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Valentine.gr  

August 2009

Did you know that the leaves of some Sanseverias species are used as antiseptic natural bandage in traditional first aid in Africa?

 Sansevieria trifasciata leaves and flower 

Sansevieria - Snake Plant - Sansevieria spp.

Sansevieria, whose common names include: mother-in-law's tongue, devil's tongue, and snake plant, is a genus of about 70 species of flowering plants in the family Ruscaceae, native to tropical and subtropical regions of the Old World. Mostsansevierias are native to old world Africa. Others are from the Arabian Peninsula, Comoro Island, India, Sri Lanka and Myanmar.

They are xerophytic herbaceous to shrubby succulent perennial plants with evergreen strap-shaped leaves, growing to 20 cm to 3 m tall, often forming dense clumps from a spreading rhizome or stolons. The flowers are greenish-white, produced on a simple or branched raceme 40-90 cm long. The fruit is a red or orange berry.

The genus was named in honor of Raimondo di Sangro (1710-1771), prince of San Severo in Italy who was a faithful patron of horticulture. Spellings "Sanseveria" and "Sanseviera" are commonly seen as well, the confusion deriving from alternate spellings of the Italian place name.

Several species are popular houseplants in temperate regions, with Sansevieria trifasciata the most widely sold

Sansevieria ehrenbergii (Blue Sansevieria, Sword Sansevieria, Oldupai, or East African Wild Sisal) is a flowering plant which grows in northeastern Africa from Libya south to Tanzania, Oman and also in Saudi Arabia. It occurs notably in proliferation along the Olduvai Gorge in northern Tanzania. Mature leaves are dark green and usually range between 0.5-1.5 m in length and 2.45-8.0 cm in width. The plant grows in tight clusters and in close proximity amongst itself.

Sansevieria trifasciata is a species of Sansevieria, native to tropical west Africa from Nigeria east to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is an evergreen herbaceous perennial plant forming dense stands, spreading by way of its creeping rhizome, which is sometimes above ground, sometimes underground. Its stiff leaves grow vertically from a basal rosette. Mature leaves are dark green with light gray-green cross-banding and usually range between 70–90 cm in length and 5–6 cm in width.

These plants have a rich history of cultivation. 

It is commonly called the snake plant, because of the shape of its leaves, or mother-in-law's tongue because of their sharpness. In Japan it is also called 'Tiger's Tail. In Brazil it is commonly known as espada-de-sao-jorge (sword-of-saint-george). Due to its bladelike shape, it is commonly associated with Ogun, the orisha of war (usually associated with Saint George), and is used in rituals to remove the evil eye. A yellow-tipped variant is known as espada-de-santa-barbara (sword-of-saint-barbara), and is associated with Iansan/Oya, the female orisha of storms (usually associated with the sword-bearing image of Saint Barbara). In Africa the plant is used as a protective charm against evil or bewitchment.

In China, it was kept as a treasured houseplant because the Eight Gods bestowed their eight virtues on those who grew them. These virtues include long life, prosperity, intelligence, beauty, art, poetry, health and strength. The plants were kept near the entrances inside the home so that the eight virtues could pass through in a manner pre-Feng Shui. These plants also were placed in fine restaurants, herbalists, acupuncturists, doctor's offices, accountant's offices, banks, shrines, monastaries, and even in rice paddies. Sansevierias were grown and cherished well before the Chinese ti plant (Dracaena spp.) also known as the Good Luck Bamboo!

The sansevieria is also referred to as a dragon for its many unique qualities. As with many Asian martial arts techniques, the strength comes from within. The sansevieria has been known to split large earthen pots upon reaching larger sizes. Many qualities from within the plant makes it very well kept and cherished. The mere presence of this plant is said to bestow the eight essential qualities upon you. So many times this plant is kept at the entrance or reception or foyer area of a home or place of business. The Chinese have usually kept this plant potted in a pot within a ceramic pot often ornated with dragons and phoenixes. The attraction of this plant towards dragons is said to be magnetic.

According to studies about traditional uses of plants in Africa, eight species of sanseveria are used in those parts. Four of these plants are used to manufacture cords. The root of another is chewed for abdominal pain, diarrhoea and haemorrhoids. The powdered root of another is applied to wounds that are slow to heal, while the leaf juice of yet another is applied locally for earache and toothache. The constituents identified in these plants include a haemolytic sapogenin and various organic acids. Curiously enough, modern uses of sanseveria appear to be restricted to its textile capabilities and do not extend to its application in plant remedies.


Source:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sansevieria
http://www.pharmj.com/editorial/20040410/comment/onlooker.html
http://www.daytradeworld.net/general-chit-chat/40-sansevieria-air-filtering-plant.html

 

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Kurrajong - Brachychiton populneus
Rice-paper Plant -Tetrapanax papyrifer
Shell Ginger - Alpinia zerumbet
Harlequin Glorybower - Clerodendrum trichotomum
Coco de Mer - Lodoicea maldivica
Silver Tree - Leucadendron argenteum
Buffaloberry - Shepherdia argentea
Himalayan Honeysuckle - Leycesteria formosa
Raisin Tree - Hovenia dulcis
Borojo - Alibertia patinoi - Borojoa patinoi
Butterfly Pea - Clitoria ternatea
Honey Flower - Melianthus major
Ombu - Phytolacca dioica
Lion's Ear - Wild Dagga - Leonotis leonurus
Moringa - Miracle Tree - Moringa oleifera
Sea Daffodil - Pancratium maritimum
Spear Lily - Gymea - Doryanthes
Camphor tree - Cinnamomum camphora
Waterwheel - Aldrovanda vesiculosa
Flowering rush - Butomus umbellatus
Four o'clock - Marvel of Peru - Mirabilis jalapa
Dead Man’s Fingers - Decaisnea
Bitter Melon - Momordica charantia
Shoapnuts Tree - Shoapberry - Sapindus
Acerola - Malpighia
Monkey Ladder - Sea Heart - Entada gigas
Cherimoya - Annona cherimola
Caper - Capparis spinosa
Lithops - Living Stones
Chaste Tree - Vitex agnus-castus
Chilean Lantern Tree - Crinodendron hookerianum
Parrot's Beak - Lotus berthelotii
Water Hyacinth - Eichhornia crassipes
Guaiac Tree - Guaiacum officinale - Lignum-vitae
Mickey Mouse bush - Ochna serrulata
Cow's Udder - Solanum mammosum
Miracle fruit - Synsepalum dulcificum
Akebia - Akebia quinata
Chilean Firebush - Embothrium coccineum
Caesalpinia - Caesalpinia pulcherrima
Welwitschia - Welwitschia mirabilis
Saguaro - Carnegiea gigantea
Schisandra - Schisandra chinensis
Monarda - Bee balm - Bergamot
Tamarind - Tamarindus indica
Neomarica - Walking Iris
Red hot poker - Kniphofia - Tritoma
Sikkim rhubarb - Rheum nobile
Reseda - Mignonette
Paulownia - Paulownia tomentosa
Belamcanda chinensis - Leopard lily
Blue Poppy - Meconopsis
Cannonball Tree - Couroupita guianensis
Tamarillo - Cyphomandra betacea
Goji - Wolfberry - Lycium barbarum
Vanilla - Vanilla Planifolia
Stevia - Stevia rebaudiana
Pachypodium
Physalis
Ceropegia
Sturt pea - Swainsona formosa
Clematis
Grevillea
Jade vine - Strongylodon macrobotrys
Sansevieria - Snake Plant
Trochetia
Yareta - Azorella compacta
African tulip tree - Spathodea campanulata
Angel's Trumpets - Brugmansia
Achiote - Annato - Bixa orellana
Sausage Tree - Kigelia pinnata
Castor Oil Plant - Ricinus communis
Firewheel Tree - Stenocarpus sinuatus
Bat Flower - Tacca
Snake gourd - Trichosanthes cucumerina
Sedum
Hydnora - Hydnora africana
Pickerel Weed - Pontederia
Argan - Argania spinosa
Astilbe - False Goats Beard
Feijoa - Pineapple Guava - Acca sellowiana
Aquilegia - Columbine
Cassiope
Sweet Box - Sarcococca
Christmas Cactus - Schlumbergera
Foxtail Lily - Eremurus
Rue - Ruta graveolens
Pittosporum
Ylang-Ylang - Cananga odorata
Rose of Jericho - Anastatica hierochuntica
Gunnera
Waterlily - Nymphaea
Calico Flower - Aristolochia
Daylily - Hemerocallis
Contorted hazel - Corylus avellana Contorta
Torch Ginger - Etlingera elatior
Mistletoe - Viscum album
Devil´s claw - Harpagophytum procumbens
Teasel - Dipsacus
Pampas grass - Gynerium argenteum - Cortaderia Selloanna
Purple coneflower - Echinacea purpurea
Coral Tree - Erythrina crista-galli
Portulaca
Lobelia
Field Poppy - Papaver Rhoeas
Narcissus - Daffodil
Mimosa pudica - Sensitive Plant
Boxwood - Buxus sempervirens
Firethorn - Pyracantha
Star of Bethlehem - Ornithogalum
Cosmos
Muscari - Grape Hyacinth
Papyrus - Cyperus papyrus
Zinnia
Honeysuckle - Lonicera
Passiflora - Passion Flower
Calendula - Marigold
Lupine - Lupinus
Canna - Indian Shot
Witch Hazel - Hamamelis
Oak - Quercus
Brunsvigia - Candelabra Flower
Tree peony - Paeonia suffruticosa
Olive - Olea europaea
Cornflower - Centaurea cyanus
Desert rose - Adenium obesum
Oleander - Nerium Oleander
Abutilon
Sweet Pea - Lathyrus odoratus
Chaenomeles - Flowering Quince
Forsythia
Amaryllis - Hippeastrum
Butchers broom - Ruscus aculeatus
Bay Laurel - Laurus nobilis
Gloriosa
Bamboo
Gladiolus
Artichoke - Cynara scolymus
Clivia - Clivia Miniata
Dipladenia - Dipladenia sanderii
Date palm - Phoenix dactylifera
Peach - Prunus persica
Almond - Prunus amygdalus
Willow - Salix
Pomegranate - Punica granatum
Protea cynaroides
Colchicum autumnale
Bird of Paradise - Strelitzia reginae
Cardon - Pachycereus pringlei
Wolffia arrhiza
Puya raimondii
Fuchsia
Asphodelus - Asphodel
Primula - Primerose
Dicentra spectabilis - Bleeding Heart
Edelweiss - Leontopodium alpinum
Helleborus Niger - Christmas Rose
Zantedeschia - Calla Lily
Fritillaria imperialis - Crown imperial
Aster
Heliconia
Common Sunflower - Helianthus annuus
Bee Orchid - Orphys apifera
Convalaria majalis - Lily of the Valley - Muguet
Syringa Vurgaris - Lilac
Viola
Impantiens
Snowdrop - Galanthus
Poinsettia - Euphorbia pulcherrima
Dionaea muscipula
Banksia
Sea anemone
Amorrhophallus titanum
Rafflesia arnoldi

 

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