MAYA ETHNOBOTANICALS

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Sutherlandia frutescens (Cancer Bush)

Herb, Cut from South Africa (SKU 0894)

Top quality organically cultivated Sutherlandia herb, cut. Origin: South Africa.

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Sutherlandia belongs to the Leguminosae (Pea family) and is an attractive small, soft wooded shrublet, 0.5 to 1 meter in height. The leaves are pinnately compound . The leaflets are 4-10 mm long, grey-green in colour, giving the bush a silvery appearance. They have a very bitter taste. The flowers are orange-red, up to 35 mm long, and are carried in short racemes in the leaf axils at the tips of the branches in spring to mid-summer (September - December). The flowers are not typical 'pea' flowers, the wing petals are very small and are concealed in the calyx, and the standard petal is much shorter than the keel.

The fruit is a large, bladder-like, papery inflated pod and is almost transparent. It can be used in dry flower arrangements as it dries well, maintaining its colour and form.

The genus Sutherlandia is so closely related to Lessertia and some botanists consider that it should be sunk in to Lessertia. This species is sometimes called Lessertia frutescens. The genus Sutherlandia was named after James Sutherland, 1639-1719, first Superintendent of the Edinburgh Botanic Garden. The genus Lessertia is named after Jules Paul Benjamin de Lessert, 1773-1847, a French industrialist, banker, amateur botanist and owner of an important private herbarium used by De Candolle. The species name frutescens means bushy in Latin.

The Fabaceae or the Leguminosae (Pea family) is the second largest flowering plant family. It contains more than 600 genera and 12.000 species and is found throughout the world. In southern Africa this family is represented by 134 genera. The genus Sutherlandia, which has since been sunk in Lessertia, used to contain only 5 species, widespread throughout southern Africa. The genus Lessertia, which now includes Sutherlandia, is widely distributed in Africa, consists of ± 60 species, with ± 50 in southern Africa.

There are other closely related species that are often confused with Sutherlandia frutescens, these are Sutherlandia montana the Mountain Cancer Bush, Sutherlandia microphylla commonly known as Bitterblaar or Grootgansiesbos, and Sutherlandia tomentosa, also known as Eendjies or Rooikeurtjie.

Sutherlandia frutescens sub-species microphylla, is regarded as the most profound and multi-purpose of the medicinal plants in Southern Africa. Because of its efficacy as a safe tonic for diverse health conditions it has enjoyed a long history of use by all cultures in Southern Africa.

This natural product is delivered with no expressed or implied fitness for any specific purpose. It is simply a raw botanical specimen.
The product is packaged as botanical specimen and is not intended, branded, labelled, or marketed as a consumer product.

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