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Table 3 Domestic, handicraft and miscellaneous uses of plants in some areas of Calabria (Southern Italy)

From: Contribution to the knowledge of the veterinary science and of the ethnobotany in Calabria region (Southern Italy)

Family, scientific name, local name (voucher specimen) Used Part Use Preparation/Administration N * Locality Habitat
Acer sp. – occhjiajnu W To make spoons   1 CI Ma, Mewo
Pistacia lentiscus L. – scinu CLU1 Fr,Ap Ointment Oil for lamps 5 CI  
  Ap It was used to make brooms and during the funerals in the past For the use in funerals the leafy branches were put between the coffin and the dead men in order to allow that the corpse could be preserved for a long time 5 CI Tema
Nerium oleander L. Br To make the sling (better with olive-tree)   1 AR To, he
Hedera helix L. – L'edira (CI) Le To wash hairs (they become shining) Infusion 1 CT Wo, wa
Saponaria officinalis L. – saponaria Le, ro Detergent Plant parts were used by the farmers instead of the soap 2 MT, SE Da, ru
Spinacia oleracea L. – spinaci Ap To make the garments of black wool shining and bright To rinse the garments with cooking water 1 AC  
Cynara cardunculus L. subsp. scolymus (L.) Hayek Le To make shining dark clothes Decoction 1 AC Cu
Inula viscosa (L.) Aiton – spulitru CLU7 Ap To make brooms It was collected by elderly people 5 CI Unc, ru caso
Matricaria chamomilla L. – galumedda, camomilla Fh To wash blond hairs Decoction 1 CS Cu, ru
Cornus sanguinea L. – russula, sanguinella W To make tools for kitchen (spoons, goblets etc.) and collars for goats   1 CI Wo, edwo
Euphorbia amygdaloides L. – tutumagghu – CLU11 La Child practice Children used to spread with latex wounds or mucous membranes, only to widen that part and as test of endurance of the pain. The latex provokes swelling of the sex male organ, with persistent pain 5 CI Oawo*
Castanea sativa Miller – castagno CLU12 Frb To wash the hairs Decoction 2 MT, SE Oawo*
Arundo donax L. – canna CLU14 St Stake in kitchen gardens/vineyards   5 CI Di, edwa
  St To make baskets (see Olea europaea subsp. oleaster)   1 CI  
Pteridium aquilinum (L.) Kuhn – filici CLU16 Ap It was used for its aroma by the herdsmen to wrap dairy products   5 CI Cle,da, edro
Juglans regia L. – noce CLU17 Hu To dye hairs Infusion or decoction 5 CI Wo, di
Salvia officinalis L. CLU21 Le It was used to obtain white teeth Leaves were rubbed on the teeth 5 CI Drme, ru
Lupinus albus L. – lupino Ep Fertilizer It's buried underground in the vineyards because it "would strengthen" the grapevines 1 AC Cu, ru
Phaseolus vulgaris L. – fagiuoli Se To wash woollen and cotton coloured clothes Decoction with pods and shelled beans to brighten up and to fix the colours 1 AC  
Spartium junceum L. CLU23 Br Domestic and agricultural use To make brooms and laces for vines 5 CI  
  Br Domestic use To make brooms, hides and shelters for cattle 5 SC, CT, SS, SG  
  Br Textile use In the first post-war period, not having available enough clothes, the branches of the broom were weaved. The plant, after gathering, was kept in the running water of torrents ("fiumare"); then it was beaten on the stones of these streams, and was dried in the sun. Successively it was combed to extract an excellent fibre, the one that the elder women wove for their family. Also bags and carpets were made with it. 5 CI  
Ficus carica L. CLU28 Fr ('pas-si-luni'), Magical use: for being sure not come in contact with snakes for an entire year. If in the case, snakes would not bitten Fruits gathered on the ground or dried to the sun were kept by grandmothers and given to eat in May 1° rigorously (this practice assured what exposed in 'use') 5 CI Ru, wa
Olea europaea L. Br To make the sling and spoons   1 AR Cu
Olea europaea L. subsp. oleaster (Hoffmans & Link) Negodi – u ghjastru Br Baskets for bread, desserts, clothes for washing; "sporte", containers for vintage; "panàri", baskets to gather fruit, once indispensable trousseau of brides Baskets are made together with Arundo donax slices and Clematis vitalba stems. Reeds are gathered in January and cut to strips in August. In this month C. vitalba and wild olive-tree young branches ("vrinchi") are collected and put in water for 2 days. The higher edges of the baskets are made with the branches of wild olive-tree. 1 CI Ma
Phillyrea latifolia L. W To make collars for animals; good fuel See proverbs in the text 5 CI Ma
Clematis vitalba L. – viteriva St To make baskets (see Olea europaea subsp. oleaster)   1 CI Wo, ma
Pyrus communis L. – pero; pirajnu (the wild pear tree) W To make the dish ("coppa") of the poor men. Also the wood of wild pear tree was used. A big trunk was chosen, it was divided in half along its axis and then it was carved with some tools ("gajru" and "martelletta"). This wood was very hard. 1 CI Cu
Populus sp. W To make collars for cows   1 CI Edwa
Salix sp. W To make collars for cows (if poplar not was found)   1 CI Edwa
Verbascum thapsus L. V. phlomoides L. – tassu Le To make wicks for oil lamps   2 MT, SE Drme
  St They were used to light the fire in old ovens for the bread   2 MT,SE  
Ferula communis L. – feddurazzu CLU39 St To make bungs for barrels, flasks and sculptures; once it was also used by the artisans to make chairs and baskets The dry stem is cut by the farmers. It is employed still today from the elderly in the local handicraft 2 CI Ru, ro, unc
Pimpinella anisum L. – anice Fr They can be used as bait Food for fishes 1 AC Cu
Parietaria officinalis L., P. diffusa Mert. et Koch. – erba vetriola Ap To clean glasses, bottles and demijohns put in pulping To rub the aerial part with water 4 MT, SE CT, SS  
Urtica dioica L. – ardicela CLU40 Ap To wash clothes and wools Decoction 2 MT,SE  
Vitex agnus castus L. – vrigna marina CLU41 Br Farmers utilized them to make peculiar baskets ("sporteddi") Dry branches 5 CI Da, sa, to
Vitis vinifera L. – vite Br Branches ("sarmienti") to soothe the pain (magical ritual) An odd number of trimmed shoots (or their decoction) to put on the stomach of the patient 1 AC Cu
  1. * = citations
  2. Localities: AC Acri; AR Ardore; CI Cirò; CS Castrovillari; CT Cittanova; MT Montauro; SC Scilla; SE S.Elia; SG S.Giorgio Morgeto; SS S.Stefano di Aspromonte
  3. Plant parts used: Ap aerial part; Ep entire plant; Fh flower heads; Fr fruit; Frb fruit bark; Hu husk; La latex; Le leaves; Ro root; Se seeds; St stem; W wood.
  4. Habitat: Caso calcareous soils near to the water; Cle clearings; Cu cultivated species or cultivations; Da damp areas; Di ditches; Drme dry meadows; Edro edges of roads; Edwa edges of water-courses; Edwo edges of woods; He hedges; Ma maquises; Mewo mesophile woods; Oawo* oak woods included Q. cerris woods; Ro rocks; Ru ruins; Sa sandy places (grounds); Tema termophile maquises; To along torrents; Unc uncultivated areas; Wa walls; Wo woods.