Stellenbosch is a city of oaks and vines, but we love our indigenous flora too. Threatened in its natural habitat and thought to have been extinct at one point, Blushing Bride (Serruria florida) is one of South Africa’s most-loved and most beautiful protea species.
Its attractive flowers at this time of the year are a welcome show of delicate, indigenous charm in the garden and last up to six weeks in a vase.
You can see examples growing at the Botanical Gardens in the centre of Stellenbosch. Well worth a visit, the gardens house a wide variety of indigenous and exotic plants. Enjoy a snack at the Katjiepiering restaurant, browse the collection of organic and unique African cosmetic and medicinal products and pore over the comprehensive collection of books. Before you leave, purchase indigenous seeds as a keepsake or choose a plant from the wide variety for sale, many not commonly sold in commercial nurseries.
Blushing Brides can be grown from seed planted in autumn and will flower 15 months later, but it can be difficult to germinate the seeds (in the wild they require fire). It might be better to purchase young plants from the Botanical Gardens, or from Cape Garden Centre on the R44. Plant in full sun and sandy, well-drained soil. Prune them regularly and don’t disturb the roots – you don’t even need to apply fertilizer (they don’t like it).
Botanical Garden and Shop: 021 808 3054
Cape Garden Centre: 021 855 0334