rooibos, noun

Forms:
Formerly also rooibosch.
Origin:
AfrikaansShow more Afrikaans, rooi red + bos bush.
1. In full rooibos tea [so named because the oxidized leaves are red in colour]
a. The dried leaves of any of several shrubs of the genus Aspalathus; the tea made from an infusion of these leaves; rooi tea; also called bush tea. Also attributive.
1911 S. Afr. Jrnl of Science VII. 374The author described..a Borbonia, the source of Cape ‘rooibos’ tea.
1919 Dunell, Ebden & Co.’s Price List 30Tea..Colonial...Rooi Bosch, loose, in bags [per lb.] 8½d.
1958 A. Jackson Trader on Veld 36Rooibos (bush) tea was another popular line carried by the vrugtesmous, a very cheap and healthy herb from the Cedarberg and elsewhere, much used by our farmers in sickness and in health.
1973 Personality 26 Jan. 88A few years ago Mrs Annekie Theron made the amazing discovery that Rooibosch tea alleviated milk allergies in infants.
1973 S. Afr. Panorama Apr. 15Rooibos tea, also known as Rooi tea, Naald tea or Speld tea (Needle tea) and Koopmans tea (merchants tea) can be divided into four main groups: Rooi tea (Red tea), Swart tea (Black tea), Rooi-bruin tea (Red-brown tea) and the Vaal tea (Hottentot tea) type.
1980 Sunday Times 11 July 1Hundreds of hardened rooibos drinkers in the City were aghast yesterday at the news that rooibos production was down to 50 per cent of demand.
1985 Style Dec. 139The tea is very good and though there is only a choice between Indian and rooibos there are excellent plain or wholewheat scones.
1990 Pace May 117Rooibos tea is a completely natural product with no additives or harmful sustances such as caffeine.
b. Any of several shrubs of the genus Aspalathus, cultivated for their leaves; rooi tea; also called bush tea. Also attributive.
1949 L.G. Green In Land of Afternoon 52Bush tea is often confused with buchu. It is, of course, an entirely different plant — a legume. You hear it called rooibos, heuning tee, stekel tee, boer tee.
1955 A. Delius Young Trav. in S. Afr. 102‘This is bush-tea,’ Frank told him. ‘It’s made from South African bushes called rooibos’.
1975 Tvl Post 25 Oct. 10The Rooibos shrub is grown commercially in the Western Cape and is used to brew a tannin-free tea. It is also known as Bush tea and Heuning tee.
1982 K. Sutton in E. Prov. Herald 24 Sept.He described rooibos as a plant ‘you can make friends with and find it very much obliging’.
1984 A. Wannenburgh Natural Wonder of Sn Afr. 72The rooibos tea shrub, Aspalathus linearis, a legume with small yellow pea flowers that grows in the Cedarburg, has been domesticated for half a century and is widely used as a stimulant-free substitute for tea.
1987 T.F.J. Van Rensburg Intro. to Fynbos 30Most South Africans know rooibos tea (Aspalathus linearis).
1989 Farmer’s Weekly 13 Oct. 27Fungal diseases of rooibos tea will devastate the whole industry unless producers modify their farming practices...Rooibos-tea seeds are sown from February to March each year.
2. Either of two trees of the Combretaceae, Combretum apiculatum which bears red fruit and red or yellow winter foliage, or C. erythrophyllum. In both senses also called bush-willow. Also attributive.
1932 Watt & Breyer-Brandwijk Medicinal & Poisonous Plants 128The Zulus regard Combretum erythrophyllum Sond., Bush willow..Rooibos..as poisonous.
1958 S. Cloete Mask 184The veld changed. There were more trees — rooibos, seringa and vaalbos.
1961 Palmer & Pitman Trees of S. Afr. 244Rooibos, This is a small deciduous tree, sometimes a bush, common in the Transvaal bushveld.
1965 P. Baragwanath Brave Remain 142It was rapidly becoming dark but they used a cattle track and by the time it petered out they were through the hardekool and into the rooibos trees which have no thorns.
1975 S. Afr. Panorama May 37This is the domain of mopane, knobthorn,..rooibos (red bush-willow).
1977 F.G. Butler Karoo Morning 89Special suits of harness..had been made for them from leather cured by old Langjan himself, who used pounded mesembrianthemum to remove the hair, and rooibos for tanning.
The dried leaves of any of several shrubs of the genus Aspalathus; the tea made from an infusion of these leaves; rooi tea; also called bush tea. Also attributive.
Any of several shrubs of the genus Aspalathus, cultivated for their leaves; rooi tea; also called bush tea. Also attributive.
Either of two trees of the Combretaceae, Combretum apiculatum which bears red fruit and red or yellow winter foliage, or C. erythrophyllum. In both senses also called bush-willow. Also attributive.

Visualise Quotations

Quotation summary

Senses

19111990