Lessertia frutescens – Plant


Indigenous to South Africa, organically grown, and locally sourced from ethical growers committed to sustainable, Nature-friendly cultivation.

Common names: cancer bush, sutherlandia, balloon pea (English); umnwele, insiswa (Xhosa); umnwele (Zulu); kankerbos, blaasbossie, blaas-ertjie, eendjies, gansiekeurtjie, klappers (Afrikaans).

Botanical name: Lessertia frutescens

Previously known as: Sutherlandia frutescens, Colutea frutescens

Potted into 100% recycled plastic nursery pot or bag.

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Care Summary

• Easy to grow
• Fast growing
• Light – full sun
• Soil – all types, well-drained, pH 6-8
• Water – reasonably drought tolerant, do not over-water
• Seeds easily
• Not long lived, remove when no longer looking good
• Does well in containers
• Pioneers in new gardens
• Plant in 2-5’s for fuller bush
• Prefer a west facing slope

• Seed – Autumn and Spring in a well-drained
• Cuttings – stem cuttings

Plant Summary

Lessertia frutescens, also known as sutherlandia, cancer bush, or balloon pea, is a shrublet that is both an attractive garden plant and a much-respected medicinal plant. It is fast-growing, easy to grow, and drought-tolerant, making it a great addition to any garden. It is also known for its ability to improve energy levels, elevate mood, and improve appetite, making it a useful tonic for cancer, TB, and AIDS patients. Fast-growing and adaptable, it thrives in full sun, tolerates diverse soils, and self-seeds.


Our range of indigenous, organically-grown plants are intended as part of an integrated approach to wellbeing. Information provided is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any medical condition, nor replace prescribed medication. If on medication, pregnant, lactating, or undergoing surgery please consult your healthcare professional before using plants as food or medicine.

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