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A picture of a Canescent Selago

Canescent Selago

Selago canescens

Also known as

Bitter Bush, Blou Aarbossie, Blouaarbossie (Afr.)

Full Sun
Easy care
Moderate watering


USDA zone


Minimum temperature

Expected size









  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has a strong fragrance

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A photo of Canescent Selago
A photo of Canescent Selago

Canescent Selago Overview

A beautiful, showy addition to any temperate garden, the Bitter bush is a perennial shrub endemic to the Cape area of South Africa, known for blooming early in Spring before most other flowers and also for attracting butterflies. The mass of small purple flowers on long slender branches not only serves ornamental purposes, but the plant is easy to grow and has traditional medicinal applications. ZA Distribution: Eastern Cape, Western Cape.

Common problems with Canescent Selago

Generally pest and disease free.

    Canescent Selago Companion Plants

    Selago corymbosa, Scabiosa africana, Vernonia glabra, Polygala fruticosa, Buddleja salviifolia, Pelargonium cucullatum and Geranium multisectum

    How to harvest Canescent Selago

    Whole plant is harvested for traditional medicinal use, more sustainable methods of harvesting is being researched.

    How to propagate Canescent Selago


    Tip cuttings are made from the soft side shoots on the main branches in spring and after flowering.


    Sowing time is in Autumn. Germination time is within a month.

    Special features of Canescent Selago

    Attracts useful insects

    Insects such as butterflies and bees.

    Pot plant

    Makes a good pot plant provided there is good drainage.

    Attracts butterflies

    Attracts bees

    Other uses of Canescent Selago

    An easy to grow garden plant that attracts butterflies and insects.


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