Ethnobotanical studies in the genus Sansevieria Thunb. (Asparagaceae) in Zimbabwe.
Keywords:Sansevieria, Asparagaceae, ethnobotany, use categories, Zimbabwe
A study investigating ethnobotanical uses and ethnotaxonomy of the genus Sansevieria Thunb. (Asparagaceae) in Zimbabwe is presented. Direct observation of plant use by informants, open-ended and informal interviews covering questions on local names of species, uses, mode of administration and the specific plant part used were employed during the study. Ethnobotanical uses for four species; Sansevieria aethiopica Thunb., Sansevieria hyacinthoides (L.) Druce, Sansevieria kirkii Baker and Sansevieria pearsonii N.E.Br. were recorded from 60 informants. A total of 11 use categories were defined; ornamentals, medicinal use in humans, medicinal use in animals, food, play, processed fiber, unprocessed fiber, crafts, making whip ends, spiritual uses and other uses. Medicinal use in humans was the most prevalent category, contributing 33% of the total responses. Several uses of Sansevieria in Zimbabwe not previously documented in the literature are described for the first time in this study.
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