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Elytropappus rhinocerotis

   (Family: Asteraceae)
Afrikaans: Renosterbostoppe English: Renosterbos, rhinoceros bush  EDIT
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Plant Type: EDIT  Shrub
Height: 0.5 - 2m
Spread: 1 - 1m
Special properties:
  Drought Resistant (heavy)
  Frost Tolerant (heavy)
  Has Medicinal Uses
Rarity Status:
Preferred rainfall: Winter
Preferred position:
Full Sun
Tolerated soil:  
Sand (coarse texture, drains easily),
Clay (fine texture, holds a lot of water)
Flowering time EDIT
          x x          
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Flower colours
  Leaf info EDIT
  Seed info EDIT
Description EDIT
Elytropappus rhinocerotis It is a small shrub that can grow up to 2m high. The very old branches are gnarled and the bark is smooth and greyish. Older branches are bare of leaves but bear many thin, whip-like twigs which are held erect and covered with tiny, triangular leaves pressed tightly to the stem. In between the leaves a layer of fine white hairs, giving a woolly appearance, is visible, giving the plant a greyish appearance overall.
Growing EDIT
Distribution EDIT
History EDIT
Watt & Breyer-Brandwijk (1962) report on the medicinal properties of renosterbos. Infusions of the young branches in alcohol are a traditional Cape remedy, thought to be beneficial in the treatment of stomach complaints including indigestion, dyspepsia, stomach cancer and a lack of appetite. The powdered twigs were used to treat children with diarrhoea. It was also formerly used to treat sheep suffering from krimpsiekte. The preparations are also said to induce sweating and the plant has been used in the treatment of influenza and fevers. The active medicinal ingredient appears to be a chemical called rhinoterotinoic acid which was isolated from renosterbos and found to have significant anti-inflammatory activity.

Renosterbos is likely to be an unpleasant medicine as the plant is bitter and strongly astringent as well as being resinous.
Ecology EDIT
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