With a light, open-branch structure, Sparrmannia africana is native to South Africa. Growing to a height of 5-10 ft, it creates a large and attractive shrub with a rounded shape. Its oval, leathery and glossy green leaves are veined and about 2-4 inches long. The foliage is deliciously fragrant, giving off a delicious scent.
During warmer months, Sparrmannia africana displays a plethora of white or off-white flowers that bloom from June to August. These flowers rise from the branches at the ends of the stems and have four petals with a yellow center. They are great for attracting pollinators to the garden and bring color and life to an outside space.
For optimum growth, Sparrmannia africana requires full sun but will tolerate semi-shade. During the spring and summer months, this shrub requires regular water to stay hydrated and healthy. During the winter, however, its water needs lessen, and a moderate watering should suffice.
For those living in cold regions, which may be below USDA Zone 10-11, Sparrmannia africana is still an option, as it can be grown in containers. When grown as a houseplant, keep it in a bright spot and water regularly, allowing the soil to dry out between watering. If you want to bring the shrub indoors for the winter, repot it and make sure the room temperature is above fifty degrees. Fertilize sparingly to keep the shrub healthy. Prune lightly and regularly in the spring by removing dead or overcrowded stems and leaves.
Sparrmannia africana makes a stunning addition to gardens, adding biodiversity, a sweet smell, and a hint of classic beauty. Its ability to thrive in a variety of conditions, including as a houseplant, makes it a great option for both gardeners and art enthusiasts alike.