Seriphium plumosum had its name changed from Stoebe vulgaris for taxonomical reasons, not to escape its notoriety in agriculture as an invader. Almost throughout South Africa encroachment by this plant into grazing veld and planted pastures has become a problem.
The small multi-stemmed shrub with its woody base has strong defences against moisture loss in hot dry climates. These include small ericoid leaves with woolly upper surfaces, pale grey colouring reflecting sunlight and a large, strong root system. The flowerheads comprising just one disc floret each surrounded by brown involucral bracts are arranged in long erect panicles. The white globose woolly galls in evidence here are not flowers.
The plant contains a volatile oily substance that makes it aromatic but unpalatable to livestock and game. Usurping grazing space without yielding fodder, earned the plant the name of bankrupt bush among the farmers. Proliferation of this indigenous plant into becoming a threatening weed has been caused by veld management practices that can be countered (www.grassland.org.za; Van Wyk and Malan, 1997).