honey bell-bush

honey bell-bush

Freylinia lanceolata

Scientific name

The honey bell-bush is a shrub or small tree with a charm all of its own, and attracts hosts of butterflies and other pollinators.

The flowers attract a variety of insects, which become food for insectivorous (insect-eating) birds such as blackheaded oriole, pied and crested barbets, Cape robin and thrushes.

Wind-resistant, frost-hardy and relatively pest-free, Freylinia lanceolata prefers a sunny spot in the garden. It fares equally well in summer and winter rainfall areas. Prune this adaptable plant whenever necessary to keep it neat.

Propagation instructions

By seed

This plant is easily propagated from seed or cuttings. The tiny, wingless seeds germinate readily within three weeks. Under suitable conditions young plants grow fast and may flower within a couple of seasons. Add lots of compost to the planting area and mulch well. Water regularly, particularly if the shrub is planted in a herbaceous border away from water. If you want to harvest seed for propagation purposes, don't cut off the old flowerheads.

By cutting

Take stem cuttings during the warmer summer months. It enjoys moist conditions and is very fast-growing if well-watered. It would be perfectly at home positioned alongside a large dam, pond or water feature, where it could be kept pruned and tidied. If you have the time to spare, try pruning it into a single-stemmed tree.

References and further reading

PlantZAfrica profile »

Wikipedia page »

Image credit: David Jones

Can you help grow this species?

We are in need of this species! Can you help? Maybe you have this species at home, or perhaps you can collect seeds or cuttings (if applicable) from friends or from a public space. If so, why don't you help establish this species in areas where it is much needed!

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Important characteristics

Conservation status: Least Concern

This species was selected because it has various important characteristics.

This is a bird-friendly species


Easy to grow

Can be used as a hedge

Attracts butterflies

Suitable for wet sites

It provides food for:


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