Xhosa names for invasive plants

Iwintili disaster.   An invasion of iwintili (Acacia cyclops) in Cape Agulhas. Iwintili disaster. An invasion of iwintili (Acacia cyclops) in Cape Agulhas. Lesley Henderson

46 Xhosa names for invasive plants have been identified by the Selmar Schonland Herbarium, Rhodes University Botany Department, Grahamstown, Eastern Cape.

The first list of Xhosa names for plants was compiled in 1917. Subsequently, the majority of sources for Xhosa plant names have been traditional healers who developed local names for medicinal plants and their uses.

Between 1970 and 1986, botanists at the Selmar Schonland Herbarium, Grahamstown, recorded Xhosa plant names in collaboration with the Xhosa Dictionary Unit at Fort Hare University.  

Field studies were undertaken in the districts of Albany, Bathurst and Port Elizabeth, names were recorded on audio cassette and sent to the Xhosa Dictionary Unit for confirmation and the correct spelling.   In most cases, the Xhosa names have had been confirmed by more than one source.

Xhosa names for invasive species

Over the past five years, a group of invasive species experts have further compiled a list of Xhosa names for invasive species. Lesley Henderson and Khanyisa Jama from SANBI were very involved in the project.

The aim of the current project was for Xhosa-speaking people to easily identify invasive plants.

46 Xhosa names for invasive species were listed in this project and ten useful ecological terms. In some cases, two or more Xhosa plant names may be spelled only slightly differently as they are pronounced differently in different dialects and are therefore both included. 

Xhosa plant names for invasive species include:

1. Acacia cyclops (iwintili, iwatile)

2. Acacia mearnsii (iwatlisi, idywabasi)

3. Pinus sp (uthulwana)

4. Agave americana (iralibhom, ikhamanga, ikhala)

5. Agave procera (unyinge, iyeza lomgqwaliso)

6. Araujia sericifera (impinda)

7. Argemone ochroleuca (ikritsi)

8. Bryophyllum delagoense (intelezi yobushwa)

9. Caesalpinia decapetala (ubobo)

10. Canna indica (unomatananga)

11. Cirsium vulgare (ikhakhakhaka)

12. Colocasia esculenta (idumbe)

13. Crotalaria agatiflora (umthi wentaka)

14. Datura stramonium (umvumbengwe, umhlavuthwa, impungempu, ingqangangqanga, uvumbangwe, ibhudabhutha, umvumbangwe, ivumbangwe)

15. Ipomoea crassipes (ubhoqo)

16. Ipomoea crispa (uvuma obomvu)

17. Ipomoea purpurea (imbotyi kasathana, urhododo, unobijela)

18. Lantana camara (utywala bentaka)

19. Malva verticillata (ujongilanga)

20. Melia azedarach (umsalinge, umserinyeni, umphafa, umsalingwe)

21. Morus alba (iqunube, inkatshu)

22. Nicandra physalodes (umpungempu, ugqwangugqangu)

23. Nicotiana glauca (umgqomagqoma, ingqangangqanga, icubamfene)

24. Oenothera sp (amakholwa)

25. Opuntia aurantiaca (ikati)

26. Opuntia spp. (ugasgom, ugazina, itolofiya, ubhobheyani)

27. Pennisetum clandestinum (umadolwana)

28. Phytolacca americana (ukutya kwentaka, umsobosobo, unomadolomade, iyeza lezilonda)

29. Phytolacca dioica (isidungamsi, impangapanga, isitinqiliti)

30. Phytolacca octandra (umnanja, amahashe ayatsala)

31. Plectranthus barbatus (umgobogobo)

32. Pyracantha spp. (undunyungu)

33. Ricinus communis (umhlavuthwa, umkakuva, umhlakuva, umchakuva, umhlawuvuthwa)

34. Rorippa nasturtium-aquaticum (umkulu, ivatali, uwatala)

35. Rubus spp. (ibimbi, iqunube)

36. Rumex acetosella (umhlonyana)

37. Salsola kali (isinama samasimini)

38. Schinus molle (umngcunube, ipepile)

39. Solanum mauritianum (umbangabanga)

40. Solanum pseudocapsicum (utshesi, umthuma, umthumawezinja)

41. Spartium junceum (isitorhom esimhlophe

42. Stellaria media, impontshane)

43. Verbena venosa (iyeza lokukhupha isisu)

44. Vinca major (iflawa)

45. Xanthium spinosum (itshungu, ikhakakhaka, itshungu)

46. Xanthium strumarium (itshungu, ikhakakhaka)

Ecological terms:

Forest (indigenous) - ihlathi lesiXhosa

Forest (plantation) - ihlathi lesilungu

Rocky outcrop- irexe

Grassland - ithafa

Wetland – umgxobhozo

Southern aspect – umzantsi

Northern aspect - umntla

Report by Sikhululekile Solwandle

Read 88 times Last modified on Tuesday, 05 December 2017 16:10