05 Aug

Aspalathus linearis: the Rooibos plant

Aspalathus linearis is a shrub the Fabaceae family – the family of many popular flowering plants like Liperia, Lupinus and Mimosa. However, unlike its cousins Aspalathus linearis is not common in horticulture. It is rather grown commercially for leaves that are used for preparation of Rooibos tea.

Aspalathus linearis grows as a small shrub and prefers acidic and slightly sandy soil. The plant is characterized by needle-like leaves that are rich source of antioxidants. The leaves are used to brew herbal tea which is like not only for its flavor but also for its anti-cancer properties.

In its native habitat in South Africa, Aspalathus linearis have been consumed by the locals for a long time for its medicinal benefit. The plant is locally known as Red Bush tea. The tea brewed from the leaves of Rooibos is believed to alleviate asthma and allergies making it a useful plant for gardeners.

Aspalathus linearis, Rooibos

Aspalathus linearis / Image by Winfried Bruenken

 

Aspalathus linearis grows into a broom-like shrub and produces bright yellow flowers. The plant prefers moderate watering and a well-drained soil. For more detail on growing Aspalathus linearis.

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