Eriosema kraussianum Meisn.
Common names: pale yellow eriosema (Eng.)
Eriosema kraussianum is an erect, fairly small, tufted, perennial herb, with its stems covered in silvery silky hairs and with pale yellow flowers. It is usually found on rocky areas of grassland.
Eriosema kraussianum is an erect, fairly small, perennial herb, forming clumps, about 150 mm tall, with unbranched stems covered in characteristic, silvery silky hairs. Leaves are shortly stalked. Leaflets are evergreen, about 30 × 7 mm, conspicuously veined. Inflorescences are about 35 mm tall, in a terminal raceme. Flower are pale yellow, creamy white about 7 mm in long. Fruit is a flattish pod, ± 15 × 8 mm, hairy. Flowering time is from September to November.
Eriosema kraussianum is listed as LC (Least Concern) in the Red Data List, meaning that is not threatened.
Distribution and habitat
Eriosema kraussianum is usually found amongst rocky areas of grassland, throughout eastern South Africa and Swaziland.
Derivation of name and historical aspects
The specific epithet, kraussianum, refers to Christian Ferdinand Friedrich von Krauss (1812–90), German scientist, traveller and collector, who collected this plant in Natal (now KwaZulu-Natal).
Eriosema kraussianum with its pale flowers, attracts butterflies and bees in warm regions. It flowers well, especially after veld fires.
The roots of this plant have generally been used as an expectorant and diuretic in traditional medicine.
Growing Eriosema kraussianum
Although it is not usually cultivated , this could be a pleasant addition as a small evergreen herb in the garden. It can be grown quite easily from cuttings or seed.
Cultivation is more suitable in coastal summer rainfall areas, and frost free areas.
- Eliovson, S.1980. Wild flowers of southern Africa. MacMillan. Pretoria.
- Pooley, E. 2005. A field guide to wild flowers KwaZulu-Natal and the eastern regions. The Flora Publications Trust, Durban.
Free State National Botanical Garden
Plant Type: Perennial
SA Distribution: Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal
Soil type: Sandy, Loam
Flowering season: Early Summer
Flower colour: Green, Cream, Yellow
Aspect: Full Sun
Gardening skill: Average