African Wild Rosemary (Eriocephalus africanus L.)
Common Names: English: Wild Rosemary. Afrikaans: Wilderoosmaryn; Kapokbos.
The fine, grey, aromatic foliage, the snow white flowers and the fluffy cotton wool seeds ensure that it has year long appeal, apart from which is can withstand the most adverse conditions of weather, soil and habitat. African Wild Rosemary can be pruned to shape, makes a neat border hedge and can be used to soften rock and succulent gardens.The fluffy, white seeds that develop after flowering cover the bush, giving rise to the Afrikaans common name Kapokbos, meaning ‘snow bush’. The foliage is variable, being more succulent in the face of sea breezes and finer in drier inland habitats.
Medicinally, Eriocephalus is known as an anti-spasmodic and was traditionally used as a diuretic, a diaphoretic, as well as treatment for coughs, colds and stomach ailments, to stimulate and improve circulation in the body, relax muscles, improve memory and sooth migraines. Decoctions, infusions and brandy tinctures were used.
Wild rosemary can be used the same way as regular rosemary in cooking and works well with meat or in stews. As it has quite a strong flavour, so use it sparingly.
This is a water wise, semi-hardy shrub. It likes full sun and well drained soil and grows up to 1m tall.
Sow in spring or autumn in a tray of moist seed compost. Cover lightly with vermiculite or seed compost and keep at 10-15°C. Germination takes about 2-3 weeks. Pot on seedlings when they are big enough to handle and out into the garden after the last frost.
Information is for educational and informational purposes only and may not be construed as medical advice. The information is not intended to replace medical advice or treatment offered by healthcare professionals.