South Africa has many species of sunbirds. The beaks of these energetic little creatures are specially adapted to feed from tubular flowers. They have long and thin curved bills and brushed-tipped tubular flowers. Plant genera that attract Sunbirds include Agapanthus, Erica, Kniphofia, Leonotus, Tecoma and Wachendorfia.
Agapanthus “Alice Double” and Agapanthus praecox Blue are usually looking great in Summer. Generally speaking, red and orange flowers are actually more attractive to sunbirds, but these tiny animals are quite opportunistic and will feed on any nectar producing tubular flower.
The easiest plants to grow that attract sunbirds is Leonotus species such as Leonotus leonorus and Leonotus ocymifolia. These plants are fast growing and they do not require much attention, so they are perfect for the gardener that has a bit of a brown thumb.
Our Tecoma capensis varieties are also looking very healthy and pampered at the moment. These include our own Tecoma capensis “Rocky Horror”, which should be particularly attractive to sunbirds because of its deep red colour, Tecoma capensis “Burnt Orange” and Tecoma capensis “Pink Blush”
Kniphofia linearifolia and Wachendorfia thyrsifolia plants are just as attractive to sunbirds with their orange and yellow flowers perched as an invitation to these little characters.
You can also make your garden even more luxurious to sunbirds by adding a birdbath. The main attraction will however be your plants, so be sure to come and get some plants now that they can be well established by the time sunbirds decide to visit your corner of our beautiful country.