Lippia javanica

Lippia javanica

Common Names

Fever Tea (english)
Lemoenbossie (afrikaans)
umsuzwane (zulu)
inzinziniba (xhosa)
musukudu (tswana)

Taxonomy

Family VERBENACEAE
Genus Lippia
Species javanica
SA Plant Number
Basionym Lippia javanica

Description

Lippia javanica is a very hardy, evergreen, erect, small shrub with aromatic leaves. Small, dense spikes of white flowers are borne in the axils of leaves all year round.

The main attraction of this quite nondescript shrub is the many species of butterfly that are always hovering around it and sipping on the nectar.

Plant in full sun or semi-shade where it will tolerate a whole range of conditions.

It has many herbal uses and makes a fragrant cupboard freshener and addition to pot pourri.

It is one of the plants that wildlife chooses not to browse on.

Size 1 to 2m

Wildlife

Butterflies:

A wide variety of butterfly and moth species are attracted to the nectar rich flowers of Lippia javanica

Uses

Medicinal:
Widely used in many African tribes as a herbal medicine for many ailments. Also well known to herb gardeners.
Tick repellant:

If you are walking in a veld area where this plant occurs, break off a leafy piece and slightly crush the leaves. Rub or smack it against the ankles or lower leg and wrists, where the essential oils will stay on the skin and act as a natural repellent to ticks.

Distribution

Limpopo, North West, Gauteng, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu Natal,  Free State, Eastern Cape
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