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Artemisia afra

   (Family: Asteraceae)
   
Afrikaans: Als, Alsem, Wildeals English: African wormwood Xhosa: umhlonyane  EDIT
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Plant Type: EDIT  Shrub
Height: 0.6 - 2m
Special properties:
  Has Medicinal Uses
Rarity Status:
Common
   
Preferred altitude: 20 - 2440m
Preferred position:
Full Sun
Biome: Forest
 
Flowering time EDIT
    x x x              
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Flower colours
 
Cream
 
Yellow
 
  Flower info
  The individual creamy yellow flowers are small (3-4 mm in diameter), nodding and crowded at the tips of the branches.
 
 
Leaf margin
 
  Leaf scent
  Strong, sticky sweet smell is exuded when touched or cut.
  Leaf info EDIT
  Evergreen
  The soft leaves are finely divided, almost fern-like. The upper surface of the leaves is dark green whereas the undersides and the stems are covered with small white hairs, which give the shrub the characteristic overall grey colour.
 
 
Sow seeds in Spring
 
  Seed info EDIT
 
 
 
Description EDIT
This highly aromatic plant is an erect multi-stemmed perennial shrub of up to 2m in height.
In cold regions, the branches die back in winter but rapidly regenerate from the base.
Growing EDIT
Distribution EDIT
A very common species in South Africa and its natural distribution extends northwards into tropical east Africa, as far north as Ethiopia.
History EDIT
Uses EDIT
Mainly the leaves, but sometimes also the roots are used for medicinal purposes.
It is one of the most widely used traditional medicines in South Africa.
Numerous ailments are treated with it, mainly coughs, colds and influenza, but also fever, loss of appetite, colic, headache, earache, malaria and intestinal worms.

The most common practice is to insert fresh leaves into the nostrils to clear blocked nasal passages.
Ecology EDIT
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