The flowering stalk is hollow and up to 2m in height, with numerous small white flowers arranged in dense, rounded heads.
Dark green rosettes of oblong, markedly toothed leaves arising from a single or branched rhizome. The shape of the basal leaves and serrations and hairs along leaf margins are important to distinguish the different species of Alepidea.
The plant is a robust perennial.
Grows in grassland areas and occurs from the Eastern Cape northwards to Mpumalanga, the Northern Province and eastern Zimbabwe.
The rhizomes and roots are sold commercially in many parts of South Africa and are widely used for colds and chest complaints as well as for asthma, influenza and abdominal cramps.
Fresh rhizomes and roots are chewed or a decoction is made of the dried product, to which honey is normally added.
It is also administered as snuff or burned and inhaled. The smoke from burning roots is used as a mild sedative.
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