Where can I buy this plant?

  • SANBI does not sell seed of indigenous plants from the Seedroom at Kirstenbosch, nor are seeds supplied for free to members of the Botanical Society of South Africa.
  • Some of the National Botanical Gardens have retail nurseries that sell plants and seeds, or shops that sell seeds. Please contact the gardens directly to find out if they do.
  • SANBI does not sell plants online or ship internationally.
  • SANBI does not keep records of nursery stock in South Africa, so is unable to advise on where to buy specific plants.

Where can I find more biodiversity information?

  • Please visit the Information Resources section of this website where you will find links to many information resources relating to biodiversity information.

Where can I find biodiversity legislation?

What are the categories of invasive alien plants?

According to the Conservation of Agricultural Resources Act 43 of 1983, alien plants are divided into three categories:

Category 1. Declared Weed. Must be controlled or eradicated where possible (except in biological controlled reserves).

Category 2. Declared Invader. Allowed only in demarcated areas under controlled conditions. Import of propagative materials and trading allowed only by permit holders. Outside demarcated areas must be controlled or eradicated (except in biological controlled reserves). Prohibited within 30m of the 1:50 year floodline of watercourses or wetlands.

Category 3. Declared Invader. No further plantings allowed (except with special permission). No trade of propagative material. Existing plants may remain, but must be prevented from spreading. Prohibited within 30m of the 1:50 year floodline of watercourses or wetlands.

Where can I obtain a list of alien plants?

The list of declared alien invaders can be found here.  

Where can I obtain a list of threatened and protected species?

How do I grow this plant?

Please consult the web pages of the Plants of the Week, on the PlantZAfrica website where you can search alphabetically according to the scientific names of plants that have been covered. This is a useful resource for horticultural and general plant information.

Where can I get a permit for cycads or to collect plants?

SANBI does not issue any permits. Please contact the local provincial Nature Conservation authority for permits. See more about permits.

Do you give information on plant pests and diseases?

SANBI does not provide a plant pest and disease identification and advice service. Some information on plant pests and diseases is provided for Plants of the Week, on our plant information PlantZAfrica website website.

Why are Latin names used for plants and animals?

The use of common (or vernacular) names for living organisms can be very confusing. Common names are not consistent in different languages and in different regions, and this creates confusion as to exactly which species a name refers to. The system of Binomial Classification was introduced by Linnaeus in 1753, by which each known organism is assigned a unique scientific name consisting of two components: a genus (equivalent to a surname) and a species (equivalent to a first name). For such a name to be valid, it needs to meet certain criteria, including publication and diagnosis in Latin.

Why do plant names change so often?

As botanists and taxonomists study plants, new information sometimes comes to light, bringing new understanding of a plant, its features and its relationships to other plants. When taxonomists thus become aware of similarities and relationships that were not known before, they may sometimes need to change the name of a plant to reflect its new position in the classification. In some cases, names have to be corrected when it is revealed that the rules of nomenclature (name-giving) were applied wrongly in the past.

What is a herbarium?

A herbarium is a collection of pressed and dried plants that are mounted on cardboard sheets, each sheet also carrying a label with information about the mounted specimen. The specimens are sequentially arranged in storage cabinets according to a classification system. These plant specimens are studied by looking at taxonomic criteria that are used to group specimens together or tell them apart and eventually result in a name. They are also used for comparison when unknown plant specimens have to be identified.

What is taxonomy?

The study and description of variation of organisms, the causes of variation and the drawing up of a classification system from these is known as taxonomy.

How can I join SANBI?

SANBI does not have members, but our sister organisation, the Botanical Society of South Africa offers membership which includes benefits such as free entry to the National Botanical Gardens. Please visit the Botanical Society website to find out more.

What kind of facilities for functions does the Garden have?

Apart from restaurants, most of the National Botanical Gardens have venues that can be hired for meetings and functions. Please see the Venues for Hire page for details or visit the Venues pages of the various Gardens for more information.

What is the entrance fee to the Garden?

Please consult the home pages of the various gardens for entrance fees (see Gardens menu button above).

What events are offered in your Garden?

Please see the events section of the website.

How do I get to the Garden?

Please consult the maps on the individual garden pages. There are both Google maps and individually drawn directional maps.

How much does a memorial bench in a garden cost?

Please contact the garden of your choice for details on benches and other opportunities to remember your loved ones.

Where can I report an environmental offence?

To report an environmental offence, please phone the tip-off line for contraventions of environmental legislation: 0800 205 005.

Can you help my child with information for his/her school project?

The Mary Gunn Library in the Pretoria National Botanical Garden and Harry Molteno Library in the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden are open to visitors and learners for research purposes. Visits to the library are by appointment. Please go to the pages of the garden libraries for contact details.

Can students work at SANBI during holidays?

SANBI has a programme providing short-term employment for interns and volunteers. See Jobs & Opportunities menu button above.

Where can I study plant science?

The following document has information on various careers in botany and on the universities where courses are offered. Botany careers information. 

Where should I send my CV?

Available posts at SANBI are advertised on the jobs/vacant posts page. Please visit this page regularly. Each advertisement provides details on where CVs should be sent. Please do NOT send your CV unless you are responding to an advertisement for a specific post. SANBI does not have the facilities to store unsolicited CVs.

How can I register as a supplier to SANBI?

Please download the necessary forms from our Suppliers Registration page or contact our Supply Chain Management Division on +27 (0)12 843 5000.

How can I get photographs/images or can I use your images from this web site?

  • Please read our terms & Conditions.
  • SANBI does sell images from image collections and provide free images for educational purposes.
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