Berkheya spinosa, the bokbietou (goat bietou or antelope bietou), bokdissel (goat thistle) or perdebos (horse bush) all in Afrikaans, is an erect, thistle-like shrub reaching heights from 40 cm in the Great Karoo to 1 m in the Little Karoo.
The species distribution is from the south of the Northern Cape in the Roggeveld and inland in the Western Cape Karoo and Little Karoo to the west of the Eastern Cape around Willowmore.
Its habitat is plains, slopes and watercourses in clayey soils of dry, rocky areas. The species is not considered to be threatened in its habitat early in the twenty first century.
The plant is described as palatable to livestock and game in the Little Karoo, not so in the Great Karoo. Maybe the range of animal species in the regions differs sufficiently, or the alternatives offered by the vegetation causes this.
Spines don't deter the hungry, not beyond a certain point or not sufficiently, depending on what else there is to eat; a factor changing with season and weather. Famine food will do for a feast, given the circumstances. In the Little Karoo abundance of this species is an indicator of well managed veld (Vlok and Schutte-Vlok, 2015; Shearing and Van Heerden, 2008; Bond and Goldblatt, 1984).