Flowers of South Africa

© Roger de la Harpe
Cosmos Flowers near Clarens in South Africa.

South Africa has a fabulous array of indigenous flowers that enhances the country’s natural beauty and diversity. One of South Africa’s marvels is its incredible diversity of plant and flower species found in the Cape Floral Kingdom (or the Cape Floristic Region) on the country’s Western Cape.

The region includes exquisite flowers such as the king protea (South Africa’s national flower).

South Africa Online ® has extensive information on South African flower species, translated into 11 official languages to provide people with factual, educational insight into South Africa’s biodiversity.

Eight National Botanical Gardens are situated throughout the country in five of South Africa's six different biomes. When Kirstenbosch, the most famous of the Gardens, was founded in 1913 to preserve the country's unique flora, it was the first botanical garden in the world with this ethos. What makes the Gardens so famous worldwide is that only indigenous plants are cultivated.

Barberton Daisy

The Barberton Daisy has become an emblem of South African organisations and was the symbol for the Blue Bulls, a famous rugby union based in...more

Blood Lily

The blood lily prefers shady areas in the grasslands and rocky outcrops of the northern parts of South Africa and further northwards to Tanz...more

Bulbous Marshweed

A slender perennial herb, growing between 15 and 45cm high, the bulbous marshweed exhibits a thin flower-spike enclosed by small upright lea...more

Candelabra Flower

The candelabra flower sprouts from a huge bulb about 200mm in diameter covered in thin brown skin-like scales. A perennial herb, the plant g...more

Cape Eelgrass

Eelgrass grows in estuaries – where freshwater and seawater come in contact. The plant helps to bind the sandy deposits, provides shelter ...more

Day Waterlily

The waterlily is one of the most honoured plants on the planet. Legends have it that it that when Buddha died, flowers starting blooming whe...more

Devils Thorn

The devil thorn is a small annual creeper with long hairy stems. A common plant bearing small claw-shaped thorns and purple flowers, it flow...more

Flame Lily

The African flame lily is a climber with coiling tips which allows it to attach to neighbouring plants as support. These tips die off after ...more


Gazanias shallow roots prefer open grassland regions of South Africa such as the arid of the Northern Cape Province and certain areas of the...more

Goats Foot

Named after its lobed leathery leaves that looks like a goat’s hoof, the goat's foot is a sprawling creeper with long trailing stems growi...more

Golden Cleome

The golden cleome has yellow flowers that are purple at the base, with prominent stamens sticking out. It is a dainty, open-branched herb wi...more

Ground Morning Glory

The ground morning glory’s trumpet shaped flowers vary in colour from blue to purple, and are about 2.3 cm (1 inch) in diameter....more

Hottentots Fig

The ice plant carries succulent fruits that are edible. The fruits can be used to make jams or sauces or can be dried....more

Impala Lily

The flowers of the impala lily are about 5 cm in diameter. This plant blooms in July, but where cultivated they can flower as late as mid-Se...more

Krantz Aloe

A Krantz aloe plant has many stems and thick leaves that are yellow-green in colour, sharply spiked and contains a slimy yellowish sap....more

Kudu Lily

During autumn, the kudu lily blooms and its white flowers appear. This succulent shrub has a thick stem and spiked, finger-like branches. It...more

Lebombo Aloe

The Lebombo aloe can be found in South Africa growing on the cliffs and rocks of Mpumalanga and Limpopo. This species is under protection in...more

Leopard Orchid

The leopard orchid is an epiphytic plant, meaning it grows on another plant yet not as a parasite. It fastens its roots on the branches of t...more

Mountain Aloe

The mountain aloe blooms during the months of June and August. Orange, tubular flowers are carried on stocky stems and branches. These plant...more

Pineapple Flower

The pineapple flower blooms in December. The flower head grows a dense cluster of flowers from its stem. This plant grows from a bulb that m...more

Pride of de Kaap

The pride of de Kaap blooms during March and April, but may flower as early as November. Its flowers vary from a salmon pink to orange, yell...more

Pyjama Flower

The pyjama flower is an inconspicuous flower as it is close to the ground. It blooms in July to September in South Africa....more

Red Hot Poker

The flower heads of the red-hot poker are a dull red-orange, but in summer turn yellow to green-yellow when they open. The flowering stem re...more

River Crinum

The River Crinum grows across a wide range of environments in South Africa. The crinum lily is used for a range of medicinal purposes, howev...more

River Vernonia

The river vernonia is a bushy shrub with broad oval leaves with wavy margins. The pale lilac coloured flowers can be seen in bloom during th...more

Rock Aloe

The rock aloe is characterised by its thick, blue-green ridged leaves that contain a rich slimy sap that is used to cure stomach ailments in...more

Rock Jasmine

The rock jasmine is a scrambler with rich fragrant flowers that flourish in full sun. The petals are white on top and are pink on the unders...more


The seeplakkie has an extensive root network throughout the sand dune, which aids in stabilising the shifting sands. The thick waxy leaves i...more


In South Africa, the soutbossie is identified by its short underground stems and upright branches that are surrounded by green-grey coloured...more

Sprawling Duneweed

The sprawling duneweed is a sprawling plant with red stems and succulent flat oval leaves. The flowers it bears are very small with a crown ...more

Sweet Prickly Pear

The sweet prickly pear is succulent that grows paddle-shaped stems covered in sharp spines. This leafless plant is also an alien indigenous ...more

Tassel Pondweed

Pondweed is often found in coastal wetlands and estuaries where it grows underwater to form dense clumps that can damage boat propellers....more

Vlei Orchid

The vlei orchid bears beautiful fragrant yellow flowers and can grow up to a height of 2 m long. The leaves are small and appear wrinkled an...more

Wandering Jew

The Wandering Jew is a perennial ground herb and bears extremely delicate flowers that live for only a few hours long. The flowers are made ...more

Water Hyacinth

The water hyacinth has large fleshy green leaves, a swollen petiole and mauve coloured flowers. The water hyacinth is an aquatic plant that ...more


The Watsonia of South Africa has four long sword-shaped leaves that can grow up to 90 cm in length. The lowest leaf is usually the longest o...more

Wild Dagga

Wild dagga can be found in South Africa in Limpopo and the Kruger National Park. It prefers savannah and dense bush or shrub as its habitat....more

Wild Foxglove

The wild foxglove is an annual herb. It grows tall and straight, and its leaves are opposite one another and slightly toothy. Its flowers ar...more

Wild Ginger

A wild ginger plant blooms during October to November. Its dainty flowers vary in colour from pale pink to light purple and are 60 to 80mm i...more

Wild Hibiscus

The wild hibiscus is a small tree or bush that blooms during summer. The colour of the flowers vary from yellow to pink and have a darker ce...more

Wild Verbena

Wild verbena flowers are pollinated by moths and butterflies. These insects are the only ones which can reach the pollen at the bottom of th...more

Yellow Arum Lily

The arum lily usually blooms in October, and it is a perennial herb. Its rootstock has many buds and is a fleshy rhizome. This plant is not ...more