Definition of rooibos in US English:



South African
  • 1An evergreen South African shrub of the pea family.

    Genus Aspalathus, family Leguminosae

    • ‘Made from the South African herb rooibos, it has the same heart-healthy and cancer-fighting antioxidants that have brought green teas so much popularity.’
    1. 1.1mass noun An infusion of the leaves of the rooibos plant drunk as tea.
      • ‘Situated at the western edge of the South Africa's Great Karoo plateau, the Suid Bokkeveld region with its winter rains and acid soils provides ideal conditions for the growth of rooibos tea.’
      • ‘Unlike green or black tea (both made from the leaves of Camellia sinensis), rooibos has no caffeine or other stimulants.’
      • ‘Decaffeinated or naturally caffeine-free drinks (such as rooibos, herb and fruit teas) are generally better options for those who are prone to anxiety.’
      • ‘Here, I encountered rooibos tea, a South African export that I've been drinking almost every day since I got back to the UK.’
      • ‘Women in Africa drink rooibos during pregnancy because it contains no caffeine, settles the stomach and is rich in iron.’
      • ‘The legislated products referred to include fresh, canned and frozen fruit and vegetables, dried fruit, groundnuts, grains, as well as rooibos and honeybush tea.’


Early 20th century: from Afrikaans, literally ‘red bush’.