Aerva ambigua Moq.
Aerva edulis Suess.
Aerva leucura is a herbaceous, perennial woolly herb, with stems up to 1 metre tall that often become woody at the base. The plant can be erect, or low and spreading, the slender stems simple or branched[
The plant is sometimes harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine. It is sometimes grown as an ornamental in gardens.
Eastern and southern Africa - Uganda and Kenya, south through Tanzania, Zambia and southern Angola to S. Africa.
Found in a variety of habitats from disturbed ground to deciduous bushland, woodland and forest edges, rocky places, open stream sides, at elevations from 600 - 1,700 metres in Tanzania[
|Other Uses Rating
Grows best in a sunny position[
]. Prefers a well-drained, loamy soil[
Leaves - cooked and used as a vegetable[
]. Young leaves are chopped and boiled alone or mixed with other vegetables such as peas or pumpkin leaves and served with ugali. Sometimes tomatoes, onions, edible oil or a paste of groundnuts are added in order to improve palatability[
]. These leaves are only used seasonally before cultivated vegetables are in good supply on farms. It is a substitute for other, more preferred vegetables[
The roots are used for treating snakebite[
]. The roots are used for treating piles and as a blood purifier[
The pounded leaves are mixed with porridge and drunk in order to curtail lactation in women who have lost their babies[
The dry flowers have been used to stuff pillows[
Cuttings of the new shoots as new growth commences. The cuttings root fast and are usually ready to plant out within 3 months[
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