SACoronavirus Resource and News Portal

Plant Information

Scientific Name: Hilliardiella oligocephala
Alternative Names: Bicoloured-leaved vernonia (Eng.), Ihlambihloshane (Zulu)

Package FormatN/A


  • Perennial
  • Hilliardiella oligocephala was previously called Vernonia oligocephala.
  • It is the most common silver-leafed species indigenous to the southern African grasslands - and occurs in Mpumalanga, Gauteng, North-West, KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, and in the neighbouring countries of Zimbabwe and Zambia.
  • Hilliardiella is an attractive, hardy, deciduous small shrub, 30 – 80cm tall with ovate to lanceolate leaves - dark green on the upper surface and silvery velvety below.
  • Its bright violet flower heads are borne in large clusters towards the branch tips. It flowers from August to December.
  • Hilliardiella requires minimal maintenance and grows well, relying on rainwater alone, making it useful for water-wise gardening.
  • This plant has developed adaptations to the challenges faced by grassland plants such as regular fires - this it achieves through dying back to its underground rootstock during the dry, fire-prone winter months.

Parts Used

  • Leaves, roots and twigs.

Medicinal Uses. It is said that

  • According to Pooley (1998) this plant is traditionally used to treat intestinal problems e.g. abdominal pain, colic and other complaints.
  • Its roots have also been used to treat ulcerative colitis.
  • Hilliardiella is also used as a remedy against mild forms of diabetes.

Other Uses

  • Hilliardiella is used to make ubulawu, which is the local isiZulu word for plants that cause visionary and prophetic dreams, and allows one to connect with, and receive messages from the spiritual world.
  • Its fresh leaves, roots or twigs are pulverized and the infusion is taken orally or used as tea.
The information contained within this website is for educational purposes only. This site merely recounts the traditional uses of specific plants as recorded through history. Always seek advice from a medical practitioner.

Mountain Herb Estate, and its representatives will not be held responsible for the improper use of any plants or documentation provided. By use of this site and the information contained herein you agree to hold harmless Mountain Herb Estate, its affiliates and staff

Back to Plant List