Phymaspermum acerosum

Insp Indig phymaspermum acerosum ed129 jun

Phymaspermum acerosum
Afrikaans: Geelblombos, Zulu names: isihlaba-segceke, umhlonishwa

Alongside the clumps of orange Leonotis leonarus flowering in our grasslands at the moment, bright yellow Phymaspermum add splashes of warm colour. It occurs all across the summer rainfall areas from the Eastern Cape to the Northern Province and is found up to 2200m above sea level. Flowering from April until June – the small, cylindrical flowers are borne in dense, flat topped inflorescences which are about 20cm in diameter and attract insects. A perennial shrub with many woody stems and very variable leaves, it reaches about 1.5m tall. It is a pioneer plant which grows rapidly, often occurs in large colonies and is invading overgrazed grassland. In traditional medicine, Phymaspermum acerosum is used as a charm to ward off lightning.