Nemesia (Nemesia strumosa)

Nemesia strumosa with pink flowers
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Nemesia fact file

Nemesia description

GenusNemesia (1)

Nemesia, a member of the snapdragon family, is an annual herb that is widely grown in cultivation as the clusters of colourful flowers make it an attractive garden plant (4). The flowers may be white, cream, pink, mauve or sometimes red, with brown mottling on the throat of the flower. Each flower measures around 20 millimetres across, and has four rounded upper petals, with a large, lower lip and coarse hairs in the mouth. The leaves of nemesia are narrow and lance-shaped, and have slightly toothed edges (2) (4). The fruit of this plant is a dry capsule, which contains the seeds (1).

Height: up to 40 cm (2)

Nemesia biology

Nemesias flower in August, with the attractive blooms lasting just until September (2)


Nemesia range

Endemic to the Cape Floristic Region, an area of remarkable plant diversity in south-western South Africa. Within this region nemesia is distributed from Hopefield south to Melkbos (2).


Nemesia habitat

Nemesia grows on sandy flats, often in sandveld, an area of light sandy soil (2).


Nemesia status

Classified as Near Threatened (NT) on the Interim Red Data List of South African Plant Taxa (3).


Nemesia threats

While nemesia is classified as Near Threatened (3), there is no information available at present detailing the specific threats that this species faces. However, the Cape Floristic Region, the area to which nemesia is restricted, is facing threats of urban development, encroaching agriculture, and invasive alien species (5).


Nemesia conservation

There are no known specific conservation measures in place for the nemesia. However, within the Cape Floristic Region there are a number of protected areas (6), and a number of conservation organisations are working to conserve this botanically rich habitat. Conservation actions include purchasing land to protect it from the threats of encroaching agriculture and urban development (7), the removal of alien plants, and the establishment of new protected areas (5). Such measures should hopefully prevent the nemesia from becoming threatened with extinction.


Find out more

For further information on the Cape Floristic Region and its conservation see:



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Lives or grows for just one year.
Cape Floristic Region
An area occupying about 90,000 square kilometres in South Africa that contains an incredibly high diversity of plant species (around 8,700 species), of which 68 percent are found no where else.
A species or taxonomic group that is only found in one particular country or geographic area.


  1. Heywood, V.H. (1978) Flowering Plants of the World. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  2. Goldblatt, P. and Manning, J. (2000) Cape Plants: A Conspectus of the Cape Flora of South Africa. National Botanical Institute of South Africa, Pretoria .
  3. Threatened Species Programme. (2007) Interim Red Data List of South African Plant Taxa. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria, South Africa. Available at:
  4. Paterson-Jones, C. and Manning, J. (2007) Ecoguide Fynbos. Briza Publications, Pretoria, South Africa.
  5. Conservation International: Biodiversity Hotspots (February, 2008)
  6. UNEP-WCMC: Cape Floral Protected Areas of South Africa (February, 2008)
  7. Fauna and Flora International (February, 2008)

Image credit

Nemesia strumosa with pink flowers  
Nemesia strumosa with pink flowers

© Colin Paterson-Jones /

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