Tuesday, December 8, 2009


"Ouhout" means "old wood" in Afrikaans, and indeed Leucosidea sericea can get quite old looking in the cold and windy places where it is found in the mountains of South Africa. What I find interesting about ouhout is its cold tolerance, for there are very few woody South African plants that can live through our winters. Ouhout is tough, at home I've grown it in a garden for at least 4 years, and the plants in the photo at school are only a couple of years old, having gone through last winter quite well (though they do have a good spot by the wall). The foliage is rather nice, kind of potentilla-like, but the flowers are not particularly fetching from the pictures I have seen, so far no flowers on my young plants. Branches are flexible and can be bent to the ground and mulch/debris piled on them to reduce cold damage, but frankly its easier to leave them alone, if its really cold they will die back but new ones quickly grow from near the ground.

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