The pretty Pavetta gardeniifolia is a large shrub that can develop into a small tree, which is ideal for the smaller or townhouse garden.

Commonly known as the Christmas bride’s bush, the shrub produces sweetly scented flowers during early to mid-summer.  The dainty flowers are white in colour and hang in umbrella-like clusters, attracting birds and insects to the garden.  From February to May, small fruits ripen from green to black and many birds relish the taste of the little berries.

Growing to a height of between 1.5 to 3m, Pavetta gardeniifolia has light brown bark with a smooth or slightly fissured texture.  It has a compact, rounded form and the shrub is evergreen to semi-deciduous, depending on the climate.  It is not a very dense shrub, and as such other plants grow happily underneath it.    This is a hardy plant that will do well when planted in shade or semi-shade initially.  As it becomes more established, it will flourish in full sun.

This species occurs naturally throughout the east of South Africa, growing on rocky outcrops and the savannah.  It is drought hardy and has a moderate growth rate of about 40 cm per year.  First flowering usually occurs after three years.

Pavetta gardeniifolia can be grown as a pride-of-place specimen, in a dry rockery or shrubbery and is also a very successful container plant.  This is a delightful addition to your garden to introduce colour and scent during summer, while attracting birds.