Waterberg Bell-bush

Blue flowers of the Waterberg Bell-bush

The Waterberg Bell-bush (Freylinia tropica) is a beautiful shrub for your garden. It always seems to have some flowers on it but in spring it is absolutely covered in flowers. It is available with either mauve or white flowers, with the mauve being the most stunning in my opinion. Other names for this shrub are Honeybell Bush and Blue Freylinia.

Is it suitable for my garden?

This shrub grows to a height of around 2 metres with a spread of 1 metre or perhaps a bit more. They grow quickly and are quite hardy. The Waterberg Bell-bush can be planted in either a semi-shade or full sun position. They are quite frost resistant once established but they should be protected in their first year or two. They cannot tolerate drought so water them well in summer but cut down a bit in winter.

Some gardeners like to use this shrub as a screen as its foliage is quite dense and can be made to spread more by pinching out the growing shoots. The Waterberg Bell-bush is an ideal plant for a large container. It is best propagated from cuttings.

A Waterberg Bell-bush with white flowers

Does the Waterberg Bell-bush attract wildlife?

The flowers are not only attractive to humans but also to insects as they are rich in nectar. When it is in flower you will notice numerous insects buzzing around it looking for the best flowers to feed off. My Waterberg Bell-bushes attract a lot of Honeybees and Carpenter Bees. They are also visited by some of the sunbirds such as the Collared Sunbird. In my garden the Prinias are regular visitors to these shrubs to see what insects they can catch.

This shrub is endemic to Southern Africa and is found growing along forest edges and along streams or rivers. In the wild some specimens reach a height of 7 metres. In South Africa their natural distribution is restricted to Limpopo province.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge