Grassland biome plants are dominated by grass species. Trees are sparse, except in a few localized habitats. Bulbs and other plants with an underground root stock are often abundant. Frosts, fire and grazing maintain the grass dominance and prevent the establishment of trees.
We’ve written a series of articles to help you choose grassland biome plants for your garden or landscape project.
One tends to think of the Highveld as mainly grass with very few trees, but on the scattered koppies in this region there is really a wealth of plants eminently suited for the garden that also support many creatures. (That is why townhouse complexes don’t belong there).
In an environmentally friendly garden, it is important to create different “layers” of plant growth to simulate the habitat that occurs in nature. The shrub “layer” forms the middle layer that creates a habitat for birds that feed on the ground. One bird worthy of having in your garden is Burchell’s coucal that loves this kind of habitat.
What is not known to many people is that the perennials and bulbs that occur in the Grassland Biome are only surpassed by the plants from the Fynbos Biome. There really is a tremendous variety to choose from.
Top 10 Bulbs for Highveld Gardens will help you shorten your bulb list.
It is now crucial to select plants that shows a high resilience to changes in rainfall and temperature. Many plants in the Grasslands of South Africa have this characteristic. Grassland biome plants are used to extremes when it comes to weather.
Why We Are So Passionate About Grassland Biome Plants
All the years wandering in the African bush as a geohydrologist stimulated an interest in, and a passion for, our South African indigenous plants and flora. In 2004 we started Wildflower Wholesale Nursery near the Hartbeespoort Dam. We specialize in indigenous plants that are well adapted to the greater Gauteng area.
Our mission is to make you as enthusiastic about our indigenous grassland biome plants as we are! We do this by:
1. Making quality indigenous grassland biome plants more readily available so that it can contribute to a sustainable future.
2. Promoting biodiversity by educating our clients and green enthusiasts on the benefits of using low maintenance grassland biome plants with a high biodiversity potential.
3. Helping our clients and green enthusiasts make the best grassland biome plant selections for their specific landscapes. Often this means suggesting the best species to replace exotics.
Currently our focus is on the Grassland species in particular, but it has its own challenges. Seed availability and fertility are two of our biggest challenges.
One of our aims is to grow plants that have a high biodiversity and landscaping potential, but is currently not available on the market. For example, Burkea africana (wild seringa) which was grown successfully from seed.
Most of the grassland biome plants grown by Wildflower Nursery will be planted back in areas that were disturbed by mining activities, and to create sustainable commercial and residential landscapes that are both easy to maintain and rich in biodiversity.
Wildflower Nursery has been a key role player in quite a diversity of landscape and land rehabilitation projects. This was only possible due to our extensive knowledge of plant habitats and propagation. To see some of the projects we’ve indulged in over the past few years visit the Project Portfolio page.