Local plants and their uses


Plant name (scientific): Ophioglossum polyphyllum

Vernacular name(s): adder’s-tongue fern

Growth form: Fern

Uses: Used to be eaten as salad greens

Source: An Illustrated Checklist of the Flora of Qatar John Norton


Plant name (scientific):Ephedra foliata

Vernacular name(s):shrubby horsetail, ’alanda

Growth form:Climber

Uses: Protruding branches are usually ‘trimmed’ by camels. Certain plants of this genus yield ephedrine, used in the treatment of colds, asthma and hay fever. ‘The crushed boiled plant is used for tanning’

avicennia-marina-1   avicennia-marina-2

Plant name (scientific): Avicennia marina

Vernacular name(s): dwarf mangrove, qurm, shourah

Growth form: Tree

Uses: Probably not very palatable to animals. ‘Sometimes browsed by camels when other plants are not available’ (Mandaville). ‘White mangrove is a source of tanning’ (Cornes & Cornes). The bark, roots and seeds have various medicinal uses

Zaleya pentandra .jpg

Plant name (scientific): Zaleya pentandra

Vernacular name(s): lami

Growth form: Annual or perennial herb

Uses: A weed of waste ground.


Plant name (scientific): Aerva javanica

Vernacular name(s): tuwaim, Tirf, ra’

Growth form: Small shrub

Uses: Several authors note that the flower heads were formerly used by the bedouin for stuffing saddles, pillows and cushions. Used as a remedy for toothache and dermatitis, and an infusion is used to reduce swelling . Flowers are used as a wound dressing and to stop bleeding; liquid from the roots is used to treat eye diseases in cattle in Saudi Arabia.


Plant name (scientific): Amaranthus graecizans

Vernacular name(s): quTayf, sindar

Growth form: Annual herb.

Uses: Leaves are used as an emollient; crushed leaves are applied to scorpion stings, snake bites, irritating or itchy rashes.

Amaranthus Hybridus L.jpeg

Plant name (scientific):  Amaranthus Hybridus L.

Vernacular name(s): rowaf

Growth form: Annual herb.



Plant name (scientific): Amaranthus viridis L.

Vernacular name(s):

Growth form: Annual herb.

Uses: Used in the treatment in a wide variety of stomach complaints and as a laxative

(Rizk & El- Ghazaly).

Digital StillCamera

Plant name (scientific):  Ammi majus L.

Vernacular name(s): Bishop’s weed, khillah, nayniya

Growth form: Annual herb.

Uses: Used in the Middle East for centuries as a treatment for particular skin diseases

Plant name (scientific):

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Plant name (scientific):

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Plant name (scientific):

Vernacular name(s):

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Plant name (scientific):

Vernacular name(s):

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