Wild Rosemary

Eriocephalus africanus

African Rosemary (Eng.), Cape Snow Bush, Kapokbossie (Afr.), Wilderoosmaryn (Afr.)

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The fine, grey-green, aromatic foliage, the snow white flowers and the fluffy cotton wool seeds ensure that this multi-branched low growing shrub has year long appeal. The Wild rosemary (Eriocephalus africanus) has small delicate white flowers that are well known for its medicinal qualities and in water-wise gardening. As an indigenous plant to South Africa it is also known to withstand the most adverse conditions of weather, soil and habitat. With its herbaceous freshness and a hint of green floral the scent is much softer than Rosemary and an excellent shrub for every garden.
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Planning

Difficulty

Easy

Flowering time

Winter, Spring

Fruiting time

Summer

Harvesting

The young tops, leaves, flowers, seed and stems/sprigs are harvested for various culinary and medicinal use. For the preservation of natural plant growth, the plants should only be cut every third year, i.e. with a 2-year break between harvests.

Propagation

Seed

The seed may be sown in autumn or spring and germinate slowly and erratically within 10 days. Spacing in situ is 2 m.

Cuttings

Wild rosemary roots easily from tip or heel cuttings taken in spring or autumn. Plant in full sun and give ample water.

Special features

Attracts birds
Attracts useful insects
Drought resistant
Hedge plant
Pot plant

Special features

Origin

Indigenous to South Africa

Natural climate

Mediterranean

Environment

Light

Full Sun

Soil moisture

Moist

Soil type

Loam, Sand

Soil PH preference

Acid

Frost hardiness

Half-Hardy

Uses

Medicinal

Traditionally used as a medicine for many ailments like coughs and colds, flatulence and colic, as a diuretic and a diaphoretic.

Edible

Wild rosemary can be used for cooking, in sachets and pot-pourris, as well as making tea.

Personality

Family

Compositae

Flower colour

White, Purples

Scent

Mild

Problems

The major diseases identified in wild rosemary include box blight, root disease and powdery mildew. The major insects identified in wild rosemary include aphids, spider mites, gall midges and rosemary leaf beetles.
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Knowledge and advice

Search our ever-growing knowledge base to find plants and information. Find out about pests and diseases you should be keeping an eye out for. Watch How to videos or follow step by step guides for tasks in the garden. Free download for your phone or tablet.
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