Any of several succulent shrubs of the genus Sarcocaulon of the Geraniaceae, yielding a flammable, resinous secretion, especially S. patersoni; candle bush; Hottentot’s candle, see Hottentot sense 6 a; kersbosnoun1 Also attributive.
1909Gardeners’ Chron. (U.K.) 11 Dec. 401 (Pettman)Two Sarcocaulons (Geraneacea) whose thick cuticle..is rich in hydrocarbons and burns with a yellow, smoky flame; it is commonly known as the Bushman’s candle.
1915W. EveleighS.W. Afr. 65The typical Sarcocaulon rigidum, the Candle-bush or Bushman’s candle. This plant has specially adapted to meet the conditions of the desert;..Layers of corky tissue, impregnated with a mixture of fat, wax, and resin, form the bark...It burns steadily like a wax candle with a yellow, smokey flame, even when cut fresh from the ground.
1966C.A. SmithCommon Names 149The plants were used by the early Bushmen for providing fire, for the plants give a bright blaze on ignition, even when green. Facetiously spoken of as Bushman’s candle.
1968G. CroudaceBlack Rose 91Here and there were clumps of Bushman’s candles, a straggling shrub that burns and sputters with a smoky, yellow flame.
1976O. LevinsonStory of Namibia 4The waxy untidy shrub Sarcocaulon rigidum or ‘Bushman’s Candle’, with its sharp pointed spines that are modified stalks of former leaves.
1992P. CullinanRobert Jacob Gordon 78 (caption)Sarcocaulon l’heritieri (often referred to as ‘Bushman’s candles’).
Any of several succulent shrubs of the genus Sarcocaulon of the Geraniaceae, yielding a flammable, resinous secretion, especially S. patersoni; candle bush; Hottentot’s candle, see Hottentot6 a; kersbosnoun Also attributive.
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