Cancer bush

Sutherlandia frutescens

Balloon pea (Eng.), Blaas-ertjie, Blaasbossie, Eendjies, Gansiekeurtjie, Hoenderbelletjie (Afr.), Kankerbos, Klappers

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A well known medicinal shrub that is also an attractive garden plant. Its flowers are red-orange and pea-like in form. Easy to grow from seed, water-wise and tolerates different soils (just needs to be well drained). The plant is known to fix Nitrogen in the soil in a symbiotic relationship with bacteria. Improves appetite and generally a good general medicine. There are many medicinal properties and this species is an attractive, easy-growing shrub even in dry Karoo areas.
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Planning

Difficulty

Moderate

Flowering time

Summer, Spring

Fruiting time

Summer, Autumn

Harvesting

Pick the leaves to make tea as needed or dry for later use.

Propagation

Seed

Sow in Autumn. Plant in clusters 3-5 close together. Sow 1.5 times deeper than the size of the seed. Germination time usually 2-3 weeks.

Special features

Attracts birds
Drought resistant

Special features

Origin

South Africa, Sutherland

Natural climate

Semi-arid

Environment

Light

Full Sun

Soil moisture

Dry

Soil type

Chalk, Loam, Sand

Soil PH preference

Neutral

Frost hardiness

Hardy

Uses

Medicinal

It's medicinal properties are related to immunity boosting in cancer treatment, an antiseptic wound wash, reducing fevers, treatment of chicken pox, stomach issues, colds, flu, asthma, TB, bronchitis.

Ornamental

Unusual seedpods and striking flowers make this interesting plant to add to the garden.

Notes

Many medicinal properties and an attractive easy growing shrub.

Personality

Family

Leguminosae

Flower colour

Red-orange

Scent

None

Problems

Damping-off and rot when too wet.
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Knowledge and advice

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