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Swaziland's Flora - siSwati Names and Uses

Compiled by Chris Long, © December 2005

SiSwati names and uses, arranged by botanical name

From time immemorial Homo sapiens ascribed a name to the plants that they used for various purposes. These names varied from place to place and were expressed in many different languages. A common base for names that could be understood around the world was needed. A Swedish botanist, Carolus Linnaeus (1707 - 1778) devised a binomial system of botanical nomenclature that it is still in use today. Names were of Latin, (the international language of the day), or Greek origin and were often descriptive of some feature of the plant. These names were supposed to be a permanent marker for that species but as time went on it was found that different names had been attached to the same plant by different botanists, in different places, and there was disparity as to the family and even the genus to which they were attached. So what was supposed to be a permanent marker became subject to change. It becomes important to be aware of these changes when discussing Swazi Flora and if possible to use only the latest recognized Latin botanical name.

Throughout the listing I have chosen to include one, and one only, English common name for each species. For many there exist multiple English common names and my choice as to which one to use is arbitrary. Preference was given to African over European or North American names; English was preferred over Afrikaans; and descriptive names chosen over a repeat of the Latin name.

SiSwati names and uses, arranged by alphabetically by botanical name:

A B C D E F G H I
J K L M N O P Q R
S T U V W X Y Z  

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

Taxonomic order Alphabetical 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
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
POLYPODIACEAE
PORTULACACEAE
POTAMOGETONACEAE
PROTEACEAE
PTAEROXYLACEAE
PTERIDACEAE
RANUNCULACEAE
RHAMNACEAE
RHIZOPHORACEAE
ROSACEAE
RUBIACEAE
RUTACEAE
SALICACEAE
SALVADORACEAE
SANTALACEAE
SAPINDACEAE
SAPOTACEAE
SCROPHULARIACEAE
SELAGINELLACEAE
SMILACACEAE
SOLANACEAE
STANGERIACEAE
STERCULIACEAE
STRELITZIACEAE
STRYCHNACEAE
THYMELAEACEAE
TILIACEAE
TURNERACEAE
TYPHACEAE
ULMACEAE
URTICACEAE
VALERIANACEAE
VELLOZIACEAE
VERBENACEAE
VIOLACEAE
VISCACEAE
VITACEAE
XYRIDACEAE
ZAMIACEAE
ZINGIBERACEAE
ZYGOPHYLLACEAE


Botanical order | SiSwati (alphabetical) | Usage (by category)

Swaziland's Flora Database

Swaziland's Alien Plants Database

Swaziland National Trust Commission Home Page