Cape May Overview
Coleonema album is a very attractive shrub with a compact structure, fine foliage and a profusion of tiny white fragrant flowers in winter and spring. It is extremely versatile and can be grown in containers, as a topiary, or as an accent plant. It does particularly well in coastal gardens as it can tolerate strong salt-laden winds. Once established, they require very little maintenance and will be able to survive long periods of drought. The Cape May thrives in sunny positions and acidic, well-draining soils. Mulch with organic material, like wood chips or vine clippings, to keep the soil moist and the roots protected and cool during summer. Keep plants well-watered during the winter seasons and less so during summer but do not allow plants to dry out. As part of the citrus family (Rutaceae), this buchu is well-known for its highly aromatic leaves and one can't help but rub your hands over the foliage to emit the pleasing fragrance. Fishermen use the aromatic oils of this plant to rid their hands of the redbait smell, hence the Afrikaans vernacular name 'Aasbos' (bait bush).