Scientific nameThis soft leafed 1.5 m tall shrub has distinctive white ball-shaped flowers with bright red fleshy outgrowth in summer. It occurs in flat damp area near streams, marshes and seepages in sandy loam soil.
Berzelia abrotanoides is propagated by seed and cuttings. Seed is sown in early autumn (February to March) and should be treated with smoke extract before sowing. Seed trays must be kept moist and shaded.
Grow Berzelia species in a well ventilated, semi-shaded to fully sunny position amongst other moisture loving fynbos species. They do best in acidic soils that are moist but well-drained. The soils should contain organic matter such as compost or leaf mould. Berzelia abrotanoides is fairly hardy, but water the plants well during dry seasons. After flowering, prune them lightly to maintain and encourage a compact bushy growth form.
Cuttings are made in late summer, autumn and spring. Semi-hardwood and softwood cuttings are made in a medium of 50% bark and 50% polystyrene. Slightly coarse sand is also used as a rooting medium. A rooting hormone is used and cuttings are placed in a greenhouse with hotbeds and overhead intermittent mist spray. Once rooted, the small plants can be planted into pots and kept in a shaded area to harden off and establish before being placed in the garden.
Conservation status: Least Concern
This species was selected because it has various important characteristics.
Suitable for wet sites
It provides food for:
Berzelia abrotanoides is indigenous to: Cape Flats Sand Fynbos