Freylinia undulata is an attractive mauve flowering
shrub, ideal for any garden.
mauve honey bell is an erect sparingly branched woody shrub, which
grows to a height of 2m. The shrub bears beautiful bell or tubular
shaped mauve flowers at the tips of the stems. The leaves are oval,
sparsely hairy with an undulating margin. Flowering is mainly from
June to December.
Freylinia undulata grows in Renosterveld and is distributed
from Vanrhynsdorp in the west to Mossel Bay in the east. The habitat
consists of sclerophyll shrublands and the plants occur in full
sun often on rocky (shale) slopes.
The genus was named after Count L. de Freylino, owner of a famous
garden at Buttigliera near Marengo in the early 19th century. The
specie name undulata refers to the wavy edges of the leaf.
There are nine other species of Freylinia in South Africa,
several of which including F. tropica
and F.lanceolata are attractive
Growing Freylinia undulata
plant is easily grown from cuttings. Semi mature cuttings can be
taken either in autumn or spring. A rooting hormone is used to stimulate
root development. Place the cuttings in a propagation media of 50%
bark and 50% polystyrene and then placed in a mist unit with under
bench heating of about 24 C, if such facilities are available. The
home gardener should apply their usual techniques for taking cutting
. Plant in well- drained medium and keep damp, but not wet in a
warm, but not directly sunny spot. The cuttings will root in about
4 weeks in the mist unit and once rooted the cuttings must be hardened-off
for 3 weeks before being potted. Plant in well-drained potting soil.
Once the cuttings have been potted they will need to be placed
under a shade net for 2 weeks before being exposed to the direct
sunlight. A monthly feeding of an organic based fertiliser can be
used to help with the growth of the plant. The shrub is suitable
for a garden in a mixed border. It can be planted among other shrubs
with similar height and growth habits. The shrub will need regular
pruning to keep it tidy. Make sure the soil it is planted in is
well drained and enriched with compost. Freylinia undulata must
be watered well in winter and spring if grown in a the summer rainfall
- Goldblatt, P. & Manning, J. 2000 Cape Plants, A Conspectus
of the Cape Flora of South Africa. National Botanical Institute
of South Africa & MBG Press, Missouri Botanical Garden. Cape
- Hyam, R. & Pankhurst, R. 1995. Plants and their Names, A
concise dictionary. Oxford University Press.
- Joffe, P. 1993. The gardeners guide to South African Plants.
Taflelberg Publishers Limited.
- Van Jaarsveld, E.J. 1993. The genus Freylinia (Scrophulariaceae),
a synoptic review. (Unpublished manuscript).
Trevor Adams & Ernst van Jaarsveld
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden