15 Different Types of Shrubs in Africa

Different Types of Shrubs in Africa
Image credit: Barbara’s HD Wallpapers

Africa, being one of the largest continents in the world, has a lot of natural resources. This includes forests, herbaceous plants, trees, and shrubs.

Of course, all of these are important, but in this article, we shall discuss the different types of shrubs in Africa.

You can easily spot shrubs since they’re often short and bushy, with only a small portion of the stem visible.

These bushes are useful in landscapes, gardens, and even food sources. Let’s look at the different shrubs you can find in Africa.

1. African Boxwood

African boxwood (Myrsine africana) has erect, dark red stems that are densely covered in small, glossy, aromatic leaves. This bordering plant can block unwanted views and add beauty to a garden. 

These bushes make great topiary or shearing materials as well! Enjoy the landscape as it matures and puts on a show. New growth first appears reddish-tinted before changing to a deep glossy green color.

The African Boxwood shrub can tolerate air pollution, making it suitable for enhancing urban landscapes with greenery and solitude! Once established, this plant won’t require much watering because it is water-wise.

They can withstand the conditions at the seacoast and do well in hot, sunny environments. This evergreen shrub is a great option because it can grow in almost any well-drained soil. In addition, you can prune it annually for a tidy appearance.

2. Jasmine

Jasmine (Jasminium) is also among the different types of shrubs in Africa. However, this shrub has many species, such as Angel Wing Jasmine, Primrose Jasmine, Arabian Jasmine, Winter Jasmine, Italian Jasmine, Pink Jasmine, and Royal Jasmine.

The major difference between these jasmine varieties is their growing habits. Even though jasmine is often seen as a little plant in bloom, warmer, tropical climates can cause the plant to grow pretty fast and become invasive.

Furthermore, the fragrance from jasmine flowers is one of the most popular scents for products like luxury perfumes and flavored beverages.

These shrubs need regular pruning to maintain them. You can prune after their major bloom cycle.

3. Hopbush

The different types of shrubs in Africa also include the evergreen hopbush (Dodonaea viscosa). It grows quickly, even in poor soils, and can withstand drought and windy conditions. This makes it useful as a barrier plant.

Hopbush produces extremely tough and durable wood, making it suitable for various uses. This wood can be used to make anything, including walking sticks, weapons, and building supplies.

In several cases, hopbush fruit has been used instead of hops when making beer. In addition, the leaves can be used for their fragrance, and in some parts of the world, they are burned as incense at funerals.

Also, they’re good for landscaping due to their lovely green foliage. Although hopbush can tolerate little shade, it thrives in direct sunlight. In addition, it tolerates poor soil and rocky terrain and thrives even in dry environments. 

This plant is popular in coastal areas due to its tolerance to salt spray and sandy soil. Hopbush needs a warm, temperate climate because it cannot tolerate frost.

4. Lion’s Ear

Lion’s ear (Leonotis leonurus), also called lion’s ear is among the different types of shrubs in Africa. This shrub is an attractive food source for birds with its bright red-orange blooms filled with nectar.

Although the lion’s ear is an excellent pollinator and is valued for its ornamental features, it is most well-known for its application in traditional herbal medicine.

There are numerous benefits of planting this exotic-looking shrub in your warm-weather garden – this includes the support it provides for pollinators, the addition of its leaves to a medicinal herb garden, and ornamental horticulture.

Furthermore, this shrub grows well in loamy or sandy soil that is neutral and thrives in full sun. Lion’s ear can be found in poor soils, so they don’t need fertilizer. However, they need moderate watering in winter and spring.

5. Natal Plum

Carissa macrocarpa, or natal plum, is also among the different types of shrubs in Africa. The ovate leaves of this shrub are leathery, dark green, and have a glossy appearance. Their fragrance is comparable to that of orange blossoms.

The best time to plant (or transplant) this shrub is in the fall or winter because of its moderate to the rapid growth rate. The shrub needs two years to develop enough to start producing fruit that you can harvest.

Natal plum fruits ripen individually rather than all at once. You can remove them from the shrub once they turn a dark red or purple color. 

Don’t be surprised; they can remain ripe on the tree for several days without rotting. The fruit can last up to one week in the fridge, and you can use them to make jellies, jams, pies, and preserves.

6. Plumbago

Another example of the different types of shrubs in Africa is Plumbago (Plumbago auriculata). It is valued for its abundance of blue phlox-like flowers that it consistently produces over time. This shrub is a good choice for a foundation plant and will develop into an evergreen shrub. 

It looks lovely when you plant it over a stone or wood retaining wall, enabling its branches to cascade in a stream of greenery and stunning blue flowers. The interesting part? It blooms all year long!

7. Sicklebush

Sicklebush (Dichrostachys cinerea) is also among the types of bush in Africa. The fragrant fluffy blossoms have a lilac upper half and a yellow lower half, which gives rise to its name, “Chinese lantern tree,” in other countries. 

Sicklebush is a shrub that has spread to the point where it is now considered an invasive weed. It is especially problematic in areas where there has been excessive grazing. 

Furthermore, the species creates highly dense thickets that are impenetrable in the places where it invades. Also, this shrub can reproduce from even the tiniest bit of root or by its root suckers.

8. Ribbon Bush

Hypoestes aristata, commonly called Ribbon Bush or Purple Haze, is among the types of shrubs in Africa. This shrub can thrive in full sun, but it prefers semi-shade. 

It only needs occasional trimming back after flowering or when it starts to get woody with age. The shrub looks nice and tidy in the summer and serves as a good backdrop for a low, mixed herbaceous border.

9. Hooded-leaf Pelargonium

Pelargonium cucullatum, also called hooded-leaf pelargonium is a fast-growing shrub that is fairly adaptable. They can grow vegetatively and from seeds.

Once it is established, Pelargonium cucullatum doesn’t require much maintenance. This shrub is adaptable to coastal conditions and is great for growing pots on a sunny patio, in informal borders, and in rockeries.

10. Puzzle Bush

Among the different types of shrubs in Africa is the Puzzle Bush (Ehretia rigida). The flowers of this shrub are lilac and have a sweet fragrance. It has long and rigid stems and branches. 

Because of their rigidity, the stems can be used to construct traditional fishing baskets. The stems can also serve as the turning stick for friction-based fire making.

Furthermore, this bush is bare in the winter and produces new leaves and flowers in the spring. The flowers are followed by tiny green berries, which ripen to orange-red. Both birds and other animals consume the berries.

11. Wild Rosemary

Wild rosemary (Eriocephalus africanus) is one of the most common types of shrubs in Africa. You can easily identify them with their thin, grey leaves. They also smell like vicks when crushed. 

The flowers attract many bees on warm days as they search for the flowers’ nectar. Fruits with long, white hairs begin to develop soon after flowering.

Eriocephalus is known in some parts of South Africa as kapokbos because of its lovely, fluffy seed heads, which resemble cotton wool or snow.

Traditional uses for wild rosemary include treating colic, flatulence, coughs, and colds, as well as acting as a diuretic and a diaphoretic.

12. False Buchu

Agothasma ovata, also called false buchu, is a very tough, tiny, evergreen shrub with delicate, leathery leaves that are aromatic and have a pleasant citrus perfume when crushed. 

It has a few flowers throughout the year, but during its peak flowering in the winter, it has abundant sprays of star-shaped, light pink to white flowers that almost completely conceal the leaves. They attract different types of insects to the garden.

13. False Olive

False olive (Buddleja saligna) is also among the different types of shrubs in Africa. This versatile tree will enhance your surroundings with beauty, protection, and screening. It is especially well adapted to smaller gardens.

Spring and summer bring about dense clusters of tiny, white to cream-colored flowers. The blossoms at the branches’ end and smell like honey draw insects and birds to the garden. It is the ideal tree for bee farmers because the flowers produce a lot of pollen and nectar.

Furthermore, false olive is extremely resilient and tolerant of various soil conditions. Due to its quick growth and non-aggressive root system, it is frequently used as a pioneer tree in new gardens.

14. Gum Arabic Tree

The gum arabic tree (Vachellia nilotica) is among the types of shrub in Africa and is also native to the middle east and the Indian subcontinent. It’s a fast-growing evergreen tree with a broad and rounded crown.

Young plants cannot survive frosts and need a sunny location. However, it thrives in various soil conditions, including salty environments and hard clay soils. Also, it can withstand drought or flooding for several months.

Furthermore, it provides the locals with food, medication, and other commodities. The tree is also used commercially for its resin, which drips from its trunk, as well as for its tannins, which are extracted from its bark and seedpods.

15. Cape Honeysuckle

Cape honeysuckle (Tecoma capensis) is the last on this list of types of shrubs in Africa. It is native to South Africa and often grown in warm climates.

The leaves of this simple-to-grow shrub have five to nine diamond-shaped leaflets. It blooms in clusters of yellow, apricot, red, or orange trumpet-shaped flowers from fall to spring.

In addition, this shrub grows well in partial shade or full sun. Also, it thrives in almost any soil type as long as it’s moist and well-drained.

The roots should be well-established enough to provide drought resistance after a year of consistent watering.

Although this plant is often trouble-free, frost can harm its leaves and branches if you operate in a frosty climate.

In addition, insufficient or excessive nutrient levels may cause issues for the plant, which are typically most noticeable in weak or sparse foliage.

Leaf scorch is one potential environmental issue that it has. However, with minimal care, this shrub ought to live a long and happy life.


There you have it – 15 different types of shrubs in Africa. These beautiful shrubs have different uses, which also include adding colors to your garden. They’re scattered around different parts of Africa, and you’ll definitely find one wherever you are. Thanks for reading!

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