Saturday, 8 April 2017


Ibohlololo; Aptenia cordifolia

Image result for IbohlololoAptenia cordifolia is a perennial, evergreen, succulent herb; sprawling or spreading with stems up to a metre in length and oval – heart-shaped leaves with a crystalline appearance/texture up to ~1” long. Bright, deep purple-magenta flowers throughout summer.
The genus name Aptenia is derived from the Greek ἀπτήν (apten) — meaning ‘wingless’, in reference to the wingless fruit capsules of plants of this. A. cordifolia is highly valued throughout Southern Africa for its sedative and medicinal properties, as well as its traditional use in magic / witchcraft / sorcery. Used by the Zulu to make love charm medicine and as an ingredient in a black powder (uncolozi omncane or ungcolosi) used for vaccination against sorcery and to counteract perspiration. Leaf and stem preparations are rubbed into scarifications for the treatment of nervous complaints. The whole plant is also widely valued for its psychoactive and sedative/anxiolytic properties, similar to other Mesembryanthemoideae. This is the most widely cultivated and encountered of the four currently recogized species in the Aptenia genus,.


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