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Uses

Edible uses

Notes

A tea made from the dried fermented leaves tastes similar to oriental tea made from Camellia sinensis[2]. It is less astringent, however, due to the lower tannin content[2]. It is caffeine-free, but has a higher content of fluoride which might help to protect against tooth decay[2]. Recent research has shown that this tea contains a substance similar to superoxide dismutase, an antioxidant compound that is thought to retard the ageing process[2]. The leaves and stems are harvested in the summer, fermented and sun dried for later use[2]. The leaves are sometimes used as a flavouring in foods and in baking[1].

Leaves

Dried, Fermented as a Tea

Material uses

There are no material uses listed for Aspalathus linearis.

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

Rooibos was traditionally used by the Bushmen and Hottentots of South Africa and is becoming increasingly popular in the West as a pleasant tasting tea that also has health benefits[1]. A tea made from the leaves and stems of rooibos is generally beneficial to the digestive system and relaxes spasms[2], it has been used in the treatment of vomiting, diarrhoea and other mild gastric complaints[1].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nitrogen fixer

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - sow late spring in a greenhouse covering the seed with about 10mm of soil[2][1]. It will probably be beneficial to pre-soak the seed for 12 hours in warm water prior to sowing. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots of well-drained sandy soil as soon as they are large enough to handle. Grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter and plant them out in late spring or early summer after the last expected frosts. It will probably be wise to give the plants protection from the cold and from excessive rain for at least their first winter outdoors. Cuttings of half-ripe wood in a closed frame in early summer[3].

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Aspalathus linearis. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

Requires a very well-drained acid sandy soil and a warm sunny position[3]. When grown in pots it needs to be kept dry but not arid in the winter[3]. This species tolerates several degrees of frost in its native habitat[3], though this cannot be applied directly to plants grown in Britain because of our cooler summers and colder, wetter winters. Plants are said to be frost-tolerant in one report[2], but in general plants are usually pot-grown in greenhouses in this country and can be brought into the garden for the summer[3]. Cultivated commercially for its leaves, which are used to make a tea. Rooibos is one of the few wild species to have been developed as a commercial crop in the last 100 years[2]. It is grown for use as a tea, though it is also used medicinally[2]. Commercial plantations last for about 7 years before they need to be replaced. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[3].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Aspalathus linearis. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Aspalathus linearis.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Aspalathus linearis
Genus
Aspalathus
Family
Leguminosae
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
9
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
no shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
  • Drought
Ecosystems
Native Climate Zones
None listed.
Adapted Climate Zones
None listed.
Native Geographical Range
None listed.
Native Environment
None listed.
Ecosystem Niche
None listed.
Root Zone Tendancy
None listed.
Life
Deciduous or Evergreen
?
Herbaceous or Woody
Life Cycle
Growth Rate
?
Mature Size
2 x
Fertility
?
Pollinators
?
Flower Colour
?
Flower Type

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References

  1. ? 1.01.11.21.31.41.51.6 Stuart. M. (Editor) The Encyclopedia of Herbs and Herbalism Orbis Publishing. London. ISBN 0-85613-067-2 (32202/01/01)
  2. ? 2.002.012.022.032.042.052.062.072.082.092.102.112.12 Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (32202/01/01)
  3. ? 3.03.13.23.33.43.53.6 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (32202/01/01)

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