Photo courtesy of Gerda van Schalkwyk(left) & Frank Vincentz(right)
My, oh my. Beautiful, regal and FIERCE! Well armed with thorns and prickles and with a huge underground rootstock that goes down a meter or more, this deciduous South African shrub hunkers back to the fortress of its enormous (plough breaking) roots every Winter, emerging with big, lush, evil looking leaves again in the Spring. Mid-Summer brings a long succession of red or coral orange spikes of blooms. Resist the urge to water too much – this species has plenty of water storage all on its own and doesn’t need much of your help. Grows 3’ tall and a little less wide. Okay in a pot for a little while, but the plant will likely let you know it wants a larger space by breaking the container if you give it a space that’s too small. If you plant it in the ground, don’t expect to be moving it... ever.