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BUCHU

 

Although there are more than 130 species of Buchu growing in the wild, only two are commercially viable in the essential oils market.

A. betulina - A fragrant shrub with round leaves. Seldom more than 1 metre high. Has a subterranean stem or lignitube and is a resprouter . The flowers are star-like and white or mauve in colour.
 

A. crenulata – an aromatic woody shrub with larger, elongated leaves and grows to a height of 2 – 3 meters. The flowers are also star like and white to mauve in colour

The essential oils of both species contain the same chemical components, but their profiles differ. The hybrid or oval leaf buchu have intermediate shaped leaves and the oil profile is also intermediate.
 

Distribution

Buchu is endemic to the mountains of the Western Cape Province, South Africa. From Clanwilliam in the north to Stanford in the south and east as far as the Outeniqua mountains.

General Facts

The Buchu industry is very closed. Few farmers willingly share information with others.

Seed is scarce and very expensive. Although you will always pay the same high prices for seed, there are usually no guarantees about the source or genetics. There are no guarantees on what you get.

A “Wild” plant that is commercialized does need special care.

Buchu dies more easily from over care: too much water + too much fertilizer.
 

Average Oil Yield

Crenulata

0.7 – 0.8 % wet matter

Betulina

1 – 1,5 % wet matter

 

Prices as at February 2006

Crenulata

R6-00 - R22-00 / kg wet

Betulina

R20-00 – R68-00 / kg wet

 

Harvest Volumes*

Crenulata

18 – 20 months

2.5T/Ha

 

1 year later

3.5T/Ha

 

1 year later

5 T/Ha

Betulina

18 – 20 months

1.8 – 2T/Ha

 

1 year later

3 T/Ha

 

1 year later

4 T/Ha


*Volumes will vary according to plant density and farming practices, soil + climate conditions. Strive for top quality genetics to ensure a continually high demand for your product.

 

“Market saturation” depends on three words: - CONSISTENT VOLUMES of QUALITY.