Schistostephium rotundifolium (DC.) Fenzl ex Harv.
Common names: round-leaf flat-flower (Eng.); imadliwazimbuzi (Zul.)
A bushy shrub with decorative foliage and attractive yellow flowerheads in autumn to winter, suitable for sun or semi-shade.
A much-branched shrub, up to 1.2 m tall, with young branches velvety. Leaves on slender stalks, broadly ovate to rotund, deeply lobed, covered with silky hairs and with gland dots.
Many inflorescences, made up of small, bright yellow flowerheads, up to 4 mm in diameter, somewhat globular, in clusters at the ends of branchlets, in autumn to winter (April–June).
This species is assessed as Least Concern (LC), as it is reasonably widely distributed. While it is affected by habitat destruction, it is not thought to be threatened.
Distribution and habitat
Schistostephium rotundifolium occurs on forest margins, coastal dunes and scrub, from the coast to 1 550 m altitude, in Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape; also in Swaziland.
Derivation of name and historical aspects
Schistostephium is from the Greek, schizo, which means ‘to cut’ and stephos, ‘a crown’, alluding to the deeply toothed marginal or ray-florets; rotundifolium means with rounded leaves (Latin).
Schistostephium is a genus of African plants in the chamomile tribe within the daisy family. It consists of 11 species with 6 found in South Africa: S. crataegifolium, S. flabelliforme, S. griseum, S. hippifolium and S. umbellatum. Five of the species listed here have restricted distributions within South Africa and Swaziland.
Schistostephiums are primarily pollinated by insects.
None recorded, but it has horticultural potential.
Growing Schistostephium rotundifolium
Schistostephium rotundifolium is easy to propagate from seeds or cuttings. Grow it in a sunny to semi-shaded spot with moderate watering. To keep it neat and stimulate new growth, pinch the tips of young plants and cut out dead stems and leaves.
- CJB African Plant Database. 2012. Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques & South African National Biodiversity Institute. https://www.ville-ge.ch/musinfo/bd/cjb/africa/details.php?langue=an&id=97721
- Fabian, A. & Germishuizen, G. 1997. Wild flowers of northern South Africa. Fernwood Press, Vlaeberg.
- Pooley, E. 2005. A field guide to wild flowers KwaZulu-Natal and the eastern regions. The Flora Publications Trust, Durban.
- Von Staden, L. 2014. Schistostephium rotundifolium (DC.) Fenzl ex Harv. National Assessment: Red List of South African plants version 2017.1. Accessed on 2018/05/07.
- Wikipedia. Schistostephium. Accessed 7 May 2018. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schistostephium
Thabo Samuel Lekhetho
Free State National Botanical Garden
Plant Type: Shrub
SA Distribution: Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga
Soil type: Sandy, Loam
Flowering season: Autumn, Winter
Flower colour: Yellow
Aspect: Full Sun, Morning Sun (Semi Shade), Afternoon Sun (Semi Shade)
Gardening skill: Easy