Murraysburg district is situated in the Central Karoo which is an arid area and covers about 450 000 ha.  The southeastern part of the district is mountainous and part of the Sneeuberg Mountain range. To the west the topography is more variable with plains, ridges and isolated mountains.  The Buffalo River with its branches flows from east to west through the district.

The yearly rainfall differs from as high as 500mm in the mountain region to the east to 200mm in the west.  Snow occurs on the mountains in the winter.  The vegetation varies from sour grass and fynbos in the mountains to the good mix of karooveld in the biggest part of the district.  Thorn trees and other scrubs are found along the watercourses.  Water is used for irrigation of lucerne.  Murraysburg is known for its  good grazing for sheep, goat and cattle farming.

Contact Mrs Sarie Reynolds for more info:


Pentzia incana – comon names: ankerkaroo, vleikaroo, anchor Karoo

Very common shrub to 50cm, though grazing practices usually keep it down to about 25 cm. Flowers small round balls. Leaves grey-green, small, alternate and have a bitter pungent smell, so characteristic of the Karoo.  Long shoots that form, during a good season strike down and form new bushes. The plant known as ‘vleikaroo’ has much smaller flowers. It does not strike down, and is not at all palatable. Main host of Karoo caterpillar (Loxostege frustaiis). May look drought-stricken even in g good season because of this. A dry twig with leaves attached submerged completely in water in the sun for a day, will start to greenness on its leaves by the following morning. Has been used medicinally for the relief of stomach complaints, and chewing young stems give relief in case of toothache.
Keeping this plant grazed short may lead to veld deterioration if the degree of ‘shortness’ is too severe. A staple feed of animals on most farms. Although common, it is not of high quality and needs to be replaced by something better.
Widespread throughout southern Africa in wide range of habits.

Baie volop struik tot 50 cm hoog, alhoewel beweidingspraktyke dit gewoonlik nie hoer as 25 cm laat word nie.  Blomhofies klein ronde balletjies.  Blare grysgroen, klein, afwisselend en het ‘n sterk bitter reuk wat so kenmerkend aan die Karoo is.  Tydens ‘n goeie seisoen vorm lang lote wat afbuig, wortelskiet en nuwe bossie vorm.  Wanneer hierdie soort as vleikaroo bekend staan, het dit veel klein blomhofies, vorm nie lote nie en is glad nie smaaklik nie.  Omdat die soort hoof gasheer van die karoo-ruspe (Loxostege frustalis) is, lyk die plant soms of dit droogte geteister is selfs tydens ‘n goeie seisoen.  ‘n Droë takkie met blare wat in die son onderwater gedompel is, sal die volgende oggend reeds groenigheid op die blare vertoon. Gebruik as medisyne vir maagongesteldhede en tandpyn word verlig deur jong stammetjie te kou.  Veldagteruitgang sal plaasvind indien die plant te straf bewei en die bossies te kort gehou word.  ‘n Stapel voedsel vir diere op meeste plase.  Alhoewel volop, is die voedselwaarde nie hoog nie en behoort dit met iets beters vervang te word.
Wydverspreid dwarsdeur suidelike Afrika in ‘n wye verskeidenheid habitatte.

This information is from the book Wild Flower Guide No. 6 – Karoo
Text: David Shearing
Illustrations: Katryn van Heerden
Published by the Botanical society of South Africa
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