There are many species of Honeybush, all belonging to the genus Cyclopia, found in the wild. Four or five are commercially used.
- Cyclopia intermedia, known as ‘bergtee’ (mountain tea), found in the mountains forming the Langkloof.
- Cyclopia genistoides, known as ‘kustee’ (coastal tea), found on the sandy coastal plain.
- Cyclopia maculata, known as ‘Genadendal tea’ and grows in wetter areas in valleys.
- Cyclopia sessiliflora, known as ‘Heidelberg tea’, named after the town Heidelberg in South Africa, where it grows in the local mountain range.
- Cyclopia subternata, known as ‘vleitee’ (marshland tea) or ‘valleitee’ (valley tea), found on the coastal mountains of the Tsitsikamma, Outeniqua and Langeberg.
- Cyclopia longifolia, known as ‘Van Stadensberg tea’, found in the Van Stadens Mountains.
- Cyclopia plicata, known as ‘naaldblaar tee’ (needle leaf tea), found in the Kammanassie and Kouga Mountains.
The plant has hard-shelled seeds. The brown seeds are formed in small pods that turn brown upon ripening. The pods dry and split open within a few weeks as the seed ripens.
Propagation and Planting into cultivated fields
Seeds are treated to crack their hard shells and then sown into seedling trays. Cuttings can also be planted directly into seedling trays. This takes place between summer and autumn. The young seedlings are planted out during winter (before August).