Afrikaans, South African DutchShow more Afrikaans (earlier South African Dutch boterboom), botter butter + boom tree; see quotation 1822. C.A. Smith reports that ‘children slide down hillsides on the stout slippery and buttery..stems’ (Common Names of S. Afr. Plants, 1966, p.170).
a.The deciduous succulent Tylecodon paniculatus of the Crassulaceae; butter-tree.b.Any of several similar trees.
1822W.J. BurchellTrav.I. 192An arborescent species of Cotyledon was curious and remarkable. In growth, it resembled a small tree, having a disproportionately thick fleshy trunk. It was called the Boterboom (Butter-tree) probably from the soft fleshy nature of its trunk and branches.
1844J. BackhouseNarr. of Visit 113The Cotyledons have thick, succulent leaves and stout, soft stems: some of them are arborescent shrubs of about eight feet high: they are called in the Colony Boter-booms, Butter trees.
1897P. MacOwan inC.A. SmithCommon Names (1966) 170The curious ‘Boterboom’ well-known from Worcester right up to Clanwilliam.
1917R. MarlothDict. of Common Names of Plants 15Boter’boom, Cotyledon paniculata. A deciduous succulent of the Little Karoo and similar tracts. Stem stout and fleshy. Leafless in summer.
1929Farming in S. Afr. Feb. 1279Spineless Cactus, Botterboom (Cotyledan [sic] paniculata),..pumpkins or potatoes can be used in the place of prickly-pear.
1937Handbk for Farmers (Dept of Agric. & Forestry) 462The following (Cotyledon) plants may be responsible for krimpsiekte:..Cotyledon fascicularis..(botterboom).
1966C.A. SmithCommon Names 170In South West Africa, the name botterboom is applied to the taller thick-stemmed succulent Cyphostemma cramerianum..; and C. juttae..because of the resemblance of the thick trunks to those of Cotyledon paniculata.
1988P. Du Toit inSmuts & AlbertsForgotten Highway through Ceres & Bokkeveld 183Rode donkeys and botterboom, a thick plant, butterbush, which becomes nice and slippery when you slide down a rocky slope on pieces of its trunk.