Bowkeria verticillata, the Natal shell-flower or southern shell-flower, is a shrub or small tree reaching heights from 3 m to 5 m (SA Tree List No. 673).
The short-stalked or sessile leaves grow opposite or in whorls. They are elliptic, broadly lanceolate or ovate in shape. The blades are heavily wrinkled, the veins prominent on the lower surfaces. The margins are toothed.
It bears attractive white flowers in axillary pairs through the warmer months, i.e. spring, summer and autumn. The fruit is an ovoid woody capsule that splits open in three sections when ripe.
The species distribution is in KwaZulu-Natal, the Eastern Cape and Lesotho.
The habitat is mountainous terrain, in and on the margins of evergreen forests and in grassland, usually above elevations of 600 m. The species is not considered to be threatened in its habitat early in the twenty first century.
The tree grows fast and is moderately frost-tolerant (Coates Palgrave, 2002; Van Wyk and Van Wyk, 1997; http://redlist.sanbi.org).