Dicoma capensis is a small perennial herb with trailing branches growing from a woody rootstock. The leaves are variable in shape, narrow, oblong to obovate and whitish from their hairy covering. The leaves in picture are grey, folded in along the midrib, the tips rounded.
The flowerheads are thistle-like, purplish in colour on the disc, surrounded by several rows of narrow, hairy, spine-tipped bracts that curve outwards.
The plant is but one of several Dicoma species used extensively in traditional medicine. It is commonly known as karmedik (Scottish thistle) or in Afrikaans as koorsbos (fever bush) or ver-pis (urinate far).
The species distribution is in the Northern Cape and to some extent spilling over into the north of the Western Cape, the northwest of the Eastern Cape and the west of the Free State, as well as into Namibia and Botswana.
The habitat is arid and semi-arid sandy flats, also dune valleys and dry riverbeds. The species is not considered to be threatened in its habitat early in the twenty first century.
The medicinal uses include the concocting of tea-like remedies for various types of fever and bladder conditions. The last common name might imply that one can urinate far if the medicine works (Van Wyk and Gericke, 2000; Manning, 2009; Pienaar, 2008; www.faithdrops.mu; http://redlist.sanbi.org).