Ethnobotanical Leaflets 12: 832-40. 2008.



Ethnobotanical Studies on Some Lower Plants of the Central Development Region, Nepal


Kunjani Joshi* and Ananda Raj Joshi**


*Department of Botany, Patan Campus, Tribhuvan University, Nepal

**Former Director General, South Asia Cooperative Environment Program (SACEP), Sri Lanka



Issued 30 October 2008




Forty-eight lower plants used by the local communities of the villages of the Central Development Region, Nepal are reported based on a field survey. Local people have remarkable detailed knowledge of species identity, characteristics and their specific uses. At present, some species are under serious threat due to habitat destruction and over exploitation indicating urgent need of documentation and conservation of the useful plants and their habitats.


Keywords: Lower plants, mushrooms, pteridophytes, traditional knowledge, conservation.



The Central Development Region of Nepal are phytogeographically a diverse terrain and very rich in biodiversity and offers immense scope for ethnobotanical studies. In spite of the fast modernization process, the local communities of these areas still hold on to their traditional faith and depend on indigenous plants for their various domestic needs and traditional medicine. However, at present, the useful plants and their ethno-information are being eroded as a result of loss or degraded of appropriate habitats of the plants, unsustainable land use activities and over-exploitation of natural resources. Hence priorityshould be givento document the�� usefulplants and their uses along with local knowledge and practices before these plants are eliminated from the areas. During the ethnobotanical survey of Nepal, an attempt has been made to document the useful lower plants with existing traditional practices which are beingused by various tribes ofthe villages and surrounding areas of the region. Although some works related to the ethnobotany of theregion havealready been carried out byBhandary and Shrestha, (1982, 1999); Bista et al., (2002); Chaudhary, (1994); Dangol and Gurung, (1999); Gurung, (1999); Joshi, (1988, 1992); Joshi and Edington, (1990); Joshi and Joshi (2000, 2003, 2005, 2005a &b); Joshi et al., (1996, 2003); Joshi, K. (1991, 1996, 2000, 2003 7 b, 2004, 2005); and Manandhar (2002), the vast store of ethnobotanical information of lower plants with traditional knowledge and practices have still not been comprehensively documented. In the present paper, an attempt has been made to enumerate the useful lower plants with indigenous uses.


Materials and Methods

The ethnobotanical study was carried out in the villages and surrounding areasof the Sundarijal, Mahakal, Okharni, Mulkhadka, Tokha, Nagarjun, Nagarkot, Suryabinayak, Nala, Bajrajogini, Changu, Phulchoki, Godavari, Lele, of Kathmandu valley and Kakani, Thansing, Talakhu, Matragau, Thanapati, Likhu ofNuwakot district and Syabru of Rasuwa district. Several field trips in and around the study areaswere undertaken during the years 2005 to 2007 with a view to document the indigenous practices and uses ofplant resources. Ethnobotanical information was gathered mainly through repeated interview and open-ended participatory discussions with local informants, such as traditional healers / �jkankri�, teachers and experienced village elders including midwivesandby direct observations on the way different plant materials were being collected and used (Joshi and Edington, 1990). Voucher specimens are deposited in the office of Biodiversity Management Programme (BMP), Environmental Management Action (EMA) Group, Kathmandu, Nepal.




During the field survey, ethnobotanical information of 48 species ofplants have been collected from various habitats of the study areas. In the following enumeration, the species are arranged alphabetically in two groups (Mushrooms and Pteridophytes), Botanical name followed Nepalese name (Nep.), uses and habitat. Among the documented species, 41 species were used as food and 9 species for treatment of diseases, 1 species for fuel and 1 species for mulching. Though these species are distributed in various habitats, most of the species are mainly confined to the forests.


Enumeration of Species


Amanita caesarea (Scop. ex Fr.) Pers. ex Schw.

Nep. Salla chyau; Suntale chyau; Dhar shyamo; Phul chyau

Uses: edible, use in culinary purpose, mostly preferred by Tamang

������� community. It is also sold in Asan market, Kathmandu with Amanita

������� hemibapha,�����

Habitat: Moist places, dominantly found in the pine forest, Nagarkot and

������ Tokha, Kathmandu valley.


Amanita hemibapha (Berk. et Br.) Sacc. subsp. hemibapha Corner & Bas.

Nep. Dhar shyamo, Suntale chyau, Phul chyau

Use:whole aerial parts are eaten as vegetables. It is also sold in Kathmandu ���

������ market mixed with Amanita ceasarea, Amanita hemibapha subsp.similis

������� and Aminata hamibapha subsp. javanica,

Habitat:moist shady places of pine forest, Nagarkot.


Amanita hemibapha (Berk. et Br.) Sacc. subsp. Javanica Corner & Bas.

�������� Nep.Dhar shyamo

��������� Use: edible. It is also sold mixed with Amanita ceaserea, Amanita

�������� ����������hemibaphavar. hemibapha in market,.

������ ���Habitat: moist soil in pine forest, Nagarkot


Amanita hemibapha (Berk et. Br.) Sacc. Subsp.similis

�������� Nep: Dhar shyamo.

Use: edible. It is also sold in Kathamndu market (Asan) with Amanita������

�������� hemibapha subsp. hemibapha, .

������� Habitat : moist soil in pine forest, Nagarkot


Auricularia auricula (Hook.) Underwood

������� Nep. Kane chyau; Mushkane chyau; Naryang shyamo, Chiple chyau

������� Use: edible, few people used for culinary purpose.

�������� Habitat: rotten stump of Gravelia robusta, Nagarjun, Kathmandu


Boletus edulis Bull ex Fr.

������� Nep. Pho shyamo

������� Use: edible, mostly used by Tamang community.

������� Habitat:moist shady places in mixed forest, Suryavinayak


Cantharellus cibarius Fr.

������ Nep. Ura shyamo; Kukhure Ko phul chyau

������ Use: edible. It is also sold in Asan market, Kathmandu

������ Habitat:moist places in mixed forests of pine and other decedious trees,

������������������ Sundarijal


Cantharellus subalbidus Fr.

������ Nep. Ura shyamo, Kurkure chyau

�����Use: edible.It is also sold in Asan market, Kathmandu,.

������ Habitat:�� moist places of mixed forests, Sundarijal


Cantharellus tubiformis Fr.

������ Nep. Budhi chyau

������� Use: edible

������ Habitat:�� moist places of mixed forests, Sundarijal

Clavaria cristata (Holmsk) Pers

����� Nep. Thokre chyau; Thakre chyau

����� Use: edible. It is also sold in Asan market, Kathmandu,.

����� Habitat:moist places of mixed forests .Godavari.


Clavulina cinera (Fr.) Corner

����� Use: edible/It is also soldinmarket with Laccaria laccata, Kathmandu

����� Habitat:moist places in mixed forest, SuryavinayakandNala.


Craterellus cornucopoides (L. ex. Fr.) Pers

������ Use: edible. It is also soldin Tarkari market, Daubahal with Cantharellus

�������������� cibarius,�������

������ Habitat: moist places, Godavari.

Grifola frondosa (Dick ex Fr.) S.F. Gray

������ Nep : Sulshing marmo, Nagroom, Bhalu chyau

������ Use: edible. It is also soldin Sundarijal market,.

����� Habitat:moist places in mixed forests, Sundarijal andLele.�������


Hericium erinaceus (Bull) Pers.

������ Nep. Thokre chyau; Thankar shyamo.

������ Use: edible. It is sold in Ashan market, Kathmandu


Hydnum repandum L.

������� Nep. Chwali shyamo, Ura shyamo, Chwali ura shyamo.

������� Use: edible, sometime eaten raw, preferred by Tamang community.

������� Habitat: moist places covered with pine litter, pine forest, Tokha


Laccaria laccata (Scop. ex Fr.) Berk & Br.

������� Nep. Budhi chyau; Jhari chyau, Kurkure chyau, Bhuinbapale chyau,

�������������� Chinmrukan

������� Use: edible, mostly preferred by Tamang and Newar ethenic cast.It is also��

��������������� sold in Kathmandu market

������� Habitat:moist shady and open places in Pinus roxburghii forestandin

����������������� mixedforest, Tokha,�� Sundarijal, Lele , Bajrayogini and��

���������������� Suryavinayak.


Lactarius piperatus (Fr.) S.F. Gray

������ Nep. Dudhe chyau, Nghe shyamo

������ Use: edible,but not�� preferred.

�����Habitat: pine forest, Nagarkot


Laetiporus sulphureus (Fr.) Murr

������ Nep. Wala shyamo; Sulsingwala marmo

����� Use: edible.It is also sold in Asan market ,.

������ Habitat: moist places, Sundarijal.


Lentinellus sp

������ Use: edible. It is also sold in Kathmandumarket with Pleurotus

������������ cornucopiae,.

������ Habitat: forest, Tokha.


Lycoperdon pyriforme Schaeffer ex Fr.

������ Nep. Phusphure chyau; Nagala Phum shyamo.

������ Use: edible;

������ Habitat:moist places in mixed tropical forests, Kakaniand Changu.���


Meripilus giganteus (Fr.) Karst

����� Nep. Bhalu Chyau

����� Use: edible

����� Habitat:Quercus stump, Phulchoki

Oudemansiella radicate (Rehl ex Fr.) Singer

���� Nep. Kagkhutte chyau, Tang shyamo

���� Use: edible, roasted on fire or fried with various things.

���� Habitat: soil in open moist places, Suryavinayak, LeleandKakani.��


Pleurotus cornucopiae (Paul ex Pers) Rolland

��������� Use: edible, The mushrooms are sold inAsan market, Kathmandu and

��������������������� Mangal Bazar, Patan,


Pleurotus pulmonarius (Fr.) Quel

���� Nep. Kande chyau

���� Use: edible. It is sold in Kathmandumarket, mixed with Pleurotus conucopiae���

����������� and Lentinellus spp.,

Polyporus arcularius Fr.

����� Use: edible.It is also sold at Asan market, Kathmandu

������ Habitat: moist places of forest, Phulchowki


Polyporus varius Fr.

����� Use: edible.

������������� This species is sold in KathmanduMarket


Ramaria aurea (Fr.) Quel.

������ Nep. Thakre chyau

������� Use: edible It is also sold in Kathmandumarket

������� Habitat:moist places of pine forests, Nagarkot andLele .


Ramaria botrytis (Pers.) Ricken

������ Nep. Thekre chyau

������� Use: edible. It is also sold at Asan market, Kathmandu

�������� Habitat:soil in moist places inpine forest, Kakani .


Ramaria flava (Fr.) Quel

������ Nep. Thokre chyau

������� Use: edible. It is alsosold at Kathmandumarket.

�������� Habitat:soil inpine forest, Kakani


Ramaria formosa (Fr.) Quel.

������ Nep. Thokre chyau

������� Use: edible.

�������� Habitat: It is sold at Asan market mixed with Ramaria aurea and Ramaria�����

������������������������� flava.


Russula adusta Fr.

������ Nep. Kan shyamo

������ Use: edible, but poor in taste.

������ Habitat:moist shady places in pine forest or in mixed forests, Lele ,���

���������������� Nagarkot,BajrayogineandMatatirtha.


Russula densifolia Gill

���� Use:edible, but poorin taste.

���� Habitat: moist shady places in pine forests,Bajrnyogini, Lele and������������������

������������������� Suryavinayak.���


Scleroderma citrinum Pers

������ Nep. Phusphure chyau, Dalle chyau, Til chyau, Shakan shyamo, Allu chyau,��

�������������� Pattun chyau.

������ Use: edible. It is also sold in Asan market, Kathmandu

������� Habitat:soil in moist places of the mixed forest, Matatirtha,��������������������������

�������������� Sundarijal and Changu ,


Termitomyces eurhizus (Berk) Heim

������ Nep. Kalunge chyau, Puchina, Jhyarno, Chyarmo, Kalunge

������ Use: edible, aerial parts are eaten after roasted.It is also sold in Kathmandu��

�������������� market�����

����� Habitat: ` moist soilin pine forest as well asin mixed forests, Nagarkot ,

������������������ and Kakani���





Adiantum Capillus veneris (Linn.) Adiantaceae

Nep. Rani uneu

Use: A paste made from the fronds is applied to the forehead to relieve��

headaches and to the chest to relieve chest pains; decoction of

plant is drunk to treat whooping cough and throat and bronchial��

disorders; squeezed leaf juice is applied on wounds.

���� Habitat: stone crevices and rocky slopes, Kakani


Adiantum caudatum L. Adiantaceae

��������� Nep. Uneu

��������� Use: Green leaves are pounded in water and juice is applied to the affected area of skin infection; dried leaf is decocted and then drunk to treat cough and fever;leaf juice is taken to cure diabetes.

��������� Habitat:stone crevices and rocky slopes, Kakani and Talakhu ofNuwakot district.


Adiantum incisum Forssk, Adiantaceae

��������� Nep. Uneu

��������� Use: Frond is squeezed between thumb and then juice is applied externally to cure scabies.

��������� Habitat: Forests, Matragau, Nuwakot district.


Diplazium stoliczkae Bedd. Aspidiaceae

�� Nep. Kalo neuro

�� Use : The tender shoots are commonly eaten as delicious vegetable.

���������� Habitat: Forest,Kakani and Syabru


Deparia boryana (Willd.) M. Kato., Woodsiaceae

Nep. Kaloneuro

Use: Young parts are eaten as vegetable.

Habitat: Forest, Thanapati


Dryopteris cochleata (D. Don.) C. Chr. Aspidiaceae.

�� Nep. Dantheneuro

�� Use : The tender shoots are consumed as vegetable after boiling and are used to����

������������ sellin market; juice extracted from the fronds is used to treat muscular

������������ and rheumaticpain

�� Habitat: Forest, waste moistareas, Thansing, Kakani, Mulkhadka, Okharni and

������������� adjoining areas


Dryothyrium boryanum (Willd.) Ching., Aspidiaceae

���� Nep. Kaloneuro

���� Use : The young parts are eaten as vegetable.

����� Habitat: Forest, Sundarijal


Equisetum debile Roxb. ex Vaucher,Equisetaceae

�������� Nep. Ankhe jhar, kurkure

�������� Use: Plants are pounded and paste is then applied in bone facture and also used to cure old ulcers.

�� ������Habitat: stagnant water, shady moist areas, Kakani andLikhu, Nuwakot district


Geleichenia gigantea Wall ex Hook & Bauer. Gleicheniaceae

Use: Frond is used as fuel and mulching.

Habitat: Profoundly occur on dry exposed areas, Thansing


Lycopodium clavatum L.Lycopodiaceae,

Nep. Nagbeli jhar;

Use: decoction ofshoot is drunk three times a day for stomach ache;��

����� spores are used to treat cuts and wounds; plant decoction is used ���

����� inrheumatism.

Habitat: forest, exposed slopes, Okharni, Mulkhadka and Thansing


Nephrolepis cordifolia (L.) Presl. Davalliaceae

Nep. Pani-amala, Pani saro

Use: Fleshy tubers are eaten by village children. Herb is used against cough and���

������� skindiseases; water bulbs are taken to cure Leocorrhea.

���������� Habitat: Shady or dry open places, Kakani and Syabru.


Polystichum squarrosum (D. Don)Fee.Aspidiaceae

���������� Nep. Phusre neuro, Bhyagnte neuro, Thulo neuro

���������� Use: Tender shoots are consumed.

���������� Habitat: Shady as well as exposed parts of the forest, Mahakal and Syabru,���


Pteridium aquilinum (L) Kuhn. Dennstaedtiaceae

Nep. Uneu��

Use: Young frond is eaten as vegetable; Decoction of rhizome is used for���

����������� the treatment of spleen.

����������� Habitat: Exposed area, moist places, Kakani


Selaginella biformis A. Br. ex Kuhn. Selaginellaceae

������� Nep. Sindure

�������� Use:powder of strobilus is applied on cuts and wounds to stop��������������������

������������������ bleeding;

�������� Habitat: shadyslopes, riversides,Kakani.���



The present study revealed that wild plants are widely used to fulfillbasic needs and for therapeutic purposes in the villages of the Central Development Region. Ramaria aurea and Ramaria flava are considered as nonediblespecies in Japan (Imazeki et al. 1988), but they are used as vegetable in Kathmandu valley (Joshi and Joshi, 1999). The local inhabitantsof the study areas have developed atraditional knowledge system related to utilisation ofplant resources in a sustainable manner. Especially, women have significant knowledge regarding usefulness of the plants and their parts. But when questioned about the changing status of the existing plants, our respondents listed some important species such as Auricularia auricula and Cantharellus cibarius which have also declined in abundance during the last decade. Hence, efforts should be directed to conserve the valuable species and their habitats with the implementation of locally appropriatesustainable management measures involving local participation.



The authors are thankful to local informants for providing information.




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