The leaves are used to make a herbal tea that is called by the names: rooibos (especially in Southern Africa), bush tea, red tea, or redbush tea (predominantly in Great Britain).
The tea has been popular in Southern Africa for generations, and since the 2000s has gained popularity internationally. The tea has an earthy flavor, similar to yerba mate or tobacco.
Rooibos was formerly classified as Psoralea but is now thought to be part of Aspalathus following Dahlgren (1980). The specific name of linearis was given by Burman (1759) for the plant's linear growing structure and needle-like leaves.
Borrowed from Afrikaans rooibos, from Dutch rooi (“red”) + bosch (“bush”).
- (Received Pronunciation, General South African) IPA(key): /ˈɹɔɪ.bɒs/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈɹɔɪ.bɔs/
- (Canada) IPA(key): /ˈɹɔɪ.bəs/
- Hyphenation: rooi‧bos