Grewia cana Sond.
Grewia hermannioides Harv.
Common Name: Velvet Brandybush
Grewia flava is a compact, deciduous shrub growing around 2 metres tall[
Although rather small, the fruits are widely eaten within the plants native range. The plant also supplies material for basketry, making bows etc.
Southern Africa - southern Angola, Namibia, southern Zambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, S. Africa.
Drier types of deciduous woodland and bushland; alluvial granite and schist soils at elevations from 155 - 1830 metres[
|Other Uses Rating
Fruit - raw[
]. Eaten fresh or dried and stored for later use[
]. The fruit can be used to make a porridge[
]. The reddish, globose fruit is around 8mm in diameter[
The fruits are also used to make an intoxxicating drink[
Grewia species are valued in many cultures for their medicinal virtues. The main medicinal action appears to come from the mucilage that is found in the leaves, stems and roots, which has been shown to have soothing and healing properties. Taken internally it is often used as a remedy for diarrhoea and dysentery, for example, whilst externally it is applied to wounds, cuts, ulcers, irritations etc. The plant can be taken as a simple infusion or decoction, or it can be applied topically as a poultice of the plant, or the mucilage can be extracted from the plant, if required, by maceration and then decoction.
The root is used as an emetic[
The tough bark is a source of fibre and is used for making baskets[
The branchlets are used for making bowls, baskets & toothbrushes[
The wood has several traditional uses, particularly for making bows and various tools[
Seed - we have no specific information for this species but seed of this genus is generally best sown as soon as it is ripe. Stored seed has a hard seedcoat and may benefit from scarification before sowing in order to speed up and improve germination. This can usually be done by pouring a small amount of nearly boiling water on the seeds (being careful not to cook them!), allowing the mix to cool somewhat and then leaving it in a warm place to soak for 12 - 24 hours. Sow the seeds in situ or in a nursery seedbed or trays - do not allow the compost to become dry. Germination and early growth are usually quite quick.
Cuttings - best taken with a heel.
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