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Table 5 Local names of medicinal plants and their meaning (S–Silti; G–Guragigna; M–Mareqo; Q–Qebena), “*”–endemic

From: Medicinal plant use practice in four ethnic communities (Gurage, Mareqo, Qebena, and Silti), south central Ethiopia

Scientific name [Family]Local nameDirect meaning of the local name in EnglishMeaning reflecting
Acacia abyssinica Hochst. ex Benth. [Fabaceae]Teme-gerar (S, G)Black acaciaTrunk color
Acacia seyal Del. [Fabaceae]Wacho-gerar (S, G)Red acaciaTrunk color
Ajuga integrifolia Buch-Ham. [Lamiaceae]Anamuro, ema telit (G)Makes an infant hate breast feeding, used purposefully to stop breast feedingBitter taste
Aloe pubescens Reyonolds. [Aloaceae]*Merdedeye (G)Saw like (a tool with toothed blade)Marginal teeth of the leaf
Artemisia abyssinica Sch. Bip. ex A. Rich. [Asteraceae]Chiyanchiye (G)Bad smellLeaves with bad smell
Brucea antidysenterica J. F .Mill. [Simaroubaceae]Yemoyet bosha (G)Leaves of moyet (a social group known to exist in Gurage) that is used during cultural ceremonyCeremonial use
Clematis simensis Fresen. [Ranunculaceae]Yegawa wedero (G)Fool’s ropeClimber growth form
Convolvulus sagittatus Thunb. [Convolvulaceae]Minen debo (M)MedicinalMedicinal use
Crotalaria incana L. [Fabaceae]Meza qutel (G)Leave for woundMedicinal use
Cucumis ficifolius A. Rich. [Cucurbitaceae]Hulgerecho (M), Adene debaqula (Q), Yemeder qimbiba, Yafer-granger (G), Yale-tay (S)Monkey’s genital organ (Q); Fruits running on the ground (G),Fruit shape and growth form/arrangement
Cynoglossum coeruleum Hochst. ex A.DC. [Boraginaceae]Yitebtiye (G), Bertetusa (Q), Hatemaqo (Q, S)StickyThe sticky nature of the fruits
Cyphostemma niveum (Hochst. Ex Schweinf.) Desc. [Vitaceae]Yeseb eje (G)Human handLeaf shape
Foeniculum vulgare Miller [Apiaceae]Wet-ambo (G) Stems hollow when mature
Fuerstia africana T.C.E. Fr. [Lamiaceae]Yegiye insosla (G), Nazoli (S), Hureda (M)Insosla (Impatiens tinctoria) which is a dark red dye extracted from the tubers used as beauty treatment, Fuerstia africana is called for dog’s which is not similar to above mentioned species (G)Color of the red juice squeezed from the leaves
Haplocarpha schimperi (Sch. Bip.) Beauv. [Asteraceae]Ayene beda (G)Takes the eyesPoisonous to the eyes
Pavonia urens Cav. [Malvaceae]Menatef (G)Trigger vomiting when feeling sickMedicinal use
Polygala sadebeckiana Gurke [Polygalaceae]Shime-itere chiza(G), Shime yeter zebo (Q), Qiteriye(G)Local name of antrax/blackleg (G, Q); Finger like (G)Medicinal use, root structure
Plantago lanceolata L. [Plantaginaceae]Yefur enzir (G)Rat’s earLeaf shape
Rhoicissus tridentata (L. f.) Wild & Drummond [Vitaceae]Yegawa wedero (G), dubi fizuta (Q)Fool’s ropeClimbing nature
Rhynchosia minima (L.) DC. [Fabaceae]Yefur enzir (G)Rat’s eraLeaf shape
Thunbergia ruspolii Lindau [Acanthaceae]*Yangacha qomet (G)Cat’s Lagenaria sicerariaResemble fruit and flower (corolla) shape of Lagenaria siceraria
Verbascum sinaiticum Benth. [Scrophulariaceae]Yemar enzir (G), Huleten huta (M), Yumar amel ( S)Donkey’s earLeaf shape
Xanthium strumarium L. [Asteraceae]Yetey-soohe (G), Gereba uta (M)Sheep’s spineSticky nature of the fruit, usually seen sticking on sheep’s fur