Occurs in a wide range of dry habitats – plains, depressions and brackish soil. Very drought resistant.
General: A shrublet, which resembles a dome when browsed, like a large cauliflower, but it loses this appearance when it is not browsed. When browsed, the branches sometimes end in sharp points. Young shoots are densely hairy. Leaves:Small tubercular leaves are compressed along the stems. The colour varies according to the time of year and the locality where it is found.
Flowers: The small membranous flowers are borne in groups at the ends of short twigs. Pale pink at first, later turning yellow. September - April.
Fruit: The small fruit contains a single, flat, winged seed.
The active principle is not known. It is suspected that it inhibits foetal hypothalamic releasing factors, which regulate secretion of adenohypophyseal hormones causing an imbalance of the hormones involved in the birth process.
Afflictions of reproductive system or foetus. Grootlamsiekte.
• Poorly developed udder - non-lactating or little milk
• Enlarged abdomen - in outspoken cases pregnancy extended from
normal 5 months to as much as 7 months Thus dystocia common.
• Ovaries inactive - no follicular activity
• Foetal membranes and amniotic fluid olive green
• Lethargic and weak. High neonatal mortality.
• Post maturity
• Birth weight up to 12 kg
• Pelt of Karakul too long - no curl
• Overgrown hooves
• Erupted incisors.
Adreno-hypophyseal atrophy. Generalised olive-green pigmentation. Polyfollicular ovaries and female genitalia increased in size. Mild testicular hypoplasia.
• Oxytocin - effective up to 170 days; Oestrogen; PGF2a• Caesarean section - consider cost-effectiveness
Control and evasion:
• Avoid badly infested veld - especially during last half of pregnancy
• Supplement feeding.
Colour photos. Final web-ready size: JPEG. Photo 1: 17.5 kb, 180 ppi; Photo 2: 7.88 kb, 72 ppi; Photo 3: 53.3 kb, 180 ppi. Original TIFF file housed at the Dept. of Paraclinical Sciences, Section Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Pretoria.