Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Fab 5 - Buchu

Buchu belonging to the citrus family, Rutaceae are ericoid like shrubs (plants with needle like leaves) they are indigenous to South Africa and are cultivated for its essential oil and as an ornamental. Some plants are known for their medicinal properties like Agathosma betulina and Agathosma crenulata. Buchu is part of the cultural heritage of the San and Khoi people. They used these plants to relieve stomach related problems. Buchu is still used in South Africa as a household medicine for treating stomach, kidney and urinary tract infections as well as for external wounds and bruises.

Buchus are really good garden plants once established in the garden. Almost all the buchu do exceptionally well in coastal gardens as majority naturally occurring there. They can tolerate nutrient poor soils, sandy soils, are wind resistant and cover their bushes with flowers around August to October.

For this Fab 5 I'll be focusing on the flowers and smell of these plants, if you need more information on the plant i.e. how to grow it: visit http://www.plantzafrica.com/

Coleonema album commonly known as the white confetti bush or assbossie has a sweet honey fragrant and when in flower the entire bush is full of white dainty flowers.

Acmadenia heterophylla has a sweet lemony scent when the leaves are touched. and bears a variety of pink starry flowers.
Agathosma ovata "Outeniqua" is commonly known as the false buchu. It has white flowers and once in full flower attracts a large about of bees. This variety may grow up to 2m high.

Agathoma serpyllacea flowers in clusters of white,pink or purple, has a sweet lemony scent, and can also be grown as a pot plant. 
Agathosma mucronulata has a pungent almost turpentine-like scent when touched. The flowers of this buchu is easy to identify by looking at the small dots on the petals.

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