Used both internally and externally since Egyptian times this powerful healing herb is even more widely used today. The medicinal properties of aloe vera have been applied to treat a vast array of ailments both in people and animals.
Amla is a medium sized spreading tree with small delicate leaves and flowers. The tree is prized in Ayuvedic medicine which uses all parts of the tree in herbal preparations. The edible fruit ripens in Autumn, it is very high in vitamin C but very sour to taste, so it no wonder that one popular Indian recipe involves preserving the fruit in sugar syrup.
The Bay Tree has many qualities, with the edible leaf being a well known culinary herb. In the garden the plant has insect repellent qualities, acting as a guardian to nearby plants more susceptible to insect attack. Slow growing the tree will eventually reach heights in excess of 10 meters if left unpruned.
Depending on severity of coastal conditions this hardy shrub grows up to 5m and bears sweet red fruit that look like birds eyes.
Aechmea blanchetiana has light green finely serated leaves which deepen to a dark orange with heavier shade.
The Blue Agave is a drought hardy succulent well suited to water-wise gardens. Blue shaded leaves are long and fleshy tapering to a pointed spike at the end. The plant is native to Mexico and in ideal conditions can grow to a height of 2 meters. Commercially the Blue Agave is cultivated to make the alcoholic beverage Tequila.
Echeveria secunda var. glauca is a succulent that forms tight clusters of rosettes with pale glaucous-grey leaves and urn-shaped red-yellow flowers in Summer.
This handsome hardy tree is frost and drought tolerant. The large deep purple plum like fruit are most edible when they are soft and fully ripened.
Gold-orange bite sized fruit bursts in your mouth with a sweet tart flavour. Eat raw, add to fruit salads, or make a desert using numerous recipes on the web. Grey-green soft heart shaped foliage and papery husks encasing the fruit makes this a very pretty small shrub when grown in suitable conditions.
Water Chestnut is an aquatic rush-like plant which grows in full sun and thrives in soil covered with 10 – 30 cm of water. Erect, narrow, tube-shaped leaves shoot from an edible corm.
Coast Banksia trees produce flowers laden with sweet nectar in Autumn and Winter. Soak the flower in water to impart a sweet flavour or sit back and watch bees hum happily around the flowers on the tree as they gather pollen to feed their hive.
A dense spreading acacia shrub able to tolerate drought, wind, salt and moderate frosts. Seeds are edible and best tasting after being roasted or steamed in their pods.
Small hardy compact herb with spectacular grey foliage. The curry scented leaves have moth and insect repellent qualities, some saying it even repels cats.
The Fire Stick succulent is a mass of pencil thin branches that change in colour with the season and access to sunlight. When planted in full sun, the branches will be more orange-red in colour during Winter, and then fade back to green-yellow in Summer.
Lizette grows well in part or full shade, tolerating full sun in the morning too. Ornamental pink and soft lemon flowers spear forth in summer, accented beautifully by its lush dark green foliage.
The nutty flavoured tubers can be used in cooking like potatoes. Closely related to the sunflower plant, the Jerusalem Artichoke enjoys similar growing conditions. Growing to about 1.5m, the tubers are ready to harvest once the foliage dies back. Tubers have a short shelf life so they are best stored in the ground and dug up when needed, else stored in...
Long strappy green leaves are brought to life in Spring and Summer when bold yellow flowers emerge in the shape of a kangaroo paw.
Moneywort is a perennial creeping herb and a very attractive groundcover. Having this plant in the garden may bring a feeling of wealth with its string of small coin shaped leaves. The crushed leaves have been used on wounds of any kind. Traditionally it was used as a tea to treat scurvy and respiratory ailments.
Peanut flavoured nuts from this semi-deciduous tree make great a snackfood. Eat raw or roasted or pioneer new recipes with this difficult to find ingredient.
Pigeon pea is a small woody tree known for it's drought hardiness and food value throughout dry arid regions of the world. In India pigoen pea is known as toor dal and commonly eaten in soups and stews.
This portulaca is a hardy ground cover with succulent mid-green leaves and bright yellow flowers. Both the leaves and flowers are edible, and due to the presence of oxalic acid leaves should be eaten steamed or cooked.
This weeping evergreen rainforest tree offers clusters of popular bushfood fruit and is commonly used in street landscaping.
Starburst is a low growing succulent which forms clusters of rosettes that change colour when grown in full sun. In part shade the leaves are blue-green, and in full sun the leaves are tinted with an apricot hue.
Tansy is a perennial herb with insect repellent qualities, repelling flies, ants and moths. For this reason it is a valued companion plant, worthwhile growing beside vegetable gardens and fruit orchards. This small shrub is not just useful but also ornamental, the fern-like leaves bring a layer of beauty to the front of any garden located in full sun or...