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Useful Tropical Plants

Gunnera perpensa

L.

Haloragaceae

+ Synonyms

Gunnera calthifolia Salisb.

Common Name:

Gunnera perpensa
Leaves, flowers and a frog
Photograph by: Annie and Annuals
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0
Gunnera perpensa Gunnera perpensa Gunnera perpensa Gunnera perpensa

General Information

Gunnera perpensa is a perennial herb up to 1 metre tall, growing from a more or less elongated, usually creeping rhizome that is up to 3 cm[
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 medicinal use[
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 plant has become seriously endangered in its native area, therefore cultivation trials have been carried out in S. Africa[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
].

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

Eastern Africa - Ethiopia south to S. Africa and Madagascar.

Habitat

Swamps, on damp cool ground and in grass by streams; upland forest level at elevations of 1,500 - 3,800 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

Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
HabitPerennial
Height1.00 m
PollinatorsWind
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Wild

Cultivation Details

Although it can grow at quite high elevations in the tropics, this species cannot tolerate frost and even when growing in warm protective areas it will die back for the coldest months of the year[
295
Title
PlantZAfrica.com
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site giving detailed descriptions and uses of many S. African plants.
].
Grows in the wild in wet soil or shallow water[
295
Title
PlantZAfrica.com
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site giving detailed descriptions and uses of many S. African plants.
].
This is the only genus of flowering plants that has a symbiotic relationship with a nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria (blue-green algae). Also, it is the only group of land plants that host the cyanobacteria in intercellular spaces, in other words the cyanobacteria live in the spaces between the cells[
295
Title
PlantZAfrica.com
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site giving detailed descriptions and uses of many S. African plants.
]. Other angiosperms, for instance many of the plants in the pea family, have nitrogen-fixing bacteria that occur within specialized cells, not outside the cell wall[
295
Title
PlantZAfrica.com
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site giving detailed descriptions and uses of many S. African plants.
].
It is believed that species of the genus Gunnera have existed for about 95 million years[
295
Title
PlantZAfrica.com
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site giving detailed descriptions and uses of many S. African plants.
].

Edible Uses

The petioles and flower stalks - raw[295. The petioles have a bitter taste unless the fibrous vascular bundles and the outer covering are removed[
295
Title
PlantZAfrica.com
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site giving detailed descriptions and uses of many S. African plants.
].

Medicinal

A decoction of the roots is used to treat dyspepsia; to expel the placenta after birth; and to relieve menstrual pains[
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 decoction, in brandy, is used to treat kidney problems[
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.
].

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

Seed -
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2021-07-28. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Gunnera+perpensa>

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