Metalasia muricata

Metalasia muricata

Common Names

White Bristle Bush (english)
Blombos (afrikaans)
Witsteekbos (afrikaans)

Taxonomy

Family ASTERACEAE
Genus Metalasia
Species muricata
SA Plant Number
Basionym Metalasia muricata

Description

Metalasia muricata is a hardy, evergreen medium-sized shrub that is very variable in appearance and frost hardiness, depending on the region in which it occurs. This rounded, robust, sturdy shrub has fine silvery grey-green, needle-like foliage. The leaves can be smooth or woolly.

In winter, the shrub is covered in honey-scented clusters of tiny white to pinky-purple flowers.

The flowers attract many pollinating insects, and the seeds are eaten by birds.

Dried leaves are used as tea in Lesotho.

It is useful as a tall filler in flower beds, providing grey-green foliage for colour and textural contrast. In some coastal areas, this species is used with other plants to stabilise sand dunes. As it is drought and wind tolerant, it can be used to screen lower plant beds from the wind.

Plant in sunny areas, in sandy, well drained soils. It can also tolerate acidic soils.

Size to 4m

Wildlife

Uses

Landscaping:
  • Excellent plant to include for coastal sand dune stabilisation
  • Lovely shrub for textural and colour contrast in the garden
  • Drought hardy plant for waterwise gardens

Distribution

Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, and Lesotho
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