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Cliffortia ruscifolia

Cliffortia ruscifolia

steekbos, bergklimmersvriend

Shrub to 1.5 m. Male and female flowers on same or different plants. Leaves lance-shaped, channeled, sparsely hairy and very prickly. Leaves closer to flowers are shorter and densely hairy. Male flowers have about 12 stamens. Female flowers have an egg-shaped receptacle and red, feathery styles.

The name “bergklimmersvriend” is used in irony, because the leaves deliver painful stings. An alternative anecdotal explanation is that the plant possesses a strong root system and thus provides good support to a climber losing her balance.

Distribution in the Hex

Sandy and rocky standstone slopes and flats in De Doorns Sandstone Fynbos, Hex River Arid Alluvial Fynbos, and De Doorns Renosterveld.