Phytosanitary Certificates are now available for international buyers. We ship Internationally and Australia wide including Tasmania and WA.


Cancer Bush
Hard to find, limited number available

Stock: Out Of Stock

SKU Code: ES 136

Family: Fabaceae
Characteristics: Small shrub to 1 metre

Seed per packet: 5
Sold by seed count

A fast-growing member of the pea family with silvery foliage that produces attractive red flowers that are followed by inflated pods the matures to a reddish colour.

* Sutherlandia frutescens is a medicinal plant with a long history of traditional use in South African medicine for numerous conditions including cancer. More recently it has been recognised for its role in the management of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), tuberculosis and diabetes. It has also been used traditionally as an adaptogenic herb for chronic fatigue syndrome, gastro-intestinal complaints including gastritis and for arthralgia. Vernacular names for S. frutescens include cancer bush (English) or Kankerbos (Afrikaans).
Despite its long traditional use, S. frutescens is not commonly used among herbal medicine practitioners in Australia, probably due to its current lack of availability from herbal suppliers as well as the fact that it is generally not included in materia medicae at an undergraduate level. S. frutescens is ideally suited for propagating and growing in various Australian climates.
The dried plant material can then be easily used for therapeutic purposes in the forms of tea, capsules, or liquid extracts.

Short-lived annual that is self-seeding, seeds germinate readily in around two to three weeks.

Native to the dry regions of southern Africa. 

* Please Note: Although many of the traditional Bush Food and Medicine plants are now commercially produced in various forms we recommend you re-search these before using them as any form of food or medicines. Some parts of the plant may not be edible or some may need to be prepared before they are safe to eat or use in any way. We do our best to describe their traditional & modern uses. It is the purchaser's responsibility to ensure they are fit for their intended use.

Grow notes:

Prefers well-drained soil in a sunny position, drought-tolerant.

Although seed can be sown most of the year in many parts of Australia seed is generally best sown in spring or autumn, avoiding the coldest and hottest months of the year. The optimum germination temperature for germination is around 18-22°C.

Seeds germinate readily, however they do have a hard outer coating that is impervious to water and generally germination will normally not occur unless the seed is scarified by abrading or pre-treated with boiling water first.

  1. Place the seed in a container and pour in just-boiled water and allow to soak overnight.
  2. The swollen seed can then be sown, re-treat seeds that have not swollen.
  3. Sow the depth of seed keep warm & moist but not wet.
  4. Germination should occur in 14-28 days @ 18-22C in the right conditions.

General note: Seeds of many plant species are dormant and require specific conditions or pre-treatment for germination.
Do not be too hasty to discard seed that does not germinate, seeds will often lay dormant until the conditions are similar to their natural requirements for germination to occur. Containers put to one side will often surprise long after they were discarded.

We now stock a range of Propagation Accessories including the popular Aquamiser Propagation Kits, Pots, Native and Forestry Tubes, Trays, Labels and more.

Click here to view our range.

We can only ship these items to Australian locations, international customers please request shipping quotation prior to purchasing.

Stay in touch

The latest product arrivals, inspiring garden ideas and sale alerts!