Kanna, Kougoed (Sceletium tortuosum). Featured plant at Towerkop Nursery.

Sceletium tortuosum


Kanna/ kougoed (Sceletium tortuosum)

The name is derived from the latin word sceletus (skeleton), referring to the permanent leaf veins which persist as a skeleton-like structure in the dry leaves. Kanna or kougoed (meaning something to chew) are well known vernacular names.

These vygies spread, covering the ground or growing into the bushes they commonly grow under.

The Flower is white with a yellow center and is the official flower for the region known as Kannaland.

Flowering begins in spring and lasts well into summer. The genus occurs in Karroid rocky inland areas of the Western, Eastern and Northern Cape provinces.

Plants thrive under cultivation with partial shade. Propagation is from seed sown in autumn or cuttings made in spring.

This once-abundant plant is now listed as endangered by the CITES convention on international trade as it was heavily exploited during the colonial period for its anti-anxiety properties. The fermented and dried plant material is also known as an appetite suppressor.

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