Botanical name

Tarchonanthus littoralis

Family

Asteraceae

Common Name

Coastal Camphor Tree, Kuskanferbos
Tarchonanthus littoralis
Tarchonanthus littoralis
Tarchonanthus littoralis
Tarchonanthus littoralis
Tarchonanthus littoralis

Description

Grey-felted shrub or small tree up to 5m, strongly scented of camphor. Bark brownish-grey, rough. Leaves ellliptic, leathery, dull-green above, pale greyish-white and velvety below; flowerheads discoid, in terminal panicles, individual flowers creamy-white covered in white woolly hairs.

Fruit is a small nutlet covered with white woolly hairs, the heads resembling balls of cotton wool.

The wood is greyish-brown, close-grained, hard and heavy and polishes well. Splinters of the wood can cause septic sores which take time to heal.

Zulu women used the leaves to perfume their hair.

Latin: litus = the sea shore, coast; = -alis, belonging to: referring to the plants coastal habitat.

Habitat

Coastal dunes and dune scrub to the fringes of mountain forest

Flower Date

December to April