Eriocephalus africanus – Common names Wild rosemary, Cape snowbush, 

English: Wild rosemary, Cape snowbush

Afrikaans: Kapokbos


In the winter months you may have noticed this fine silver grey leaved bush in full bloom. Its delicate white flowers are soon followed by white fluffy seed heads which give it its common name: the Cape Snowbush.

Medicinally, Eriocephalus is known as an anti-spasmodic and was traditionally used as a diuretic, a diaphoretic, as well as treatment for coughs, colds and stomach ailments, to stimulate and improve circulation in the body, relax muscles, improve memory and sooth migraines. Decoctions, infusions and brandy tinctures were used.

You can try this remedy by adding a sprig of wild rosemary to a cup of hot water. If you rub the wild rosemary leaves, you will notice it gives off a wonderful camphor like smell. This is because it is packed full of essential oils, making it a great addition to a hot steamy bath when you have a cold or flu. Sold as an essential oil, it is marketed as “useful in the treatment of people with addictive personalities and for those who have no time to allow themselves healing.”

Wild rosemary also has similar properties to regular rosemary and is great as a hair rinse and to promote growth or used as a conditioner. You can also use this amazing plant as a herb in cooking and works well with meat or in stews. As it has quite a strong flavour, use it sparingly.

This is a water wise, semi-hardy shrub. It likes full sun and well drained soil and grows up to 1m tall. It is best to plant them out in Winter or Spring.


Available at Good Hope Gardens Nursery – R24.50 for a 4kg bag.

Good Hope Gardens Nursery is hosting the South Peninsula Indigenous Garden Competition that is running until the 1st of September.

and a foraging course on Saturday 31 August. view details on


Eriocephalus africanus English: Wild rosemary, Cape snowbush Afrikaans: Kapokbos .Photo Good Hope Gardens Nursery