Rafnia Thunb.

First published in Nov. Gen. Pl.: 144 (1800)
This genus is accepted
The native range of this genus is S. Africa. It grows primarily in the seasonally dry tropical biome.

Descriptions

Legumes of the World. Edited by G. Lewis, B. Schrire, B. MacKinder & M. Lock. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. (2005)

Habit
Shrubs or suffrutices
Ecology
Mediterranean shrubland (mainly fynbos) and grassland, mostly in rocky and sandy places
Distribution
Africa (sub-endemic to the Cape Region of South Africa, extending slightly eastwards to KwaZulu-Natal Province)
Note
Several studies, based on morphological and molecular characters, have shown Rafnia to be closely related to Aspalathus. The genus is easily recognised but infrageneric relationships are not yet resolved; species identification and circumscription have hitherto been complicated by superficial similarities between unrelated species and by extreme geographical variation, resulting in distinct regional forms within species (Campbell & Van Wyk, 2001)
[LOWO]

Uses

Use
Leaves of some species have been used for making a tannin-rich herbal tea and the roots of others (notably R. amplexicaulis (L.) Thunb. or 'soethoutbossie' ) have a bitter-sweet taste and were an early Cape substitute for liquorice; also used as ornamentals, for medicine, soil binders and ground cover
[LOWO]

Sources

  • Kew Backbone Distributions

    • The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants 2024. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and https://powo.science.kew.org/
    • © Copyright 2023 World Checklist of Vascular Plants. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0
  • Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone

    • The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants 2024. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and https://powo.science.kew.org/
    • © Copyright 2023 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0
  • Legumes of the World Online

    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0