Swaziland's Flora Database
Swaziland's Flora - siSwati Names and Uses
: POACEAE

Compiled by Chris Long, © December 2005

Hemarthria
   altissima   
      Fodder: Pasture.
Imperata
   cylindrica    (Speargrass)  umtsentse,
      Cultural: Traditional uses.
      Soil Conservation: Erosion control but tends to be invasive.
      Household: Handicrafts
      Food: Edible root
Sorghum   emabele,  imfe,  libele,
   bicolor subsp. arundinaceum    (Speargrass)
      Fodder: Planted for fodder but a nuisance weed in sugar cane.
      Medicinal: Common cause of hay fever.
      Food: Edible & for beer. A cereal food. Stalks edible as "famine food".
   halepense *    (Johnsongrass)  libendle,
      Food: Edible & for beer.
   versicolor    (Johnsongrass)
      Fodder: Fodder
      Food: Edible & for beer. A cereal food. Stalks edible as "famine food".
Sorghastrum
   stipoides     mafusane,
      Household: Birds nests
Bothriochloa
   bladhii   
      Fodder: Fodder
   insculpta   
      Fodder: Grazing
Dichanthium
   annulatum var. papillosum   
      Fodder: Grazing.
Schizachyrium
   sanguineum   
      Household: Thatching.
Andropogon
   chinensis   
      Fodder: Fodder
   gayanus var. polycladus   
      Fodder: Fodder
   schirensis   
      Fodder: Fodder
Cymbopogon
   excavatus    (Turpentine Grass)  lucungwa,  sigeja,
      Fodder: Grazing.
      Household: Thatching huts.
   nardus    (Tambuki Grass)  lucungwa,  sigeja,
      Household: Thatching huts.
   pospischilii     lucungwa,
      Medicinal: Medicinal
Hyparrhenia   intunga,  incungwane,  intfunga,
   anamesa   
      Household: Thatching
   cymbaria   
      Household: Thatching
   dichroa   
      Household: Thatching
   dregeana   
      Household: Thatching
   filipendula   
      Household: Thatching
          var. filipendula
          var. pilosa
   hirta   
      Fodder: Fodder
      Household: Thatching
   newtonii   
      Household: Thatching
          var. macra
          var. newtonii
   quarrei   
      Household: Thatching
   rufa var. rufa   
      Fodder: Pasture when young.
      Household: Screen building & thatching
   tamba   
      Household: Screen building & thatching
   variabilis   
      Household: Thatching
Heteropogon
   contortus    (Spear Grass)  intala,
Diheteropogon
   amplectens    (Spear Grass)
      Fodder: Forage & fodder
Themeda
   triandra    (Redgrass)  likhenya,
      Fodder: Natural pasture.
      Household: Thatching
Digitaria
   argyrograpta    (Redgrass)
      Fodder: Natural pasture
   eriantha    (Redgrass)
      Fodder: Natural and cultivated pasture.
   milanjiana    (Redgrass)
      Fodder: Grazing.
   scalarum    (Redgrass)
      Fodder: Cultivated pasture
Alloteropsis
   semialata    (Redgrass)
      Fodder: Pasture grass.
          subsp. eckloniana
          subsp. semialata
Brachiaria
   brizantha    (Redgrass)
      Fodder: Fodder
   deflexa    (Redgrass)
      Food: Cereal food
   humidicola    (Redgrass)
      Soil Conservation: Erosion control
   nigropedata    (Redgrass)
      Fodder: Palatble pasture with high forage value.
   serrata    (Redgrass)
      Fodder: Pasture of average value.
Paspalum
   dilatatum *    (Redgrass)
      Soil Conservation: Erosion control
      Fodder: Pasture. Ergot infestation can be poisonous causing "tremors".
   distichum    (Redgrass)
      Fodder: Palatable for sheep in winter.
   notatum *    (Redgrass)
      Soil Conservation: Erosion control
      Fodder: Pasture and fodder.
   scrobiculatum    (Redgrass)
      Fodder: Pasture but can be contaminated with poisonous ergot.
      Food: Grain is edible and like millet. Subject to ergot infestation.
   urvillei *    (Redgrass)
      Fodder: Pasture and for hay.
      Household: Old inflorescences used for whisk brooms.
   vaginatum    (Redgrass)
      Soil Conservation: Erosion control
      Fodder: Potential pasture on saline soils
Stenotaphrum
   secundatum    (Buffalo Grass)  umtombo,
      Fodder: Pasture & lawns.
Urochloa
   mosambicensis    (Buffalo Grass)
      Fodder: Palatable pasture but tends to be invasive.
      Medicinal: Medicinal
      Food: Edible ears. Cereal Food
   oligotricha    (Buffalo Grass)
      Fodder: Natural pasture.
Echinochloa
   colona    (Buffalo Grass)
      Fodder: Fodder
      Food: Cereal food
   crus-galli    (Buffalo Grass)
      Food: Cereal food
   holubii    (Buffalo Grass)
      Fodder: Grazing
   pyramidalis    (Buffalo Grass)
      Fodder: Natural or cultivated pasture.
      Food: Cereal food.
   stagnina    (Buffalo Grass)
      Food: Edible grain. A famine food.
Panicum   lubabe,
   aequinerve    (Buffalo Grass)
      Fodder: Fodder
   coloratum var. coloratum    (Buffalo Grass)
      Fodder: Fodder & palatable and drought resistant pasture.
   deustum    (Buffalo Grass)
      Fodder: Fodder. Palatable & nutritious pasture
      Household: Grass mats.
   dregeanum    (Buffalo Grass)
      Fodder: Pasture.
   ecklonii    (Buffalo Grass)
   hymeniochilum    (Buffalo Grass)
      Fodder: Fodder
   infestum    (Buffalo Grass)
      Fodder: Fodder
   laticomum    (Buffalo Grass)
      Fodder: Fodder
   maximum    (Buffalo Grass)
      Fodder: Cattle fodder & grazing. Planted for hay and pasture. Sugar cane weed.
      Food: Cereal food
   natalense    (Buffalo Grass)
      Fodder:
   schinzii    (Buffalo Grass)
      Fodder: Palatable pasture and good hay.
   subalbidum    (Buffalo Grass)
      Fodder: Fodder
      Food: Edible grain.
Sacciolepis
   curvata    (Buffalo Grass)
      Fodder: Natural pasture.
Setaria
   megaphylla    (Buffalo Grass)
      Fodder: Natural pasture. Invasive in forest plantations.
   sagittifolia    (Buffalo Grass)
      Fodder: Natural pasture.
   sphacelata    (Buffalo Grass)
      Fodder: Good hay and pasture.
      Food: Edible grains. A famine food
          var. sericea
          var. sphacelata
          var. splendida
          var. torta
   verticillata    (Buffalo Grass)
      Fodder: Annual pasture and palatable hay & forage.
      Insecticidal: Used as repellent for rats and small animals.
      Household: Weaved for hats and toys.
Melinis   mafusane,
   minutiflora    (Buffalo Grass)
      Fodder: Cultivated pasture.
   nerviglumis    (Buffalo Grass)
      Household: Bird's nests
   repens subsp. repens    (Buffalo Grass)
      Soil Conservation: Erosion control. Bird's nests.
Pennisetum
   clandestinum *    (Kikuya Grass)  tjanibengadze,
      Soil Conservation: Erosion control
      Fodder: Cultivated summer pasture. Can be troublesome weed.
   purpureum *    (Kikuya Grass)
      Fodder: Cultivated pasture for grazing.
      Food: Edible young leaves and shoots.
   thunbergii    (Pearl Millet)  bhabhala,
      Medicinal: Medicinal
      Food: Edible grain. A commercial crop.
Cenchrus
   ciliaris    (Buffalo Grass)  lenchrus,
      Fodder: Excellent source of natural grazing in times of drought.
Oryza
   punctata    (Buffalo Grass)
      Food: Cereal grain
   sativa *    (Buffalo Grass)
      Food: Cereal grain
      Food: Edible grains.
Arundinella
   nepalensis    (Buffalo Grass)
      Fodder: Pasture grass.
      Household: Thatching
Tristachya
   leucothrix    (Buffalo Grass)
      Fodder: Natural pasture for sheep.
Loudetia
   simplex    (Buffalo Grass)
      Household: Thatching
Phragmites   umhlanga,
   australis    (Common Reed)  lishane,  umklanga,
      Timber: Construction & screens.
      Cultural: Umlanga dance
      Household: Basketry. Making flutes - umntjingozi. In olden days whipsticks.
      Medicinal: Stem liquid for expectorant & pain relief
      Food: Edible rhizomes
   mauritianus    (Common Reed)
      Cultural: Umlanga dance
      Household: Screens & thatch
Aristida
   congesta    (Common Reed)
      Timber: Timber/ for construction.
      Household: Thatching
          subsp. barbicollis
          subsp. congesta
   junciformis    (Common Reed)
      Household: Used to make brooms.
          subsp. galpinii
          subsp. junciformis
   transvaalensis    (Common Reed)
Stipa
   dregeana var. dregeana    (Common Reed)
      Household: Related to Stipa tenacissima (esparto grass) used for paper.
Sporobolus   umsingitane,
   africanus    (Common Reed)
      Soil Conservation: Erosion control
      Fodder: Fodder. Tends to be weedy and invasive.
      Household: Hat making.
   centrifugus    (Common Reed)
      Household: Hat making
   ioclados    (Common Reed)
      Fodder: Forage & fodder. Natural pasture.
      Medicinal: Medicinal in Zimbabawe for depressed fontanelle.
   nitens    (Common Reed)
   pyramidalis    (Common Reed)
      Soil Conservation: Erosion control
      Household: Hat making
   sanguineus    (Common Reed)
   stapfianus    (Common Reed)
Eragrostis   tjani,  umsingitane,
   aethiopica    (Bush Asparagus)  umsungutane,
      Medicinal: Medicinal. Antibiotic
   aspera    (Bush Asparagus)
   barbinodis    (Bush Asparagus)
      Fodder: Forage grass.
   barrelieri *    (Bush Asparagus)
   caesia    (Bush Asparagus)
   capensis    (Bush Asparagus)
      Soil Conservation: Erosion control
      Fodder: Early spring pasture.
   chapelieri    (Bush Asparagus)
      Soil Conservation: Erosion control
   chloromelas    (Bush Asparagus)
      Fodder: Reasonably good pasture.
      Food: Edible grain perhaps a famine food.
   cilianensis    (Bush Asparagus)
      Soil Conservation: Erosion control
      Food: Making bread & beer. Cereal food
   ciliaris    (Bush Asparagus)
      Fodder: Pasture
   comptonii    (Bush Asparagus)
   curvula    (Bush Asparagus)
      Soil Conservation: Erosion control
      Fodder: Cultivated pasture and fodder.
      Food: Making bread & beer. Cereal food
   cylindriflora    (Bush Asparagus)
   desolata    (Bush Asparagus)
   gummiflua    (Bush Asparagus)
      Household: Domestic use. Brooms.
   heteromera    (Bush Asparagus)
      Fodder: Average pasture.
   hierniana    (Bush Asparagus)
      Soil Conservation: Erosion control
   inamoena    (Bush Asparagus)
   lappula    (Bush Asparagus)
      Fodder: Palatable pasture & fodder
   micrantha    (Bush Asparagus)
   patens    (Bush Asparagus)
      Fodder: Sign of overgrazing
   patentipilosa    (Bush Asparagus)
   patentissima    (Bush Asparagus)
   pilosa *    (Bush Asparagus)
   plana    (Bush Asparagus)
      Soil Conservation: Erosion control
      Fodder: Autumn pasture.
      Household: Handicrafts, hats, necklaces, & bangles.
      Medicinal: Medicinal in Lesotho
      Food: Making bread & beer
   planiculmis    (Bush Asparagus)
   racemosa    (Bush Asparagus)
      Soil Conservation: Erosion control
   rigidior    (Bush Asparagus)
      Fodder: Fodder & grazing.
   rotifer    (Bush Asparagus)
      Fodder: Fodder & grazing.
   sclerantha    (Bush Asparagus)
          subsp. sclerantha
          subsp. villosipes
   superba    (Bush Asparagus)
      Soil Conservation: Erosion control
      Fodder: Palatable and drought resistant pasture. Good hay.
   tenuifolia    (Bush Asparagus)
   trichophora    (Bush Asparagus)
   viscosa    (Bush Asparagus)
Cynodon
   dactylon    (Bermuda Grass)  ngwengane,
      Soil Conservation: Erosion control
      Fodder: Grazing. Ergot infestation can cause "tremors" in stock.
      Medicinal: For heartburn, wounds, indigestion & as blood purifer.
      Food: Leaves rich in vitamin C
   nlemfuensis *    (Bermuda Grass)
      Fodder: Used for pasture and hay but tends to be invasive.
Harpochloa
   falx    (Bermuda Grass)
      Fodder: Highly palatable pasture.
Chloris
   gayana    (Rhodes Grass)  umnyankhomo,
      Fodder: Recommended by Cecil Rhodes for fodder & grazing. Planted pastures.
   pycnothrix    (Finger Grass)  tjanibesiganya,
      Soil Conservation: Erosion control
   virgata    (Sweetgrass)  amafusine,
      Fodder: Grazing
      Medicinal: Used by the Xhosa for colds and rheumatism
Eustachys
   paspaloides    (Sweetgrass)
      Fodder: Fodder & grazing.
Eleusine
   coracana subsp. africana    (African Finger Millet)  umnyawothy,  unyawothu,
   coracana subsp. africana    (African Finger Millet)
      Medicinal: Medicinal for leprosy and liver diseases.
      Food: Edible grain for porridge or beer. A commercial crop or famine food.G1096
   indica    (African Finger Millet)
      Medicinal: Medicinal cough remedy
      Food: Edible grain. Perhaps a famine food. Maybe poisonous to stock.
Dactyloctenium
   aegyptium    (African Finger Millet)
      Fodder: Pasture
      Insecticidal: Bruised seeds are a fish poison.
      Medicinal: Medicinal for kidney ailments & cough
      Food: Seed a famine food
   australe    (African Finger Millet)
      Soil Conservation: Erosion control
      Fodder: Pasture
   giganteum    (African Finger Millet)
      Fodder: Forage & fodder
Leptochloa
   fusca    (African Finger Millet)
      Fodder: Pasture and fodder.
Pogonarthria
   squarrosa    (African Finger Millet)
      Fodder: Fodder
Leptocarydion
   vulpiastrum    (African Finger Millet)
      Fodder: Pasture
Enneapogon
   scoparius    (African Finger Millet)
      Fodder: Fodder
Schmidtia
   pappophoroides    (African Finger Millet)
      Fodder: Fodder & grazing.
Fingerhuthia
   africana    (African Finger Millet)
      Fodder: Fodder & grazing.
Koeleria
   capensis    (African Finger Millet)
      Fodder: Planted pasture
Festuca
   costata    (Tussock fescue)  lukhasi,
      Household: Making ropes & handicrafts
   scabra    (Tussock fescue)
      Fodder: Natural and cultivated pasture.
Bromus
   catharticus *    (Tussock fescue)
      Soil Conservation: Erosion control.
      Fodder: Good winter pasture. Tendency to be invasive.
Thamnocalamus
Stipagrostis
   ciliata    (Tussock fescue)
      Fodder: Forage & fodder
   obtusa    (Tussock fescue)
      Soil Conservation: Erosion control
      Fodder: Good fodder pasture.
Arundo
   donax *    (Tussock fescue)
      Soil Conservation: Used for erosion control but difficult to control. A problem plant is S.A.
      Household: Used for mats & used worldwide for musical woodwind instruments.
      Medicinal: Roots & rhizomes for stomach ache and a diuretic. Chinese medicine.

SiSwati names and uses, arranged by botanical name - families:

Taxonomic order EQUISETACEAE
LYCOPODIACEAE
SELAGINELLACEAE
OPHIOGLOSSACEAE
ANEMIACEAE
PARKERIACEAE
PTERIDACEAE
CYATHEACEAE
POLYPODIACEAE
DENNSTAEDTIACEAE
DRYOPTERIDACEAE
OLEANDRACEAE
LOMARIOPSIDACEAE
STANGERIACEAE
ZAMIACEAE
PODOCARPACEAE
PINACEAE
TYPHACEAE
POTAMOGETONACEAE
APONOGETONACEAE
POACEAE
CYPERACEAE
ARECACEAE
ARACEAE
XYRIDACEAE
COMMELINACEAE
JUNCACEAE
COLCHICACEAE
ASPHODELACEAE
ANTHERICACEAE
HYACINTHACEAE
ERIOSPERMACEAE
AGAPANTHACEAE
ALLIACEAE
DRACAENACEAE
ASPARAGACEAE
BEHNIACEAE
SMILACACEAE
AMARYLLIDACEAE
AGAVACEAE
HYPOXIDACEAE
VELLOZIACEAE
DIOSCOREACEAE
IRIDACEAE
STRELITZIACEAE
ZINGIBERACEAE
ORCHIDACEAE
PIPERACEAE
SALICACEAE
MYRICACEAE
ULMACEAE
CELTIDACEAE
MORACEAE
URTICACEAE
PROTEACEAE
LORANTHACEAE
VISCACEAE
SANTALACEAE
OLACACEAE
HYDNORACEAE
POLYGONACEAE
CHENOPODIACEAE
AMARANTHACEAE
NYCTAGINACEAE
MOLLUGINACEAE
GISEKIACEAE
AIZOACEAE
PHYTOLACCACEAE
MESEMBRYANTHEMACEAE
PORTULACACEAE
BASELLACEAE
CARYOPHYLLACEAE
NYMPHAEACEAE
RANUNCULACEAE
MENISPERMACEAE
ANNONACEAE
MONIMIACEAE
LAURACEAE
PAPAVERACEAE
BRASSICACEAE
CAPPARACEAE
CRASSULACEAE
ESCALLONIACEAE
PITTOSPORACEAE
MYROTHAMNACEAE
HAMAMELIDACEAE
ROSACEAE
CHRYSOBALANACEAE
FABACEAE
GERANIACEAE
OXALIDACEAE
LINACEAE
ERYTHROXYLACEAE
ZYGOPHYLLACEAE
BALANITACEAE
RUTACEAE
KIRKIACEAE
BURSERACEAE
MELIACEAE
PTAEROXYLACEAE
MALPIGHIACEAE
POLYGALACEAE
EUPHORBIACEAE
BUXACEAE
ANACARDIACEAE
AQUIFOLIACEAE
CELASTRACEAE
ICACINACEAE
SAPINDACEAE
MELIANTHACEAE
GREYIACEAE
BALSAMINACEAE
RHAMNACEAE
VITACEAE
TILIACEAE
MALVACEAE
CANNABACEAE
STERCULIACEAE
OCHNACEAE
HYPERICACEAE
CLUSIACEAE
CANELLACEAE
VIOLACEAE
FLACOURTIACEAE
TURNERACEAE
PASSIFLORACEAE
BEGONIACEAE
CACTACEAE
OLINIACEAE
THYMELAEACEAE
LYTHRACEAE
RHIZOPHORACEAE
COMBRETACEAE
MYRTACEAE
HETEROPYXIDACEAE
MELASTOMATACEAE
ONAGRACEAE
GUNNERACEAE
ARALIACEAE
APIACEAE
CORNACEAE
ERICACEAE
MAESACEAE
MYRSINACEAE
PLUMBAGINACEAE
SAPOTACEAE
EBENACEAE
OLEACEAE
SALVADORACEAE
STRYCHNACEAE
BUDDLEJACEAE
GENTIANACEAE
APOCYNACEAE
CONVOLVULACEAE
BORAGINACEAE
VERBENACEAE
LAMIACEAE
SOLANACEAE
SCROPHULARIACEAE
OROBANCHACEAE
BIGNONIACEAE
PEDALIACEAE
LENTIBULARIACEAE
ACANTHACEAE
PLANTAGINACEAE
RUBIACEAE
VALERIANACEAE
DIPSACACEAE
CUCURBITACEAE
CAMPANULACEAE
LOBELIACEAE
ASTERACEAE
Alphabetical order ACANTHACEAE
AGAPANTHACEAE
AGAVACEAE
AIZOACEAE
ALLIACEAE
AMARANTHACEAE
AMARYLLIDACEAE
ANACARDIACEAE
ANEMIACEAE
ANNONACEAE
ANTHERICACEAE
APIACEAE
APOCYNACEAE
APONOGETONACEAE
AQUIFOLIACEAE
ARACEAE
ARALIACEAE
ARECACEAE
ASPARAGACEAE
ASPHODELACEAE
ASTERACEAE
BALANITACEAE
BALSAMINACEAE
BASELLACEAE
BEGONIACEAE
BEHNIACEAE
BIGNONIACEAE
BORAGINACEAE
BRASSICACEAE
BUDDLEJACEAE
BURSERACEAE
BUXACEAE
CACTACEAE
CAMPANULACEAE
CANELLACEAE
CANNABACEAE
CAPPARACEAE
CARYOPHYLLACEAE
CELASTRACEAE
CELTIDACEAE
CHENOPODIACEAE
CHRYSOBALANACEAE
CLUSIACEAE
COLCHICACEAE
COMBRETACEAE
COMMELINACEAE
CONVOLVULACEAE
CORNACEAE
CRASSULACEAE
CUCURBITACEAE
CYATHEACEAE
CYPERACEAE
DENNSTAEDTIACEAE
DIOSCOREACEAE
DIPSACACEAE
DRACAENACEAE
DRYOPTERIDACEAE
EBENACEAE
EQUISETACEAE
ERICACEAE
ERIOSPERMACEAE
ERYTHROXYLACEAE
ESCALLONIACEAE
EUPHORBIACEAE
FABACEAE
FLACOURTIACEAE
GENTIANACEAE
GERANIACEAE
GISEKIACEAE
GREYIACEAE
GUNNERACEAE
HAMAMELIDACEAE
HETEROPYXIDACEAE
HYACINTHACEAE
HYDNORACEAE
HYPERICACEAE
HYPOXIDACEAE
ICACINACEAE
IRIDACEAE
JUNCACEAE
KIRKIACEAE
LAMIACEAE
LAURACEAE
LENTIBULARIACEAE
LINACEAE
LOBELIACEAE
LOMARIOPSIDACEAE
LORANTHACEAE
LYCOPODIACEAE
LYTHRACEAE
MAESACEAE
MALPIGHIACEAE
MALVACEAE
MELASTOMATACEAE
MELIACEAE
MELIANTHACEAE
MENISPERMACEAE
MESEMBRYANTHEMACEAE
MOLLUGINACEAE
MONIMIACEAE
MORACEAE
MYRICACEAE
MYROTHAMNACEAE
MYRSINACEAE
MYRTACEAE
NYCTAGINACEAE
NYMPHAEACEAE
OCHNACEAE
OLACACEAE
OLEACEAE
OLEANDRACEAE
OLINIACEAE
ONAGRACEAE
OPHIOGLOSSACEAE
ORCHIDACEAE
OROBANCHACEAE
OXALIDACEAE
PAPAVERACEAE
PARKERIACEAE
PASSIFLORACEAE
PEDALIACEAE
PHYTOLACCACEAE
PINACEAE
PIPERACEAE
PITTOSPORACEAE
PLANTAGINACEAE
PLUMBAGINACEAE
POACEAE
PODOCARPACEAE
POLYGALACEAE
POLYGONACEAE
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  • (+268) 2416 1179, 2416 1489
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  • Swaziland National Museum
    P.O. Box 100
    Lobamba, Mbabane
    Swaziland
    H107
  • (+268) 2416 1489/1179
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