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Ballota africana

Ballota africana             

Afrikaans: Kattekruid        

English: Cat bush                   

IsiXhosa: Isinazi


Description

To the touch it is rubbery and sticky.

The little flowers are purple and can be seen on the left.

From a distance the bushes can be seen to have a blue haze from the flowers. These pictures were taken in the West coast Reserve where the bushes easily grow to one meter in height.


Uses  

It is added to Artemisia afra for colds that include coughs. Added to hot water in a cup it makes a good tea.


It is an amazing antiseptic that not only deals with infections relating to coughs but also infections in the blood, kidneys and pimples coming up in the skin.


Habitat

It grows from the west coast through the Karoo in sheltered spots.  It does not compete well with grass.

It is quite drought hardy and will go into rest till there is a shower of rain and then recover and grow rapidly again.

It is amazing how it can grow in areas of even severe frost and not seem to be effected at all.