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Berkheya purpurea (purple berkheya)

Purple berkheya is the only mauve to purple flowered species in the genus, most of the others being yellow or in some cases white.
Purple berkheya flowers

Berkheya purpurea flowers

Species information

Scientific name: 

Berkheya purpurea (DC.) Mast.

Common name: 

purple berkheya, African thistle

Conservation status: 

Least Concern (LC) according to Red List of South African Plants 2009, following IUCN Red List criteria.


Beside streams and on steep, grassy mountain slopes.

Key Uses: 


Known hazards: 

Spiny leaves.


Genus: Berkheya

About this species

There are about 75 species of Berkheya, a genus of shrubs and perennials distributed throughout tropical Africa, and named after the Dutch botanist Jan le Francq van Berkhey (1729–1812) by the German botanist Jakob Friedrich Ehrhart in 1788. Over 70 species are native to South Africa, where they grow mainly on mountain slopes.

Berkheya purpurea is the only mauve to purple flowered species in the genus (most are yellow or occasionally white), and was first described in 1838 by the French botanist Augustin Pyramus de Candolle, who named it Stobaea purpurea. It was renamed Berkheya purpurea in 1872.


Stobaea purpurea DC., Crocodilodes purpureum (DC.) Kuntze


main info

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