Bushman’s tea – Athrixia phylicoides

Bushman's tea - Athrixia phylicoides
Bushman’s tea – Athrixia phylicoides

Common names: Bushman's tea, bush tea (Eng); icholocholo, itshelo, umthsanelo (Zulu); boesmanstee, bostee (Afr). 
Botanical name: Athrixia phylicoides

Family: Asteraceae 

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Greek thrix=hair, describing the appearance of the leaves.

Shrub 1 m in height, branches with thin woolly stems. Leaves are simple, alternate, linear to broadly lanceolate, tapering to a sharp point, dark green and smooth on the upper surface and white-woolly below. Margins are entire or slightly revolute. Flowering occurs in late autumn. The flower head is sessile to sub-sessile and terminal axillary in panicles. Ray florets are pink to purple and the disc florets are yellow.

This is an attractive plant in the garden and quite hardy. It should be planted in well-drained soil in full sunlight. Prune lightly to keep it tidy. Propagation is by cuttings or from seed, best collected at the end of summer.

Family: Asteraceae

Plant type: Shrubs

Plant-animal relations: 

Light level: sun - full


Soil type: 

Soil pH: 

Propagation methods:

Conservation status: Not threatened

Uses & Benefits

Traditionally used as a pleasant-tasting herbal tea.

Plant uses: teas

Plant safety: No safety concerns

Herbal tradition(s):

Plant parts: leaves

Herb actions: antioxidant

Herb qualities: 

Phytochemical constituents:

First-aid use: 

Plant preparations: dried, infusion

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