Berzelia abrotanoides

Scientific name

This 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.

It is pollinated by bees, flies and crawling insects.

Seeds treated with smoke extract, sown in autumn and must be kept moist in shaded area. Cuttings made in later summer, autumn and spring using rooting hormone, heat and mist.

Propagation instructions

By seed

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.

By cutting

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.

References and further reading

Learn more »

PlantZAfrica profile »

Wikipedia page »

Seedbank Quantity
Arundel Seedbank 200
Total 200
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Important characteristics

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

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