Freylinia undulata

(L.f.) benth.

Common name:
Mauve honey bell bush

Freylinia undulata

Freylinia undulata is an attractive mauve flowering shrub, ideal for any garden.

Tubular flowersThe mauve honey bell is an erect sparingly branched woody shrub, which grows to a height of 2m. The shrub bears beautiful bell or tubular shaped mauve flowers at the tips of the stems. The leaves are oval, sparsely hairy with an undulating margin. Flowering is mainly from June to December.

Natural distribution
Freylinia undulata grows in Renosterveld and is distributed from Vanrhynsdorp in the west to Mossel Bay in the east. The habitat consists of sclerophyll shrublands and the plants occur in full sun often on rocky (shale) slopes.

Name derivation
The genus was named after Count L. de Freylino, owner of a famous garden at Buttigliera near Marengo in the early 19th century. The specie name undulata refers to the wavy edges of the leaf. There are nine other species of Freylinia in South Africa, several of which including F. tropica and F.lanceolata are attractive garden plants.

Growing Freylinia undulata

The plant is easily grown from cuttings. Semi mature cuttings can be taken either in autumn or spring. A rooting hormone is used to stimulate root development. Place the cuttings in a propagation media of 50% bark and 50% polystyrene and then placed in a mist unit with under bench heating of about 24 C, if such facilities are available. The home gardener should apply their usual techniques for taking cutting . Plant in well- drained medium and keep damp, but not wet in a warm, but not directly sunny spot. The cuttings will root in about 4 weeks in the mist unit and once rooted the cuttings must be hardened-off for 3 weeks before being potted. Plant in well-drained potting soil.

Freylinia undulataOnce the cuttings have been potted they will need to be placed under a shade net for 2 weeks before being exposed to the direct sunlight. A monthly feeding of an organic based fertiliser can be used to help with the growth of the plant. The shrub is suitable for a garden in a mixed border. It can be planted among other shrubs with similar height and growth habits. The shrub will need regular pruning to keep it tidy. Make sure the soil it is planted in is well drained and enriched with compost. Freylinia undulata must be watered well in winter and spring if grown in a the summer rainfall region.


  • Goldblatt, P. & Manning, J. 2000 Cape Plants, A Conspectus of the Cape Flora of South Africa. National Botanical Institute of South Africa & MBG Press, Missouri Botanical Garden. Cape Town
  • Hyam, R. & Pankhurst, R. 1995. Plants and their Names, A concise dictionary. Oxford University Press.
  • Joffe, P. 1993. The gardeners guide to South African Plants. Taflelberg Publishers Limited.
  • Van Jaarsveld, E.J. 1993. The genus Freylinia (Scrophulariaceae), a synoptic review. (Unpublished manuscript).

If you enjoyed this webpage, please record your vote.

Excellent - I learnt a lot
Good - I learnt something new

Trevor Adams & Ernst van Jaarsveld
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden
September 2004


To find out if SANBI has seed of this or other SA species, please email our seedroom.

This page forms part of the South African National Biodiversity Institute's plant information website