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Trees of the year
Trees of the year


Scientific name: Delosperma lavisiae  

Family: Aizoaceae 


Common names: Mountain Vygie, Drakensberg Vygie (Eng.); Bergvygie ( Afri.) and Mabone (Soth.)

Dicoma capensis

Delosperma lavisiae

Description: D. lavisiae is a perennial succulent herb which tends to form mats in higher attitude rocky areas.

Leaves are minute scales, whereas it is the cladodes that function as leaves. The cladodes are 6–15 mm long and only 0.5 mm wide and end in a sharp point. They are produced in clusters above each leaf scale.

Flowers are around, have single whorls of petals and lax, pale yellow to whitish clusters of stamens and styles in their centers, 20 mm in diameter with purple-pink petals.

Flowering time: Nov – March

Origin: South Africa and Lesotho

Uses: The leaves of this plant are said to make a spinach-like vegetable-stew and the fermented leaves chewed by the Sesotho. Sodium carbonate found in the ash of the plant was even used to make soda in the early 1900’s on the Canary Islands.


Pooley, E. 2003. Mountain flowers: a field guide to the flora of the Drakensberg and Lesotho. Natal Flora Publications Trust, Durban.