13 Jun

Evergreen Ornamental Tree for Arid Climates: Nymania Capensis

Also known as Chinese Lantern for its beautiful, rose-pink and papery seed pods that actually look like Chinese paper lantern, Nymania Capensis is an evergreen shrubby tree. It is native of hot and arid regions of Africa especially the deserts of Namibia. This small tree bears small but green, leathery and stiff leaves. The plant blooms in late summer and flowers continue to appear till early winter. Flowers are usually pink, red or dark-red. The real beauty of this small tree is for its attractive seed pods that hang all over the branches. They are inflated like small balls and have papery skin of pink-red color.

Seed Pods of Nymania Capensis (Chinese Lantern)

Seed Pods of Nymania Capensis (Chinese Lantern), Image © Ori Fragman

How to Grow Nymania Capensis/ Chinese Lantern

Nymania Capensis requires very well drained soil and very little amount of water or moisture to thrive. Propagation is easy from seeds. For arid climates, Nymania Capensis is an excellent ornamental tree that would grow well even if neglected. It is a slow growing plant and takes about three years to reach a length of 1.5 m. Normal lifespan of Nymania Capensis  is more than twenty five years in habitat.

Nymania Capensis is a perfect plant for xeriscaping. It is also known as Little Karoo.

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