Nandinas are noted for their ability to flower and fruit in poor soils from highly sunny sites to drier light shade. Flowers resemble the lilac in creamy white followed by large clusters of vivid scarlet berries that last all winter. N. domestica "Richmond" is one of the best varieties for fruiting while n. nana is a famous dwarf form grown for it's flaming display of autumn and winter foliage.
Nemesia includes several South African species often grown for winter and spring colour. They are best sown direct where they are to flower in autumn or winter but can also be flowered for a summer display. Prefers light sandy soil, perfect drainage, and a sunny site sheltered from the strongest winds.
Nerine is a South African bulb famous for it's naked flower spikes that arise before the leaves from summer onwards. The flowers are large lilies arranged in a wheel atop a thin but stout stem. Prefers a light, sandy soil, full sun and some water while the leaves are growing over the cooler months. As the foliage withers in the spring keep the bulbs bone dry. Good in containers or a well drained rock or wall garden.
Nerium, the Oleander, is one of the best known and most hardy of Mediterranean shrubs. They are very resistant to drought, neglect and pollution making them an excellent street planting. Flowers almost year round in warm, well drained sites. Good in containers. Best pruned after flowering in autumn or as a cane finishes. Caution, all parts of this plant are poisonous but it's still well worth growing!
Oenothera laciniata, the Evening Primrose, is a cottage garden plant famous for it's lemon yellow flowers that open on summer evenings. O. californica is a white form and O. speciosa, the Rose of Mexico, is a pink, spreading, low-growing form with flowers that stay open all day. All are very hardy perennials often grown as annuals from seed. While they prefer enriched soils, plenty of sun, and ample watering, these are hardy plants able to put on a bright display of flowers over a long period even under dry conditions.
Olearia, the Daisy Bush, is native to this region and so hardy to the local weather conditions. Large heads of daisies flower above silvery foliage from spring through autumn in cream, white, mauve and purple.
Oldenbergia is a little-known shrub of the South African
highlands. Dark green, shiny leaves are woolly underneath and later topped with fluffy flower spikes in white and purple.
Ophiopogon, the Mondo Grass, is a hardy groundcover for sun or shade with clumps of grassy leaves and small spikes of white or purple flowers. There is a black leafed variety.
Osteospermum, the Velt Daisy, is a perennial shrubby ground-cover with white, pink or purple daisies that close at night. Very drought hardy. Makes a great wall cascade.
Othonna, or Little Pickles, is a small, trailing succulent with small, pickle-shaped succulent leaves and yellow daisy flowers. Good groundcover, wall cascade or in containers.