20 Cancer Bush seeds, Sutherlandia frutescens, Ore.
(Kankerbos, Syn. Lessertia frutescens) Woody tropicalperennial native to South Africa, Botswana and Namibia. This plant does reasonably well in containers as it tends to stay small. In the wild, the plant can become quite woody but still only reaches a height of three feet. With its loose sprays of compound, gray-green leaves and large, showy, bright scarlet flowers followed by bladder-like, inflated seed pods, Cancer Bush is in high demand as a horticultural oddity and a decorative garden plant.
Plant prefers full sun and dry, very well-drained soils. Use Cactus mix. This plant loves full sun, and will do best when given a sunny, warm exposure, protected from dew and puddles. The plant is very drought tolerant. Thoroughly scarify each seed by rubbing on medium grit sandpaper, then sow in warm soil. Barely cover and keep barely moist and in the light. Germ in 10 to 30 days, and ongoing. Individuate seedlings and pot up singly, then transplant outdoors (if you live in a suitable area) to a spacing of 2 to 3 feet apart.
Source of canavanine. Traditional use among Khoi and Nama peoples of South Africa: Cancer, bitter tonic, colds, influenza, chicken pox, diabetes, piles, inflammations, liver issues, backache, rheumatism.
20 seeds/pkt., Open Pollinated. Hardy to Zones 10 to 12. No frost. sms