Gnidea splendens

Gnidia splendens

Common name: Lesser Yello Head; Swazi name: umShanyelo; Zulu name: umfukuzane

There are 100 species of Gnidia in South Africa – they are perennial shrubs found in scrubby grassland.

Gnidia splendens is used in traditional medicine to treat snakebite, sore throat and lumbago.  Roots of other members of the Gnidia family are used to treat fever, bad dreams, coughs, boils and open wounds, although some species are said to be highly poisonous. Reports of fatal human and stock poisoning have been recorded.  A versatile family indeed.

The reddish branches are very flexible so it makes a good broom (as suggested by it's Swazi name).  The grey green leaves are soft and a little hairy. The clusters of tiny yellow flowers are held above the leaves and when if full flower, the bush looks virtually yellow from a distance.

Although, according to the field guides, it shouldn't be flower now, this photo was taken in upper Dargle at the beginning of the month.

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