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Saturday, April 15, 2006


Chlorophytum is a genus of about 200-220 species of evergreen perennial flowering plants in the Agavaceae, native to the tropical and subtropical regions of Africa and Asia.

They grow to 10-60 cm tall, with a rosette of long, slender leaves 15-75 cm long and 0.5-2 cm broad, growing from a thick, fleshy rhizome. The flowers are small, usually white, produced on sparse panicles up to 120 cm long; in some species the panicle also bears plantlets, which take root on touching the ground.

Chlorophytum comosum the Spider Plant, a native of South Africa, is a very popular houseplant in its variegated form form.

Spider Plants have long narrow leaves that are 20-40 cm long and 5-20 mm broad, which grow from a central rosette. It also produces branched stolons with small white flowers and baby plantlets.

It is a very popular houseplant. The most widely grown is the variegated cultivar 'Variegatum', with one or two broad yellowish-white bands running along the length of each leaf, but natural, all-green plants are also grown.

The Spider Plant is very easy to propagate. They can be propagated by splitting its main rosette, or more easily by removing plantlets from the stolons and potting them separately. It is an especially popular plant with beginners, as it is easy to grow and propagate and is very tolerant of neglect, being able to thrive in nearly any type of condition.

Although Spider Plants are generally considered to be non-toxic to cats, ingestion can often result in vomiting and temporarily altered behavior.

Studies have shown it to be particularly effective in absorbing chemicals (formaldehyde, benzene, etc) and cleaning the air in homes, or offices.

Chlorophytum borivilianum is eaten as a leaf vegetable in some parts of India, and its roots are used medicinally as a sex tonic under the name safed moosli. The medicinal value is thought to derive from its saponin content, up to 17 percent by dry weight. As medicinal demand has increased, the plant has been brought under cultivation.

Safed Musli belongs to the family of Liliaceae, is a traditional medicinal plant found is natural forest right from east Assam to Gujarat. It is a pretty herb of 1.5 feet high with erect lanceolate herbed leaves erect dense flowered racemoses of white colour.


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