Hermannia amabilis Seeds
Hermannia is a very diverse and attractive group of plants with highly ornamental flowers, fitting into a variety of habitats and growth forms, hermannias are the little porcelain bells of the South African veld. These plants have high horticultural potential yet are sadly undervalued as a garden plant.
Hermannia is a genus of small shrubs, ranging from upright to sprawling prostrate shrublets. They are charachterized by the presence of minute glandular or star-like hairs on the leaves and stems. The stems often have a dark grey bark. Leaves are alternate and entire, lobed or incised. Flowers consist of 5 petals which are slightly or very strongly spirally twisted into an upended rose. Most Hermannia species posess a thick woody stem and root, forming an underground stem, which enables the plants to survive dry periods and fires. In the veld, hermannias appear woody, some species being very palatable to stock and browsed down to the main branches.
The genus was named after Prof. Paul Herman (1640-1695), a German professor of botany at Leyden and one of the first travellers and collectors at the Cape. Hermannias possess strong, thick, rootstocks and underground stems, which enable them to withstand fires in the highveld and overcome times of severe drought in arid areas. They are mostly very palatable to stock and small game, and are generally heavily grazed. Some species are an indication of good veld.
Hermannia amabilis grows into an erect hairy bush, 75cm in height. It has large leaves on the lower half of plant while the upper half is a mass of hanging bell-like white to pale pink flowers.
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