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Table 3 Key plant species and their major uses in Central and Western Terai Plains of Nepal

From: Indigenous uses of wild and tended plant biodiversity maintain ecosystem services in agricultural landscapes of the Terai Plains of Nepal

Scientific name, authority name, voucher number Family English name Common name Type Part used Uses Reference, status
Achyranthes bidentate Blume N110-36 Amaranthaceae Hill chaff flower Datiwan (N) Shrub Leaves, stem • Household (toothbrush–stem) IUCN (2004) [55], Singh et al. (2012) [56], Accepted name
• Spiritual (In Teej festival, women use leaves to welcome the monsoon season, bathe in the leaves as an act of purification, in Chitwan harvested for festival “Rishi Tarpani”)
Acorus calamus L. N106-37 Acoraceae Sweet flag Bojho (N) Herb/Monocot Root • Medicine (cough, common cold, increases internal heat, chronic fever, juice of root given orally or chewed to clear the throat) IUCN (2004) [55]: 47, Accepted name
Aegle marmelos L. Corrêa N304-01 Rutaceae Bengal Quince Bael, Bel (N) Tree Root, leaves, fruit • Medicine (Three leaves are used weekly for diabetes, root juice given orally for asthma and cold) IUCN (2004) [55]: 32, Singh et al. (2012) [56], Accepted name
• Spiritual (fruit pulp offered to Lord Shiva, women e fast on Mondays and use it the leaf with the Dubo leaf for the wellbeing of husbands, Newari’s marry the fruit)
Albizia lebbeck L. Benth. N304-03 Leguminosae Black siris Kalo Siris (N) Tree Bark, stem, leaves, seeds • Timber Mishra (2013) [58], Accepted name
• Compost
• Fodder (sweet seeds)
• Medicine (reduces inflammation using bark)
• Fuel (cooking)
Aloe vera L. Burm. f. N103-05 Xanthorrhoeaceae Aloe vera Kumari, Ghyekumari (N) Herb Leaves, root • Medicine (Cooling burns on skin, jaundice) Govt of Nepal (2014) [59], Accepted name
• Cosmetic (face cream)
Artemisia vulgaris var. indica (Willd.) Hassk. N209-06 Compositae Mugwort Tite pati (N), Pati (Th) Herb Leaves, flowers, roots • Spiritual (flower used for worship offering) IUCN (2004) [55]: 187, Singh et al. (2012) [56], Accepted name
• Medicine (stomach pains, digestion—tender root, antibiotic for cuts)
• Fodder (leaves)
• Compost manure
• Pesticide
• Rice diseases
Artocarpus heterophyllus Lam. N101-07 Moraceae Jackfruit Rukh Katahar (N), Badahar (Th) Tree Fruit, stem, leaves • Food (fruit, seed is eaten, roasted or cooked as a vegetable) Storrs and Storrs (1998) [54]: 40, Accepted name
• Pesticide
• Household (wood is used for a pot used to make yoghurt, called “taki”)
Asparagus racemosus Willd. N102-08 Asparagaceae Asparagus Kurilo (N), Satavari, Santawar (Th) Herb Root • Medicine (nutrition of humans/animals, paralysis, root powder given orally to increase lactation and tonic after delivery) Singh et al. (2012) [56], Dangol (2005), Accepted name
• Food (alcohol)
Azadirachta indica A. Juss. N106-10 Meliaceae Margosa tree Neem (N), Topre voltabre (Th) Tree Leaves, bark • Medicine (cough, gastritis, arthritis, wounds—and tender twigs paste, high blood pressure and high uric acid—fresh leaves given orally, scabies—fresh leaves used to wash ski, fever—bath in water boiled with neem leaves, pneumonia—boil 2-3 leaves and drink water) IUCN (2004) [55]: 129, Storrs and Storrs (1998) [54]: 44, Singh et al. (2012) [56], Accepted name
• Pesticide
• Household (young stem used to brush teeth)
Bombax ceiba L. N204-12 Malvaceae Silk cotton tree Simal (N), Semar (Th) Tree Flowers, root • Household (mattresses, cotton) IUCN (2004) [55]: 168, Singh et al. (2012) [56], Accepted name
• Timber
• Medicine (root decoction is given as tonic, anti-dysenteric, urinary infections)
Borassus flabellifer L. N303-13 Arecaceae Coconut Nariwal (N) Tree Bark, fruit • Food (fruit) WCFP (2015), Accepted name
• Spiritual (Coconut with milk inside is a holy offering)
• Timber
Bunium persicum (Boiss.) B. Fedtsch N204-20 Apiaceae Black cumin Himali, Kalo jeera (N) Herb Seeds • Medicine (cold—infused) USDA (2015), Accepted name
• Fuel (cooking)
Butea monosperma (Lam.) Taub. N108-15 Leguminosae Flame of the forest Palans, Dhak, Paras (N) Tree Entire tree • Medicine (diuretic) IUCN (2004) [55]: 140, Accepted name
• Pesticide to kill mosquitos
• Spiritual (Tree represents the God of Fire and flowers are used to worship Shivatri in Hinduism tree was used to achieve enlightenment in Theravada Buddhism)
• Household (leaves pieced together to make a leaf-plate (patravali))
Calotropis gigantean (L.) Dryand N108-11 Apocynaceae Crown flower Aak, Aankh (N), Madar (Th) Shrub Latex • Medicine (Massage milk into sprained areas (muscles/joints) Singh et al. (2012) [56], Accepted name
• Disservice (if the milk goes into the eye it can damage)
• Spiritual (referred to as the Tuesday bush)
Cannabis sativa L. N201-16 Cannabaceae Cannibis Bhang (N) Shrub Entire plant • Food Mishra (2003) [58], Accepted name
• Medicine (headache, dysentery, asthma)
• Veterinary (diarrhea, abscess of goats)
Carica papaya L. N204-17 Caricaceae Papaya Mewa (N), Papita, Larmewa (Th) Tree Latex, fruit • Household (Milk latex used to make soap) Kerkhoff (2003) [60], Singh et al. (2012) [56], Accepted name
• Medicine (muscle pain, tiredness—fruit infused)
• Fuel (cooking)
Centella asiatica (L.) Urb. N109-22 Apiaceae Indian pennywort Ghod tapre (N), Ghortapya, Boltapre, Bhatbhat (Th) Herb Entire plant • Medicine (fever, chest and urinary tract infections, typhoid blood purifier, pneumonia—infused) IUCN (2004) [55]: 76, Singh et al. (2012) [56], Accepted name
Cinnamomum tamala (Buch.-Ham.) T.Nees & Eberm. N202-23 Lauraceae Indian cassia Tejpaat (N), Dalchini (Th) Tree Leaves • Spiritual (ritual importance during festivals) IUCN (2004) [55]: 184, Accepted name
• Medicine (sore throat—infused)
• Food (Leaves eaten, imparting a strong cassia- or cinnamon like aroma to dishes)
Citrus hystrix DC. N303-24 Rutaceae Makrut lime Nibuwa (N) Tree Stem • Timber Kerkhoff (2003) [60], Accepted name
Colocasia affinis Schott N201-25 Araceae Taro or Elephant ear Pindalu, Karkalo (N), Ghuiya (Th) Herb Stem, leaves, root, latex • Food (leaves, root, stem or corn eaten as a vegetable) Singh et al. (2012) [56], Accepted name
• Medicine (latex sooths itching)
Crateva unilocularis (Buch.-Ham.) N101-28 Capparaceae Garlic pear Siplikan (N) Tree Fruit • Medicine (rheumatism, kidney, bladder stones, tonic) IUCN (2004) [55]: 171, Govt of Nepal (2014), Accepted name
• Food (vegetable high in iron)
Curcuma angustifolia Roxb. N101-29 Zingiberaceae Black turmeric Haledo (N) Herb Leaves, root • Medicine (stomach ailments, natural antibiotic for colds—infused) IUCN (2004) [55]: 82, Accepted name
Cuscuta reflexa Roxb. N402-30 Convolvulaceae Mistletoe Aakashbeli (N) Baora (Th) Climber Entire plant • Medicine (fever -juice of plant given orally, rheumatism and jaundice—plant paste applied externally) Singh et al. (2012) [56], Accepted name
Cymbopogon flexuosus (Nees es Steud.) W. Watson
Poaceae Lemongrass Ushir (N) Grass Leaves • Medicine (aromatic stimulant, oil, colds- infused) Govt of Nepal (2014), Accepted name
Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. N109-32 Poaceae Bermuda or Dog tooth’s grass Dubo (N), Dub (Th) Herb Entire plant • Spiritual (green grass used to decorate garlands) Singh et al. (2012) [56], Accepted name
• Fodder
Dalbergia sissoo DC. N404-39 Leguminosae Indian rosewood Sisau (N) Sisava (Th) Tree Bark, stem • Fodder IUCN (2004) [55]: 173, Accepted name
• Timber (house, furniture)
• Fuel (cooking)
Dendrocalamus strictus (Roxb.) Nees N207-19 Poaceae Feathery bamboo Baas (N) Grass Entire plant • Timber (Fences for farms and livestock, windbreaks, houses) Storrs and Storrs (1998) [54]: 308, Accepted name
• Fuel (cooking)
Duranta erecta L. N108-40 Verbenaceae Golden dewdrop or Forgetmenot Nil kanda (N) Shrub Flowers • Ornamental (grown for decoration along roadsides) Storrs and Storrs (1998) [54]: 310, Accepted name
Eucalyptus robusta Sm. N202-41 Myrtacaeae Gum tree Masala (N) Tree Stem • Timber (furniture) Storrs and Storrs (1998) [54]: 117, Accepted name
Chromolaena odorata (L.) R. M. King & H. Rob. N210-26 Compositae Croftonweed or sticky snakeroot Banmara (N) Banmasa, Banmari (Th) Shrub Flowers • Invasive weed, plant around the house and it prevents snakes from coming in, flower is used for worship, invasive species seeds used for making antibiotic, fodder, pesticide, compost USDA (2015), Accepted name
Euphorbia hirta (L. N406-42 Euphorbiaceae Asthma plant Dudhe jaar (N), Doodhe jaare (Th) Herb Entire plant • Fodder Singh et al. (2012) [56], Accepted name
• Cosmetic (seed used to wash hair)
• Medicine (plant juice applied to wounds)
Euphorbia royleana Boiss. N101-43 Euphorbiaceae Cactus, Royles’ or Sullu spurge Siundi (N) Tree Entire plant • Timber (fences, have thorns to protect from wild animal raids) IUCN (2004) [55]: 175, Accepted name
• Medicine (ground material is used for coughs)
Ficus benghalensis L. N201-44 Moraceae Banaya fig, or Indian Banyan Bar (N), Bargad (Th) Tree Bark, latex • Medicine (milky latex applied on muscular pain, infused barks given orally for diabetes) IUCN (2004) [55]: 28, Singh et al. (2012) [56], Accepted name
Ficus racemosa L. N301-45 Moraceae Cluster fig, or Indian fig tree Badar, Gular (N), Dumri (Th) Tree Fruit, stem • Food (fruit) Storrs and Storrs (1998) [54]: 129, Mishra (2013), Accepted name
• Timber
Ficus religiosa L. N107-46 Moraceae Bhodi or Peepal tree Pipal (N) Tree Entire plant • Medicine (cuts, cough—bark) IUCN (2004) [55]: 145, Storrs and Storrs (1998) [54]: 129, Accepted name
• Spiritual (sacred tree in Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism)
Ficus auriculata Lour. N301-21 Moraceae Roxburgh fig Ninmaro (N) Tree Leaves, fruit • Fodder IUCN (2004) [55], Accepted name
• Food (fruit)
Garuga pinnata Roxb. N104-14 Bursaraceae Garuga Ramsing, Dabdabi (N), Dabdaai (Th) Tree Leaves • Fodder Mishra (2003) [58], Accepted name
• Veterinary (medicine)
Hibiscus rosa-sinensis L. N101-47 Malvaceae Chinese hibiscus Rakta puspi, Japa puspi (N) Shrub Flowers, seeds, roots • Spiritual (flowers placed in entrance to homes as offerings) Ross (2003), Accepted name
• Food (infusion)
Jacaranda mimosifolia D. Don N101-48 Bignoniaceae Jacaranda Jacaranda (N) Tree Flowers • Ornamental
• Spiritual (flowers placed in entrance to homes as offerings)
IUCN (2004) [55]: 156, Accepted name
Jatropha curcas L. N208-49 Euphorbiaceae Physic nut Sajiwan, Sajiba (N) (Th) Tree Seeds, stems • Timber (fences, livestock pens) Storrs and Storrs (1998) [54]: 314, Accepted name
• Household (biodiesel produced on a small-scale, seeds used for burning candles, brushing the teeth—shoot)
• Medicine (prevents gingivitis)
Justicia adhatoda L. N408-50 Acanthaceae Malabar nut Asuro (N) Osuro, Ross (Th) Shrub Entire plant • Medicine (headaches, dizziness, coughs, malaria treatment- dried powder of entire plant, swelling—grind leaves and drink) IUCN (2004) [55]: 21, Storrs and Storrs (1998) [54]: 161, Accepted name
• Pesticide
• Compost for seedlings in rice fields
• Timber (windbreaks, fences, houses)
• Fodder
• Food (vegetable)
Lannea coromandelica (Houtt.) Merr. N206-51 Anacardiaceae Indian ash tree Jinghat (N) Tree Leaves • Fodder Mishra (2003) [58], Flowers of India (2015), Accepted name
Lantana camara L. N401-52 Verbenaceae Lantana Ban fanda, Masino kanda (N) Herb Flowers • Spiritual (ornamental flower) Ghosh (2012) Ethnobotanical Soc of Nepal (2015), Accepted name
• Disservice (invasive species, toxic to livestock)
Leucaena leucocephala (Lam.) de Wit N103-33 Leguminosae Leucaena Ipil-ipil (N) (Th) Tree Stem, leaves • Fodder (for goats) Kerkhoff (2003) [60], Storrs and Storrs (1998) [54]: 4, Accepted name
• Fuel (cooking)
• Soil (erosion prevention along riverbanks)
Litchi chinensis Sonn. N406-53 Sapindaceae Litchee Litchi (N) (Th) Tree Fruit • Food (fruit) Kerkhoff (2003) [60], Accepted name
• Medicine (tonic, bites of animals)
Mangifera indica L. N104-54 Anacardiaceae Mango Amp (N) Tree Fruit, bark • Food (fruit) Storrs and Storrs (1998) [54]: 179, Accepted name
• Shade
• Medicine (stomach pains, fever—bath in cool water)
• Fuel (heating)
• Timber (house, furniture)
Melanochyla caesia (Blume) Ding Hou (syn. Semecarpus anacardium Blume) N408-68 Anacardiaceae Marking nut tree Bhalayo (N) Tree Fruit • Medicine (fruit and nuts used for skin allergies, ash used for scorpion or snake bites) Storrs and Storrs (1998) [54]: 261, Unresolved name
Melia azedarach L. N110-55 Meliaceae Persian lilac Bakaino/a (N), Bakain (Th) Tree Leaves, Flowers and fruit • Fodder Kerkhoff (2003) [60], Storrs and Storrs (1998) [54]: 179, Accepted name
• Pesticides (leaves stored in airtight container and left to decay, and sprayed on leaves)
• Fuel (cooking)
• Medicine (blood purifier–root, nausea, worms, leaf paste applied for scabies)
Mentha arvensis L. N304-27 Labiatae Peppermint Pudina (N), Baabari (Th) Herb Entire plant • Medicine (nausea, painkiller for headaches, neck pain, joint/back pain—applied externally with four parts oil and one part of crushed mint) Singh et al. (2012) [56], Accepted name
• Food (pickle)
Michelia champaca (L.) Baill. Ex Pierre
Magnoliaceae Champak Champaa (N), Chuwa (Th) Tree Flowers, leaves • Medicine (blood pressure, diabetes) Storrs and Storrs (1998) [54]: 184, Accepted name
• Spiritual (offering in temples and homes)
Mimosa pudica L. N301-56 Leguminosae Touch-me-not or Humble plant Lajjawati (N) Shrub Leaves • Medicine (constipation, extended stomach—roots ground and is mixed with Tulsi, Rudilo, Beloti leaves, Titepati and the root of Datiwan—eaten on Tuesdays and Thursdays) IUCN (2004) [55]: 118, Govt of Nepal (2014), Accepted name
• Fodder
Musa paradisiaca L. N203-57 Musaceae Banana Kera (N) (Th) Shrub Entire plant • Food (fruit) Kerkhoff (2003) [60], Singh et al. (2012) [56], Accepted name
• Soil (soil potassium input)
• Household (leaf used to place meat which is cut on top)
•Medicine (dysentery – fruit roasted)
Neolamarckia cadamba (Roxb.) Bosser N401-58 Rubiaceae Kadamba tree Kadam, Kadamba (N) Tree Stem, leaves •Timber (low-grade wood used for light construction) WCFP (2015), Accepted name
• Fuel (cooking, heating)
• Medicine (mouth gargle—extract of leaves)
• Fodder (cattle)
• Spiritual (in Hinduism the sacred couple of Shiva and Parvati came to Sahyadr, and gave birth to a child under the Kadam tree)
Nyctanthes arbor-trisis L. N304-59 Oleaceae Coral jasmine Parijat, Paarijaat (N), Raatki rani, Hasna (Th) Shrub Flowers, seeds, leaves • Spiritual (flower used in several Hindu religious stories and is often related to the Kalpavriksha) Govt of Nepal (2012), Accepted name
• Medicine (cough, asthma, diuretic)
Ocimum tenuiflorum L. N103-60 Lamiaceae Holy or Sacred basil Krishna tulsi (N), Kalo tulasi (Th) Herb Entire plant • Medicine (cough, fever, immune booster—infused daily with turmeric) IUCN (2004) [55]: 189, Singh et al. (2012) [56], Accepted name
• Spiritual (grown in homes for daily offering)
•Soil (ground cover to retain moisture)
Oxalis corniculata L. N201-76 Oxalidaceae Creeping sorrel Carii Amilo, Caremalaa (N) Creeper Flowers, leaves • Food (leaves edible, with tangy taste of lemon) IUCN (2004) [55]: 49, Accepted name
• Disservice (invasive weed in fallow land)
Bryophyllum pinnatum (Lam.) Oken N210-18 Crassulaceae Life plant, Air plant, Miracle leaf Ajambari/a (N) Herb Root, leaves, stem • Compost manure (leaves) Mandal et al. (2013) [61], Accepted name
• Timber (fences, canals)
• Disservice (if the leaves are eaten by the livestock they die)
• Fuel (cooking)
Paris polyphylla Sm. N301-61 Melanthiaceae Herb paris Langokloti, Satuwa (Th) Herb Leaves, fruit • Medicine (fever, headache—mix with tobacco) Madhu et al. (2010), Accepted name
• Veterinary (medicine for livestock)
• Spiritual (Gurungs (a caste) harvest the fruit on Tuesdays of mid-April)
Phyllanthus emblica L. N102-62 Phyllanthaceae Indian gooseberry Amala (N), Aura (Th) Tree Leaves, bark, fruit • Food (fruit) IUCN (2004) [55]: 16, Storrs and Storrs (1998) [54]: 209, Singh et al. (2012) [56], Accepted name
• Medicine (gastric problems including dysentery, constipation, stomach tumors and back pain—bark juice given orally, sore throat and colds—decoction)
• Household (used in soaps and cosmetics)
Pogostemon benghalensis (Burm. f.) Kuntze N304-34 Lamiaceae Bengal pogostemon Rudhilo (N) Herb Flowers, roots, leaves, shoots • Medicine (temperature balance, sinus, cold, sedative, stimulant, styptic)) Dongol (2005), Accepted name
• Compost manure
• Spiritual (flowers used for garlands)
• Household (patchouli / dilem essential oil)
Psidium guajava L. N208-04 Myrtaceae Guava Aamba, Belauti (N) Belaun (Th) Tree Fruit, stem • Food (fruit) Kerkhoff (2003) [60], Accepted name
• Fuel (cooking, heating)
• Medicine (throat, diarrhea, vomiting)
Pueraria tuberosa (Willd.) DC. N105-63 Leguminosae Indian kudzu Kudzu (N) Biralikand (Th) Climber Root, fruit • Medicine (relieves constipation, eases bowel movement, boosts immunity) IUCN (2004) [55]: 46, Accepted name
Rauvolfia serpentina L. Benth. Ex. Kurz N107-64 Apocynaceae Indian snakeroot Sarpagangha (N) Shrub Flowers, roots • Medicine (stomach pain, bowel disorder, dysentery, hypotension, sedative) Govt of Nepal (2014), Accepted name
• Spiritual (used in meditation)
Ricinus communis L. N101-65 Euphorbiaceae Castor oil Ander (N) Yamyam (Th) Shrub Root, leaves, seeds • Medicine (sprains – seed oil or leaves heated and massaged, rheumatic pain—given orally) Storrs and Storrs (1998) [54]: 336, Singh et al. (2012) [56], Accepted name
Salix x fragilis L. N207-66 Salicaceae Willow Bainsh (N) Tree Entire plant • Ornamental Aziz (2007), Accepted name
• Timber
• Shade
• Fodder
• Medicine (fever)
Sapindus mukorossi Gärtn. N301-67 Sapindaceae Soap nut Rittha (N) Tree Fruit, leaves • Household (nut used for soap, leaves used for baskets) IUCN (2004) [55]: 155, Accepted name
• Food
• Medicine (epilepsy, salivation)
Shorea robusta Gärtn. N403-74 Dipterocarpaceae Sal tree Sal (N) Sakhuwa (Th) Tree Root, bark, resin, seed • Timber (hardwood for furniture, buildings) Storrs and Storrs (1998) [54]: 264, IUCN (2004) [55]: 158, Kerkhoff (2003) [60], Accepted name
• Fuel (cooking)
• Medicine (Diarrhea, bloody dysentery—administered orally)
Syzygium cumini (L.) Skeels N201-75 Myraceae Black plum or Indian blackberry Phader (N) Jamun, Jamuna (Th) Tree Fruit, bark, seed, leaf • Medicine (Diarrhea, indigestion, headaches, constipation—fruit given orally, bronchitis—bark, leaf and seed, powder is given orally to reduce sugar levels in blood for diabetes and to improve the heart) IUCN (2004) [55]: 90, Ghosh (2012), Accepted name
• Fodder
• Food (fruit eaten or fermented for alcohol)
Terminalia bellirica (Gärt.) Roxb. N102-69 Combretaceae Barro or Bekkeric myrobalan Barro (N) Baheda (Th) Tree Seeds • Household (soap, hair oil) IUCN (2004) [55]: 29, Accepted name
• Medicine (gastric, dry cough, cold—roast the seed and chew)
Terminalia chebula Retz.
Combretaceae Yellow or Chebulic myrobalan Rohini (N) Tree Fruit • Food (fruit, young leaves pickled or made into preserves when boiled and added with sugar) Bhattarai et al. (2006) [14], Accepted name
• Fuel
• Fodder
• Medicine (compounds of chebulic acid inhibit the growth of malignant tumors, cures blindness)
Themeda triandra Forssk. N201-09 Poaceae Kangaroo or Rui grass Khari (N), Kiyar (Th) Tree Stem, leaves • Timber (furniture) Storrs and Storrs (1998) [54]: 78, Accepted name
• Medicine (pain in the body)
• Household (clothing dye)
• Fodder
• Fuel (cooking)
Thysanolaena latifolia (Roxb. ex Hornem.) Honda
Poaceae Broom or Bouquet grass Amriso (N) Herb Leaf, stem • Household (used to make brooms) Shankar et al. (2001), Accepted name
Tinospora sinensis (Lour.) Merr. N204-71 Menispermaceae Guduchi Gurjoo (N) Shrub Leaves • Medicine (fever, maintains thermal balance) IUCN (2004) [55]: 80, Govt of Nepal (2014), Accepted name
• Fodder
Vitex negundo L. N107-72 Lamiaceae Chaste tree Simali (N) Shrub Leaves • Medicine (stomach pain, juice given orally) IUCN (2004) [55]: 169, Singh et al. (2012) [56], Accepted name
Zanthoxylum armatum DC. N205-38 Rutaceae Winged prickly ash Timur (N) Tree Fruit • Medicine (toothache, common cold, cough, fever—particularly for children) Govt of Nepal (2014), Accepted name
Zingiber officinale Roscoe N207-73 Zingiberaceae Ginger Ardhrakam (N) Herb Root • Medicine (sore throat, cough) USDA (2013), Accepted name