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.
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.
The seed may be sown in autumn or spring and germinate slowly and erratically within 10 days. Spacing in situ is 2 m.
Wild rosemary roots easily from tip or heel cuttings taken in spring or autumn. Plant in full sun and give ample water.
Attracts useful insects
Indigenous to South Africa
Soil PH preference
Traditionally used as a medicine for many ailments like coughs and colds, flatulence and colic, as a diuretic and a diaphoretic.
Wild rosemary can be used for cooking, in sachets and pot-pourris, as well as making tea.
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.