Dicoma zeyheri

Botanical name

Dicoma zeyheri

Other names

Toy sugarbush; doll's protea; jakkalsbos (Afrikaans); distel (Afrikaans)




Erect, perennial shrublet of up to 40 cm in height with a sturdy rootstock

Description of stem

Light grey, erect

Description of leaves

Opposite to sub-opposite, oblanceolate, green above, whitish below; tapering to pointed apex; entire margins; sessile

Description of flowers

Single, cup-shaped composite flowers with conspicuous, multiple and stacked sharp-pointed calyx leaflets or sepals; the surface of disc-florets has a purply dark and soft textured appearance; appear from late spring through autumn and even into winter

Description of seed/fruit


Description of roots



D. zeyheri subsp. argyrophylla is a Kwazulu-Natal variant; there are 35 Dicoma species worldwide (including in India) with 18 species occurring in southern Africa

Propagation and cultivation





Roots are used in treatment of stomach disorders; also used in treating livestock

Ecological rarity


Pests and diseases



It may have invasive tendencies in certain agricultural areas and is mentioned as a weed in the Global Compendium of Weeds;


Grassland, open bushy areas

Distribution (SA provinces)

Gauteng; North West; Mpumalanga; KZN


South Africa; Swaziland