Rosemary has a deep green colour and is a very strong shrub. The oil contains a number of phytochemicals, and is used mostly for its aromatic scent in skin and hair products. It is said to improve concentration. The scent is strong, camphorous and herbaeceous. The oil is in the leaves as well as the flowers, and we can harvest rosemary three times a year in the Baviaanskloof. It is steam distilled after harvesting. The producers started off growing Rosemary camphor, which is very similar to Tuscan Blue. They are now growing Rosemary verbenone as well which will be available for purchasing as an oil over the course of 2019. Rosemary grows well in the Baviaanskloof and is easy to propagate within the nurseries that the producers have built.

Cape chamomile

Cape chamomile is also called kapokbos or Cape snowbush. There are many different kinds of kapokbos, but the official name for the species which is cultivated in the Baviaanskloof is Eriocephalus punctulatus. After flowering, the flowerheads develop snowflake like white balls, hence their names. It is used in aromatherapy for its anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, antidepressant and antiseptic properties (Sandasi et al., 2011). The oil is bright blue and has a flowery scent. The plant is difficult to grow, but in the Baviaanskloof it seems to be doing quite well, so the Baviaanskloof Devco aims to expand cultivation of this species in 2019. Oil is expected towards the end of 2019.


Kooigoed is also called Cape Gold. Just like with kapokbos, there are many different kinds of kooigoed. The species which is cultivated in the Baviaanskloof is Helichrysum splendidum. The plant makes bright yellow flowers. The oil is used to to help reduce the presence of unwanted bacterial, fungal or viral activity.

Lavandin abrialis

Lavandin abrialis (Lavandula abrialis) is an aromatic evergreen shrub that is much larger than true Lavender. The flower heads are more compressed with a gray blue colour. The oil is used almost exclusively for its scent. It smells fresh, sweet and floral and is a little more herbaceous than lavender. Most of the oil is in the flowers, which are harvested and then steam-distilled. The harvesting season is in December-January (summer).

Other Oils

The Baviaanskloof Devco has trial plots of Thyme, Blue Yarrow, African Wormwood and Sage. We are also experimenting with Kalahari Melon seed oil which can be pressed. Kalahari melon grows naturally in the area and can be wild harvested. Aloe Ferox also grows wildly in the mountains and is being harvested. We are currently exploring various possibilities with these different products. Samples and specifications are available on request. The Baviaanskloof is home to thousands of indigenous plants species, some of which don’t occur anywhere else on earth. There is tremendous potential to explore these plants for sustainable use. Please contact us if you would like to talk about a potential collaboration.

Dried Herbs

Rosemary has a deep green colour and is a very strong shrub. Currently, the Baviaanskloof Development Company is drying certain varieties of rosemary in the area. Rosemary contains certain anti-oxidants which are used in the food industry as natural preservatives. They can be extracted from dried rosemary leaves. The Baviaanskloof Development Company started trialing dried rosemary in 2018 and is hoping to upscale production in 2019. Rosemary grows extremely well in the area and the hot and dry climate is very suitable for drying the leaves.

Baviaanskloof Devco

The Baviaanskloof Development Company was established in 2015. It is owned by a Farmer’s Trust (holding the majority of the shares), Commonland (the primary investor) and Grounded (which assists with the management of the company). The farmers receive immediate payment upon delivery of their flower oils (62% of the final market price) and have the potential upside of a kickback if the oils are sold at a high price. As a Trust, they collectively hold the majority decision-making power in the company. Grounded supports the company by fulfilling the role of a Managing Director. Grounded is also responsible for the marketing of the oils on behalf of the Baviaanskloof Devco.

Distillation process

The essential oils are steam-distilled in the Baviaanskloof, through a state-of-the art distillery which is owned by the Baviaanskloof Development company. The plant materials are put in a distilling pot, to which steam is added. The hot steam causes the oils to evaporate from the plant material. The steam and oil mixture is then channeled through a ‘condenser’ which is basically a radiator with cold air flowing through it, so that the steam condenses. The water-oil mixture is captured in a tank. Because the oil is lighter than the water, the oil floats on top, and can simply be tapped off. After the oil is tapped off, it is filtered to take out any impurities. The oil is stored in tanks and can be sold in different volumes. The water used in the process is circulated through a dam. Main energy use is through a diesel generator which powers the boiler that produces the steam. Different options are being explored to make the boiler more efficient to reduce the diesel requirements.


The Baviaanskloof Devco received its organic certificate in 2018 giving it the status ‘In Conversion to Organic’. The products are in the third year of conversion to organic. We are expecting the oils to be 100% organically certified during the course of 2019.

To Purchase

If you are looking for a full lab analysis of the oils and pricing information, please contact us directly:

MEET THE LANDSCAPE Want to meet the people behind the company?
You can watch their stories by viewing the short film clips below...