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10 Eriocephalus africanus Seeds - Seeds For Indigenous South African Shrubs To Buy From South Africa

10 Eriocephalus africanus Seeds - Seeds For Indigenous South African Shrubs To Buy From South Africa

5 were available / New
* from R1 per month with


Joined 15 Jan 2006
Port Elizabeth
bidorbuy ID: 257722898

Eriocephalus africanus Seeds

Eriocephalus is a genus of African flowering plants in the daisy family, Asteraceae. The various species occur mainly in South Africa and Namibia. Possibly because of its fancied resemblance to rosemary and its pleasant herbal odour, various species have been used on a small scale in cooking. Free range livestock browse the plants to various degrees, and along with various other Karooid bushes, this lends the meat a distinctive flavour and a character that some people relish in Karoo lamb for example. Various species also have been used widely in folk medicine. The leaf of Eriocephalus africanus when lightly rubbed, has a pleasant odour. It has a herbaceous and balsamic odour. This species, Eriocephalus ericoides, and also Eriocephalus racemosus, have been used at the Cape for their diaphoretic and diuretic effects. Together with Metalasia muricata, Eriocephalus punctulatus has been used by the Southern Sotho to fumigate the hut of a person suffering from a cold or diarrhoea, and to fumigate a hut during illness or after a death. The Nama use a decoction of Eriocephalus umbellulatus as a colic remedy, and the early Cape settlers apparently used it similarly. Extraction yields a light yellow volatile oil with a sharp, though pleasant, aromatic odour and a burning taste. Until modern times the plant has been variously used as a household medicine in the Western Province, as a tincture for heart troubles and oedema, and as a foot-bath for assorted conditions. Some species and varieties are gaining in popularity as garden plants, partly because of their herbal and culinary value. They also are valued in bird-friendly gardens, because some species of birds actively collect the woolliness of the empty seed follicles for their nests.

Eriocephalus africanus is found mostly on clay and granite slopes throughout the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Namaqualand. Along this wide distribution Eriocephalus africanus is very variable, especially when comparing plants growing in the salty air along the coast with those growing under much drier conditions inland. In general, they all form bushy evergreen shrubs up to 1 metre with a silvery, grey appearance. Looking at the leaves that are arranged in tufts along the branches, it is easy to see a number of features that help the plant to survive with little water. Special features include the grey leaf colour which reflects sunlight and thereby reduces leaf temperature. The minute, silvery hairs covering the leaves trap moisture and thus reduce transpiration. The small, needle-shaped leaves are another adaptation that limits water loss. The aromatic oils are also thought to help reduce water loss. Shrubs growing on the coast have succulent leaves, whereas those growing away from the coast have thinner, less succulent leaves. Flowering times vary, but the best displays are in winter when the whole shrub is covered in small, white flowers. 

On offer is a pack of 10 Seeds

We'll supply you with all the germination & care instructions.

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