Augea capensis, commonly known as pickle bush, is an erect, dwarf shrub of up to 50 cm in height. It usually lives for only a few years. The roots are swollen, containing stored water. The yellow stems are also succulent. The leaf sap is salty, making the leaves only moderately palatable to stock and game.
Still, several Afrikaans common names refer to the plant as food: boesmansdruiwe (San grapes), elandslaai (eland salad), bobbejaankos (baboon food), kinderkougoed (children’s chewing stuff) and volstruisganna (ostrich ganna), apart from kinderpieletjies (children’s penises). Baboons will dig out the roots to eat while the browsers will often take the fruit more than the leaves.
The distribution of the species lies from Namibia across Namaqualand and the Karoo to the Little Karoo. The habitat is soft loamy soils in floodplains, among scrub in arid areas and on disturbed or poorly managed land.
Augea is a monotypic genus (comprising only one species) that belongs in the Zygophyllaceae family (Vlok and Schutte-Vlok, 2010; Shearing and Van Heerden, 2008; Le Roux, et al, 2005; iSpot).
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