Kapokbos

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Cape snowbush, Wilderoosmaryn,

Kapokbos is the Afrikaans name for Eriocephalus africanus (also known as wild rosemary), an evergreen shrub native to South Africa. Its leaves are thin and silvery grey, and it can reach a height of 1 meter. The structure of the leaves – like small needles on the branches – makes it possible for this shrub to survive with very scarce water resources. The gray color of the leaves reflects the sunlight and thus reduces the temperature, and the needles collect humidity. Its flowering period varies, but is best in winter, when the shrub fills up with small white flowers that resemble cotton or snow: Kapokbos means “snow bush.” This plant is traditionally used for medicinal purposes, especially against cough, cold, colic, or as a diuretic. It is also used in cooking: Its leaves, finely chopped, can be used as a condiment for soups, salads, vegetables, and meat, as well as to make tea. Moreover, it plays an important ecological role, as it is a source of nectar for many insects.

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Categories

Spices, wild herbs and condiments

Nominated by:Roberta Arciprete