Cape Town pea

Cape Town pea

Otholobium bracteolatum

Scientific name

The Cape Town pea is a ground-hugging shrub from the pea family, that forms a mat across the ground and flowering in spring. It survives fires by resprouting from its roots and prefers acid soil.

Not to be confused with its more common relative O. bracteolatum (Skaapbostee), the Cape Town pea occurs only within the Cape Peninsula, now largely restricted to Table Mountain.

"Grow Otholobium fruticans in full sun to semi shade, in well-drained, acidic soils. Feed with well-rotted compost applied as a mulch and if using chemical fertilizers, it is preferable to use a slow-release fertilizer or apply very low doses."

Propagation instructions

By seed

Sow seed in late summer to autumn (March to May), treating the seed with smoke extract should increase the number of seedlings, and treating with fungicide to combat pre- and post-emergence damping off will increase the number of surviving seedlings. Pot up into a sandy, acidic soil medium suitable for fynbos plants.

By cutting

It may propagated from cuttings taken from new growth of the plant, and treated with a rooting hormone suitable for softwood cuttings.

References and further reading

PlantZAfrica profile »

We currently have no seeds of this species in our seedbanks. Do you have any seeds or do you know where we can get some? Get in touch!
We currently have no plants of this species in our home nurseries. Do you have any plants or do you know where we can get some? Get in touch!

This table below shows how many plants we are trying to obtain for this species.

Site Area Quantity
Site #102 Newlands 5
Site #103 Mowbray 5
Site #105 Rosebank 5
Total 15

Important characteristics

Conservation status: Rare

This species was selected because it has various important characteristics.

Good potplant

Pioneer species

Attracts butterflies

Suitable for sandy soil

It provides food for:


Otholobium bracteolatum is indigenous to: Cape Flats Sand Fynbos Cape Flats Dune Strandveld Cape Flats Dune Strandveld

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