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Useful Tropical Plants

Aerva javanica

(Burm.f.) Juss. ex J.A.Schultes

Amaranthaceae

+ Synonyms

Achyranthes javanica (Burm.f.) Pers.

Aerva persica (Burm.f.) Merr.

Aerva persica Merr.

Aerva ruspolii Lopr.

Aerva tomentosa Forssk.

Celosia lanata L.

Illecebrum javanicum (Burm.f.) Merr.

Iresine javanica Burm.f.

Iresine persica Burm.f.

Common Name: Kapok bush

Aerva javanica
Plant growing in native habitat
Photograph by: Fagg, M.
Image credit to Australian National Botanic Gardens
Aerva javanica Aerva javanica Aerva javanica Aerva javanica

General Information

Kapok bush is a perennial plant, often with a woody base, growing up to 1.5 metres tall, though often smaller[
308
Title
Flora Zambesiaca
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://apps.kew.org/efloras/fz/intro.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online flora of plants from the Zambezi River basin. It lists a number of the plant uses as well as the habitats and botanical descriptions of the plants.
].
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a stuffing material and tooth cleaner.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

308
Title
Flora Zambesiaca
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://apps.kew.org/efloras/fz/intro.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online flora of plants from the Zambezi River basin. It lists a number of the plant uses as well as the habitats and botanical descriptions of the plants.

Range

Drier parts of northern and eastern Africa, through Arabia to India and Myanmar.

Habitat

Dry thorn-bushland on finer soils in Kenya, where it is found at elevations up to 1,900 metres[
328
Title
African Flowering Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.ville-ge.ch/musinfo/bd/cjb/africa/recherche.php
Publisher
Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques.
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Contains information on over 150,000 plant names (including synonyms) giving a description and habitat, plus a distribution map.
].

Properties

Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitPerennial
Height1.50 m
Self-fertileNo
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

A plant of drier areas in the tropics and subtropics where it is found at elevations from sea level to 1,900 metres[
328
Title
African Flowering Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.ville-ge.ch/musinfo/bd/cjb/africa/recherche.php
Publisher
Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques.
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Contains information on over 150,000 plant names (including synonyms) giving a description and habitat, plus a distribution map.
].
Requires a sunny position. Succeeds in heavy soils in the wild, though it is more commonly found in light and sandy soils[
328
Title
African Flowering Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.ville-ge.ch/musinfo/bd/cjb/africa/recherche.php
Publisher
Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques.
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Contains information on over 150,000 plant names (including synonyms) giving a description and habitat, plus a distribution map.
].
A dioecious plant, both male and female forms need to be grown if seed is required.

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

None known

Other Uses

The roots are used as tooth brushes[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
].

The woolly spikes are used for stuffing pillows[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
].

Propagation

Seed -

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