Gnidia polycephala, commonly known as Karoo broom and in Afrikaans terpentynbos (turpentine bush), becomes a spreading, rounded shrub of up to 1 m tall; often shorter. A short woody stem on a strong taproot forms the base of a great deal of branching. The thin green stems are most of the time leafless. The narrowly elliptic leaves with pointed tips drop off early from the new growth that follows rain.
The plant is not browsed and poisonous to livestock during the flowering season. This photo was taken at the beginning of September near Olifantshoek in the Northern Cape. The distribution extends in the arid inland through the Karoo to the Eastern Cape, the Free State, Botswana and Namibia. The habitat is short scrub on dolerite ridges and sandy slopes in very dry regions. The plant invades overgrazed land (Shearing and Van Heerden, 2008; Gledhill, 1981; Vahrmeijer, 1981; iSpot).
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