigens ‘Frosty Kiss’ series (star flower) (E) (I)
Helichrysum italicum (curry bush) (E)
Helichrysum microphyllum ‘Silver Mist’ (small leaf paper flower) (E)
Helichrysum petiolatum (climbing paper flower) (E) (I)
Helichrysum populifolium (poplar helichrysum) (E) (I)
Hosta ‘Big Daddy’ (plantain lily) (D)
Lamium maculatum ‘Beacon Silver’ (dead nettle) (ED)
Lamium maculatum ‘White Nancy’ (dead nettle) (ED)
Nepeta mussini (catmint) (E)
Salvia officinalis (sage) (E)
Sedum telephium ‘Autumn Joy’ (orpine) (D)
Stachys byzantine (lamb’s ear) (ED)
Succulent Echeveria elegans (Mexican snowball) (E)
Succulent Kalanchoe pumila (dwarf kalanchoe) (E)
Succulent Kleinia fulgens (coral senecio) (E) (I)
Succulent Oscularia deltoids (sandstone vygie) (E) (I)
Succulent Othonna capensi (little-pickles) (E) (I)
Succulent Pachyphytum oviferum (moonstones) (E)
Thymus citriodorus ‘Silver Queen’ (silver lemon thyme) (E)
Verbascumthaspus (mullein) (D)

Shrubs and climbers (medium to tall growing)

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

Artemesia ‘Powis Castle’ (wormwood) (E)
Beschorneria bracteata (green flowered beschornenria) (E)
Buddleja salviifolia (sagewood) (E) (I)
Cistus ‘Silver Pink’ (rock rose) (E)
Conifer Juniperus horizontalis ‘Monber Ice Blue’ (carpet juniper) (E)
Conifer Juniperus scopulorum ‘Skyrocket’ (pencil juniper) (E)
Conifer Juniperus scopulorum ‘Wichita Blue’ (blue juniper) (E)
Convolvulus cneorum (bindweed) (E)
Cycad Encephalartos horridus (Eastern Cape blue cycad) (E) (I)
Cycad Encephalartos lehmanii (Karoo cycad) (E) (I)
Cycad Encephalartos princeps (Kei cycad) (E) (I)
Cycad Encephalartos trispinosus (Bushman’s river cycad) (E) (I)
Dasylirion longissimum (Mexican grass plant) (E)
Eriocephalus africanus (African rosemary) (E) (I)
Euryops pectinatus (golden daisy) (E) (I)
Lavandula dentate subsp candicans (toothed lavender) (E)
Lavandula x intermedia ‘Margaret Roberts’ (lavender) (E)
Metarungia longistrobus (sunbird bush) (E) (I)
Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian sage) (D)
Plectranthu argentatus (silver spurflower) (E)
Rhagoda hastata (salt bush) (E)
Ruta graveolens (rue) (E)
Salvia Africana lutea (African sage) (E) (I)
Santolina chamaecyparissus (lavender cotton) (E)
Strobilanthes gossypinus (Persian shield) (E)
Succulent Agave attenuata (elephant’s trunk) (E)
Succulent Agave potatorum (mescal) (E)
Succulent Agave tequilana (tequila agave) (E)
Succulent Aloe striata (coral aloe) (E) (I)
Succulent Cotyledon orbiculata (pig’s ears) (E)(I)
Succulent Crassula arborescens (silver dollar) (E) (I)
Succulent Graptopetalum paraguayense (mother of pearl plant) (E)
Succulent Kalanachoe beharensis (donkey’s ear) (E)
Succulent Kalanchoe fedtschenkoi (lavender scallops) (E)
Succulent Kalanchoe  thyrsiflora (paddle plant) (E) (I)
Succulent Kalanchoe tomentosa (panda plant) (E)
Succulent Senecio ficoides (candle plant) (E) (I)
Succulent xerosicyos danguyi (dollar plant) (E) (C)
Westringia fruticosa (Australian rosemary) (E)

Trees (tall growing)

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

Bismarckia nobilis (Bismarck’s palm) (E) (P)
Brachylaena discolor (coast silver oak) (E) (I)
Combretum imberbe (leadwood) (D) (I)
Conifer Cedrus deodora (deodar) (E)
Croton steenkampianus (marsh fever berry) (E) (I)
Cussonia paniculata (mountain cabbage tree) (ED) (I)
Dracaena draco (dragon tree) (E)
Eucalyptus cinerea (penny gum) (E)
Hyphaene coriacea (lala palm) (E) (I) (P)
Leucadendron argenteum (silver leaf tree) (E) (I)
Oleaeuropea subsp Africana (wild olive) (E) (I)
Tarchonanthus camphoratus (wild camphor bush) (E) (I)
Terminalia sericea (silver cluster leaf) ((D) (I)

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


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.