aarbossie, noun

Forms:
Formerly also aarbosje.
Origin:
AfrikaansShow more Afrikaans, aar underground watercourse + bossie (earlier bosje, see boschje) bush.
Any of several plants supposed to flourish above artesian rivers, including Selago and Walafrida of the Selaginaceae, Limeum (Aizoaceae), Oligomeris (Resedaceae), and Pollichia (Illecebraceae); water-finder. Cf. vleibos(sie), see vlei sense 2.
1896 R. Wallace Farming Indust. of Cape Col. 87The aarbosje, or ‘water-finder’, Selago leptostachya..is a useful forage plant for goats, being a stand-by in times of drought.
[1902 Patriot-Woordebk (1968) 1Aarbossi,..Schrub [sic] showing underground watercourses.]
1906 F. Blersch Handbk of Agric. 254The valuable schaap boschjes belong to the Pentzia group, and the aar boschje most praised has the scientific name Selago leptostachya.
1913 C. Pettman Africanderisms 18Aarbosje,..Selagolepta stachya..sometimes called ‘water-finder’..generally grows above an underground watercourse.
1917 R. Marloth Dict. of Common Names of Plants 3Aarbossie,..Sub-shrub of the Karoo, growing preferably in localities holding subterranean water, hence often found along underground fissures or dykes where water circulates.
1966 C.A. Smith Common Names 55Aarbossie, In the eastern Karoo, the name used in a ‘generic’ sense for plants..from their alleged preference for habitats said to overlie subterranean water in a fissure or artery.
1975 S. Afr. Panorama Jan. 36Some of the flora which are indigenous to the proposed Karoo parks...Aarbossie (waterfinder bush) [etc.].
Any of several plants supposed to flourish above artesian rivers, including Selago and Walafrida of the Selaginaceae, Limeum (Aizoaceae), Oligomeris (Resedaceae), and Pollichia (Illecebraceae); water-finder.

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18961975