Dissotis below small dam wall


Common names: Pink wild Tibouchina; Zulu: imfe-yenkala, uhlazifukwe oluncane; Afrikaans: Wildekalwerbossie

Dissotis canescens

Wetlands and vleis around the Midlands are coloured magenta at the moment as the splendid Dissotis canescens  flowers with abandon. An African genus of some 140 species, only two species are found in South Africa.

Dissotis is a compact shrub about 1,5m tall with a profusion of big buttercup shaped pink flowers held above velvety leaves in summer. The oval leaves have distinct veins and the reddish coloured branches are square. Interestingly, the flowers have two sets of stamens – five are long and purple and curve upwards while the other five are short and yellow. 

This fast growing perennial is perfect to add a splash of vivid colour to a damp spot in the garden, but also does very well in a container if watered well during the growing period. Dissotis is easy to grow from seed or cuttings. During winter it dies back and prefers not to be watered.

Traditionally, infusions made from bruised leaves in hot water are used to treat dysentery  and diarrhea and infusions of roots are taken to treat the unpleasant symptoms of drinking beer made from young mielies! Apparently also eaten during times of famine.


Click on any of the links below to see another Dargle wildflower