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Ethnopteridology of the Guaranis of Misiones Province, Argentina.

ABSTRACT.--An ethnobotanical study was performed of the ferns and lycophytes used by the Guarani gua·ra·ni  
n. pl. guarani or gua·ra·nis
See Table at currency.

[Spanish guaraní, Guarani; see Guarani.]

Noun 1.
 of Misiones Province “Misiones” redirects here. For Misiones in Paraguay, see Misiones Department.

Misiones is one of the 23 provinces of Argentina, located in the northeastern corner of the country in the Mesopotamia region.
, Argentina. It was determined that fifty species are used, and details of the uses and the Guarani names and nomenclature are given and discussed. Fern and lycophytes are used for medicines, crafts, in magic rituals, and marketing of the plants. The most important traditional use of ferns is for medicine and the most important modern use is commercialization for use in horticulture.

KEY WORDS.--Guarani communities, ethnobotany ethnobotany /eth·no·bot·a·ny/ (-bot´ah-ne) the systematic study of the interactions between a culture and the plants in its environment, particularly the knowledge about and use of such plants. , ferns and lycophytes, Parana forest


Economic botanists This is a list of botanists who have articles, in alphabetical order by surname. See also the list of botanists by author abbreviation and . A
  • Erik Acharius
  • Julián Acuña Galé
  • Johann Friedrich Adam
  • Michel Adanson
  • Adam Afzelius
  • Carl Adolph Agardh
 have frequently concentrated on ferns as the focus of their studies, especially their medicinal properties Many plants have traditional medical uses. Ethnobotanists and pharmacognacists catalog and study these plants and uses. This is a list of some of the more common medicinal properties that are ascribed to plants.  and to a lesser extent their use as foods (Copeland, 1942; Looser and Rodriguez, 2004; Molina et al., 2009, Ortega and Diaz, 1993; Ruiz Lopez, 1805; Turner et al., 1992). Ethnobotanical studies of ferns and lycophytes have been carried out in various part of the world, for example in Bolivia with the ethnopteridological study of the Chacobo (Boom, 1985), the comparative study of ferns and lycophytes used by the Huaorani in Ecuador and the Tacana of Bolivia (Macia, 2004), and in Nigeria in a study of various ethnic groups by Nwosu (2002). Precusors of this type of study in Argentina are limited to the work of Hurrel and de la Sota (1996) who studied the ethnobotany of ferns in a high altitude Conventionally, an altitude above 10,000 meters (33,000 feet). See also altitude.  pasture in the Province of Salta.

The Province of Misiones is the center of diversity of ferns and lycophytes of Argentina (Ponce et al., 2002) where there are 1,123,000 hectares of subtropical sub·trop·i·cal  
Of, relating to, or being the geographic areas adjacent to the Tropics.


of the region lying between the tropics and temperate lands

, semideciduous Paranfi forest and Alto Parana Atlantic rainforest (Placci and Di Bitteti, 2005). The catalogue of vascular plants of Argentina cited 158 species of monilophytes and lycophytes for the Province of Misiones (Ponce, 1996), but there have been many recent additions (Marquez et al., 2006; Martinez, and de la Sota, 2005; Meza Torres et al., 2006, 2008, 2010, Ponce, 2001; Tressens et al., 2008) bringing the total up to 180 species. This shows the increasing knowledge about the botanical richness of the extreme northeast of the country. The diversity of ferns and lycophytes is also high at the local level. In a reserve of 5340 hectares (about 0.18% of the area of the Province) 80 taxa of these groups were found which represents 43.23% of the total fern flora of the Province (Tressens et al., 2008). This diversity of species in an area that can be studied in a few days means that they are readily available for use by local peoples who depend on the resources of the flora for their livelihood, especially the indigenous communities that have lived in the area for thousands of years.

Misiones has about one hundred Guarani communities of the Mbya and Ava Chiripa. Up to present day these groups have maintained much of their traditional life including aspects of cosmology cosmology, area of science that aims at a comprehensive theory of the structure and evolution of the entire physical universe. Modern Cosmological Theories
, religion, methods of subsistence, swidden swid·den  
An area cleared for temporary cultivation by cutting and burning the vegetation.

[Dialectal alteration of obsolete swithen, from Old Norse svidhna, to be burned.]
 agriculture, ways of hunting and fishing and the gathering of natural products from the forest. However, the fragmentation of their original habitat has obliged them to adopt various new strategies for survival as well as adapting customs of the surrounding global society, such as engaging in temporary employment and the commercialization of various natural products such as ornamental plants and crafts, especially baskets. For the Guarani, the native vegetation is one of the most important sources of materials for their traditional way of life and also of prime materials for selling to a wider audience. In this paper we analyze the importance of ferns and lycophytes to the indigenous population of Misiones, identifying the species, the Guarani names, their uses and significance.


The fieldwork was carried out during an ethnobotanical program that took place between 2000 and 2008 in eleven Guarani villages in the Departments of Concepcion (1), Eldorado (1), Guarani (4), Lib. Gral. San Martin (1), Montecarlo (1), San Ignacio San Ignacio (the Spanish-language name of St. Ignatius) is a common toponym in parts of the world where that language is or was spoken:
  • Argentina
  • San Ignacio District, (Misiones Province)
 (1) and San Pedro (2). Eighty four members of the Mbya clan and five members of the Ava Chiripa were interviewed (informants). We interviewed persons of both sexes and of different ages including both old people (more than sixty years of age) and children (less than twelve years of age). During this time we used various ethnographic eth·nog·ra·phy  
The branch of anthropology that deals with the scientific description of specific human cultures.

 methods such as participant observations and structured and semi-structured interviews. In some cases herbarium herbarium, collection of dried and mounted plant specimens used in systematic botany. To preserve their form and color, plants collected in the field are spread flat in sheets of newsprint and dried, usually in a plant press, between blotters or absorbent paper.  vouchers were collected during walks with informants and in other cases the herbarium material was shown to community members to ask them about names and uses of the plants. This material is deposited in the Institute Botanica bo·tan·i·ca  
A shop that sells herbs, charms, and other religious or spiritual items, especially those associated with Santeria.

[American Spanish botánica, from Greek
 del Nordeste, Corrientes, Argentina (CTES CTES Cell Technology Evaluation System ) with duplicates distributed to various other herbaria in Argentina and other countries (ASU ASU Arizona State University (Tempe, AZ)
ASU Appalachian State University
ASU Arkansas State University
ASU Angelo State University
ASU Alabama State University
ASU Australian Services Union
, B, BA, CANB CANB Cambridge Accommodation Notice Board (UK) , CESJ CESJ Center for Economic and Social Justice , ESA, GH, LIL LIL Little
LIL Last in Line (band)
LIL Lithuanian Airlines (ICAO code)
LIL Large-Ion Lithophile (elements)
LIL Living In Leather
LIL Local-Into-Local
, LP, MEXU, MO, NY, PC, SI). Part of the ethnobotanical work was carried out in a village that is in the Guarani Multiple-use Reserve and is where Tressens et al. (2008) carried out an exhaustive floristic inventory and so some of the herbarium vouchers are from that study. The literature studied delimits the ferns and lycophytes families in various ways and here we have followed the nomenclature of de la Sota et al. (1998) and Mickel and Smith (2004) both of whom presented their results at the generic and species level without assignment to family.


A total of 50 species were indicated as useful by the communities studied (Table 1). These belong to 32 genera genera, in taxonomy: see classification.  and represent 28% of the fern flora of the Province. Regarding the categories of use (Fig. 1), 38 species (76%) were indicated as medicinal, 19 species (38%) are sold commercially as ornamentals or as physical supports for growing ferns and orchids, 15 species (30%) are used in magic, mainly as talismans, 4 species (8%) are ecological indicators, 3 species (6%) are used in crafts (necklaces), and a single species (2%) is used as food. The use of tree ferns to make arrow points is mentioned in the literature but was not found to be in use today.

Folk nomenclature.--The general term for ferns in Guarani is amambdi and this includes those species in the class Polypodiopsida. They do not consider tree ferns or those generically known as chachi (various ferns with entire fronds) as amambai. The Guarani plant names usually describe a morphological or organoleptic or·gan·o·lep·tic
1. Relating to perception by a sensory organ.

2. Involving the use of sense organs.

 character of the plant. For example, amambai taka ta·ka  
See Table at currency.

 (bifurcate To divide into two.  or branched fern) refers to the fertile fronds that are several times divided of Doryopteris nobilis. Because of its sturdy structure Pteridium arachnoideum is called amambai rata (= hard fern). Pecluma pectinatiformis is named amambai e'e (= sweet fern sweet fern, common name for several plants belonging to different botanical divisions. One is a shrub of the family Myricaceae (bayberry family) in the division Magnoliophyta; others are plants of the genus Dryopteris in the division Polypodiophyta (ferns). ) because of the sweet taste of its fronds. Other species of this genus such as P. sicca are called amambai piru (= dry fern) because their leaves shrivel up in dry periods and then return to normal once humid conditions return. It is interesting to note that the specific epithet specific epithet
The uncapitalized Latin adjective or noun that follows a capitalized genus name in binomial nomenclature and serves to distinguish a species from others in the same genus, as saccharum in Acer saccharum (sugar maple).
 of this species "siccum' (= dry) also refers to this same quality. Other names are associated with animals because of some morphological similarity. For example, mborevi po (tapir paw (tool) PAW - Physics Analysis Workbench. ) is the name of Doryolateris nobilis whose sterile fronds look like the footprint of a tapir (Fig. 2A). Names can sometimes be associated with the habitat of animals, as in jakare ka'a (= caiman caiman: see alligator.

Any member of several species of Central and South American reptiles of the alligator family. Like the rest of the crocodile order, caimans are amphibious, lizardlike carnivores.
 herb) for Thelypteris riograndensis, which, like caimans, lives beside water sources. This name is similarly applied to various ferns by the Tupi-guarani of Amazonia (Balee, 1994).

Some names refer to other plants, for example species of Selaginella are called koto koto (kō`tō), a Japanese string instrument related in structure to the zither. It consists of an elongated rectangular wooden body, strung lengthwise with 7 to 13 silk strings.  jaryi (= false moss) and Adiatopsis chlorophylla is called kurunjy u miri (small specimen of the tree kurunjy u). Some species have bilingual names, as for Huperzia mandiocana which is called laino tyre'i (epiphytic ep·i·phyte  
A plant, such as a tropical orchid or a staghorn fern, that grows on another plant upon which it depends for mechanical support but not for nutrients. Also called aerophyte, air plant.
 pine). Other names are derived from the Spanish as is the case for Adiantum called kurantrijo (derived from culantrillo: Adiantum capillus-veneris L., widely distributed Adj. 1. widely distributed - growing or occurring in many parts of the world; "a cosmopolitan herb"; "cosmopolitan in distribution"

bionomics, environmental science, ecology - the branch of biology concerned with the relations between organisms
 in Europe) or from the Quichua language as in karaguara (calaguala) that refers to the genera Asplenium L. (A. balansae and A. brasiliense), Campyloneuron and Niphidium. Finally, various names refer to their use, such as Pleopeltis pleopeltifolia being called memby ja (giver of children) which is taken by women to increase their fertility.

Medicines.--Medicinal plants are generally used by the Guarani in the fresh state preferably on the day they are collected. The storing of medicines is confined to plants located far from the village or of short duration. The most frequent method of use is in decoctions of macerated plant material in water at room temperature. It is also common to mix the medicinal material in mate water (the infusion of leaves of Ilex paraguariensis Ilex paraguariensis,
n See yerba maté.
 A. St.-Hil. in the Aquifoliaceae) taken on a daily basis. Many species are used to treat infections of the reproductive system reproductive system, in animals, the anatomical organs concerned with production of offspring. In humans and other mammals the female reproductive system produces the female reproductive cells (the eggs, or ova) and contains an organ in which development of the fetus  and this use accounts of the most uses reported here (46%). This agrees with the findings of an ethnobotanical study of the Guarani communities of Pai'i tavytera in Amambay Department Amambay is a department in Paraguay. The capital is the city of Pedro Juan Caballero.

The department is divided in 3 districts:
  1. Bella Vista
  2. Capitán Bado
  3. Pedro Juan Caballero

Departments of Paraguay
 of Paraguay (Basualdo and Soria, 2002) where of the three species cited two were used to treat female fertility. Other medicinal use categories that stand out are: treatment of infections of the respiratory (18%), digestive (16%), circulatory circulatory /cir·cu·la·to·ry/ (ser´ku-lah-tor?e)
1. pertaining to circulation, particularly that of the blood.

2. containing blood.

 (12%) and nervous systems (12%).

Many plants used by the Guaranf of Misiones have their origins from the doctrine of signatures Doctrine of Signatures, the concept that the key to humanity's use of various plants was indicated by the form of the plant. The red sap of the bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis  (Keller, 2007). Women who want to have a large family eat ferns of the genera Pleopeltis and Pecluma that are characterized by their prolific production of small fronds. Tapirs (Tapirus terrestris) sleep on their backs with their hooves pressed against their chests and the Guaranf maintain that in this way they cure heart problems. For this reason they attribute heart-healing properties to Doryopteris nobilis (mborevi po or tapir hooves) whose sterile fronds resemble the tracks of this animal.

Commercialization.--The sale of ornamental plants is the second most important use of ferns and their allies in the communities studied. Ornamental species are sold as single plants or on frames or wooden supports, and others are used to add to groups of epiphytic orchids, which they sell in stands beside the highways (Fig. 2B). One of the most sought after species from the roadside stands is Huperzia mandioccana, which is not a common plant. The commercial use of this species could threaten the future of its natural populations. The stems of the tree fern tree fern, any fern having a treelike trunk. Sometimes other similar primitive plants are also called tree fern, e.g., species of cycad.
tree fern
 Dicksonia sellowiana, a rare species in the region, are cut and sectioned for sale (Fig. 2C). This is a substrate widely used by nurseries as a support for orchids and other epiphytes. The bases of other ferns with a robust stem such as Alsophylla setosa are also sometimes used in the same way.

Magic.--Most of the plants used for magic by the Guarani have names associated with animals and they are usually aromatic plants. They term them vy'aja (givers of happiness) or iru pora (good friends) to their personal charms. They frequently carry fragments of leaves and other plant materials in pouches in order to have good results form various events especially in their declarations of love. The most used ferns in this category are species of the genus Anemia Noun 1. genus Anemia - genus of terrestrial or lithophytic ferns having pinnatifid fronds; chiefly of tropical America

family Schizaeaceae, Schizaeaceae - small family of mainly tropical ferns
 Sw. whose fronds are aromatic and are used in various procedures to attract members of the opposite sex. Sometimes they use these plants as a perfume, rubbing the fragrant material on their cheeks. At other times they place fragments of the fern in the bowl of their pipes and blow the smoke in the direction of the person they hope to conquer. The propagules of fern fronds with gemmae are also frequently used as charms (Fig. 2D).


Ecological indicator Ecological indicators are used to communicate information about ecosystems and the impact human activity has on ecosystems to groups such as the public or government policy makers.  plants.--Various small ferns grow on tree trunks and often, together with mosses and lichens Lichens

Symbiotic associations of fungi (mycobionts) and photosynthetic partners (photobionts). These associations always result in a distinct morphological body termed a thallus that may adhere tightly to the substrate or be leafy, stalked, or hanging.
, form a living carpet along the branches. The Guarani have noted that some of these small plants are more abundant on the north-facing side of the host tree (Fig. 2E) because this side does not receive as much direct sunlight, and this is particularly so on trees of large diameter. During their long treks through the forest at night or on cloudy days it is possible to estimate the probable compass points from the location of the carpets of epiphytes on a tree. This is especially true on large, straight-trunked trees.

There are various edaphic e·daph·ic  
1. Of or relating to soil, especially as it affects living organisms.

2. Influenced by the soil rather than by the climate.
 characteristics of the deep red soils of Misiones that make them hard to cultivate, such as low fertility, high acidity, high aluminum content, and susceptibility to erosion (Ligier et al., 1990). The Guarani identify, where this type of soil occurs in the forest by the presence of tree ferns (Fig. 2F), specifically Alsophylla setosa, and so they avoid establishing their slash and burn This article is about the agricultural practice of slash and burn. For the military tactic, see scorched earth.

Slash and burn refers to the cutting and burning of forests or woodlands to create fields for agriculture or pasture for livestock, or for a
 agriculture on these sites.

Some large ferns, such as Pteris deflexa, form dense clumps clump  
1. A clustered mass; a lump: clumps of soil.

2. A thick grouping, as of trees or bushes.

3. A heavy dull sound; a thud.

 on the edge of or in the forest. The Guarani say that it wise to avoid these areas because of the large number of ticks that occur there. In addition they say that the small deer petty game, not worth pursuing; - used metaphorically. (See citation from Shakespeare under the first definition, above.
- G. P. Marsh.

See also: Deer
 Mazama nana (Cervidae) has the habit of hiding under the fronds of this fern and so they call the deer "amambai guy'i", which translated means "he who is under the fern."

Crafts.--The Guarani make many crafts from nature such as baskets and carvings either for their own personal use or to sell. They often make bead necklaces to sell to tourists or for themselves for use by either men or women. Amongst the materials used to make beads we have observed the use of the shiny black petioles of Adiantopsis chlorophylla, Adiantum pseudotinctum and Doryopteris nobilis.

Arrow points.--The construction of arrow points involving the use of the cord-like sclerenchimatous tissue of tree fern petioles by the indigenous people of Misiones was mentioned by Queirel (1897). The mythology of the guayakies of Paraguay refers to "arrows of ferns" (Fernandez, 1992). We have not been able to verify this use from contemporary Guaranis.

Conclusions.--The Guarani of Misiones use a considerable part of the fern flora of the Province. Ferns and lycophytes provide a variety of resources to maintain their traditional methods of subsistence and their more modern commercial life. The conservation of the biological diversity of Misiones Province undoubtedly has helped to avoid erosion of the cultural diversity of the region as well.


Firstly we thank the members of the communities studied for the time and information given. We are grateful to CONICET CONICET Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas Y Técnicas (National Council for Science and Technology, Argentina)  (Argentina) and the Darwin Initiative (U. K.) for financing our ethnobotanical studies and to M. Dematteis, Ph.D., for a critical reading of the manuscript.


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Instituto de Botanica del Nordeste, UNNE-CONICET, C.C.: 209, 3400 Corrientes, Argentina, e-mail:


School of Biological Sciences, University of Reading, Whiteknights, Reading, RG6 6AS, UK, e-mail:
TABLE 1. List of the ferns and fern allies used by the Guarani of
Misiones, Argentina.

SPECIES             GUARANI NAME           USES

Adiantopsis         kurunjy u miri         --Necklace beads
chlorophylla        (small tree of
(Sw.) Fee           Trema micrantha)       --Expectorant,
                                           treatment of heart
                                           problems, stomach

Adiantopsis         amambdi u              --Febrifuge, treatment
radiata (L.) Fee    (black fern)           of nosebleed
Adiantum            kurantrijo (from
pseudotinctum       the Spanish            --Treatment of
Hieron.             "culantrillo", =       headaches and
                    small cilantro")       nausea, post
                                           partum washing,

                                           --Necklace beads

Adiantum            kurantrijo (from       --Treatment of
raddianum           the Spanish            headache and
C. Presl.           "culantrillo", =       nausea, febrifuge,
                    "small cilantro"       nosebleed, diarrhea

Alsophila           chachi rakua (tree     --Stands for
setosa Kaulf.       fern with spines)      ornamental plants

                                           --Formerly used for
                                           arrow points

                                           --Indicator that soil
                                           not suitable for

                                           --Treatment of Herpes

Anemia              nachi'u ra (similar    --Male charm to
phyllitidis (L.)    to a mosquito),        attract opposite sex
Sw.                 typycha ovy
                    (blue brush)           --Treatment of
                                           stomach refresher,
                                           treatment of heart

Anemia              jakare ka'a            --Male charm to
simplicior          (caiman plant)         attract opposite sex
(Christ) Mickel

Anemia              jakare ka'a            --Male charm to
tomentosa           (caiman plant)         attract opposite sex
(Sav.) Sw.
                                           --Muscular tonic,
                                           prevention of illness

Asplenium           karaguara yvy          --Sold as an
bolansae            reegua (calaguala      ornamental
(Baker)             of the earth)
Sylvestre                                  --Contraceptive,
                                           menstrual analgesic

Asplenium           karaguara yvv          --Sold as an
brosiliense Sw      reegua (calaguala      ornamental
                    of the earth)
                                           menstrual analgesic

Asplenium           kuna manje'a           --Sold as an
scandicinum         (for women)            ornamental

Kaulf.                                     --Male charm to
                                           attract the opposite

Blechnum            amambdi (fern)         --Female
australe L.                                contraceptive,
subsp.                                     treatment of
auriculatum                                headache
(Cav.) de la

Blechnum            amambdi (fern)         --Sold as an
oustrobrasilianum                          ornamental
de la Sota

Blechnum            amambdi (fern)         --Sold as an
brasiliense Desv.                          ornamental

Campyloneurum       karaguara ita          --Sold as an
lapathifolium       reegua (growing        ornamental
(Poir.) Ching       on rocks)
                                           --Menstrual analgesic,
                                           treatment of gastritis

Campyloneurum       karaguara ita          --Sold as an
nitidum (Kaulf.)    reegua (growing        ornamental
C.Presl             on rocks), mburika
                    ka'a (donkey herb),    --Treatment of nausea,
                    jagua ka'a (dog        epilepsy, muscular
                    herb)                  tonic, blood purifier,
                                           female contraceptive,
                                           abortive, menstrual
                                           analgesic, to
                                           facilitate child birth,
                                           washing, treatment
                                           of gastritis, asthma,
                                           lumbago and
                                           kidney infections.

Dicksonia           chachi raviju          --Stands for
sellowiana Hook.    (woody tree fern),     ornamental plants
                                           --Formerly used for
                                           arrow points

                                           --Treatment of burns
                                           and measles

Didymochlaena       amambdi (fern)         --Stands for
truncatula (Sw.)                           ornamental plants
J. Sm.
                                           --Sold as an

Doryopteris         mborevi po (tapir      --Sold as an
nobilis (Moore)     pawr); amambdi         ornamental
C.Chr.              take (fern with
                    bifurcate fronds)      --Necklace beads

                                           --Male charm to
                                           attract opposite sex

                                           --Treatment of colds,
                                           headaches, cardiac
                                           infections, diarrhea,
                                           menstrual analgesic.

Elophoglossum       karaguara ita          --Female
pachydermum         reegua (growing        contraceptive,
(Fee) T. Moore      on racks)              abortive, menstrual

Equisetum           kavaju rugudi          --Treatment of
giganteum L.        (horse tail)           headaches, epilepsy and
                                           kidney infections

Hemionitis          rorarija (from         --Sold as an
tomentosa           spanish                ornamental
(Lam.) Raddi        "doradilla",
                    because the            --Used in a procedure
                    ferruginous            to gain power,
                                           --Treatment of heart
                                           and kidney
                                           menstrual analgesic,
                                           treatment of female
                                           sterility, for
                                           healing childs
                                           navel, blodd

Huperzia            pino tyre'i            --Sold as an
mandiocana          (epiphytic pine)       ornamental
(Raddi) Trevis.

Lastreopsis         amambdi tyre'i         --Male charm to
effusa (Sw.)        (orphan fern)          attract opposite sex

Lycopodiella        urukure'a ka'a         --Male charm to
cernua (L.) Pic.    (owl herb)             attract opposite sex

Lycopodium          urukure'a ka'a         --Male charm to
clavatum L.         (owl herb)             attract opposite sex

Lygodium            jakare ka'a            --Male charm to
volubile Sw         (caiman plant)         attract opposite sex

Microgramma         ambere ka'a            --Treatment of kidney
lindbergii (Kuhn)   (small lizard plant)   infections and
de la Sota                                 deafness, menstrual

Microgramma         ambere mboi (small     --Slimming, menstrual
squamulosa          lizard-snake),         analgesic, female
(Kaulf.) de la      anguja ruguai          contraceptive, post
Sota                (rat tail)             partum washing,
                                           treatment of

Microgramma         ambere ka'a,           --Treatment of kidney
vacciniifolia       ambere mby (small      infections and
(Langsd. &          lizard plant)          deafness, menstrual
Fisch.) Copel.                             analgesic

Niphidium           karaguara yvyra        --Sold as an
crassifolium        reegua (that which     ornamental
(L.) Lellinger      grows on trees)
                                           --Indicator of cardinal

                                           --Muscular toner,
                                           menstrual analgesic,
                                           treatment to ease
                                           child birth, post
                                           partum washing

Ophioglossum        kochi apia'i           --For colds
reticulatum L.      (peccary penis)

Osmunda             nachi'u rd guachu      --Treatment of sore
regalis L.          (large Anemia          throats
                                           --Male charm to
                                           attract opposite sex

Pecluma filicula    amambdi piru           --Sold as an
(Kaulf.) M. G.      (dry fern)             ornamental

Price                                      --Treatment of female

Pecluma             amambdi re'e           --Chewed as a sweet
pectinatiformis     (sweet fern)
(Lindm.) M. G.                             --Sold as an
Price                                      ornamental

                                           --Treatment of
                                           epilepsy, blood

Pecluma sicca       amambai piru           --Sold as an
(Lindm.) M.G.       (dry fern)             ornamental

Price                                      --Treatment of female

Pecluma             amambai piru           --Sold as an
singeri (de la      (dry fern)             ornamental

Sota) M.G. Price                           --Treatment of female

Phlebodium          karoguara (from        --Menstrual analgesic
areolatum           quichua
(Willd.) J. Sm.     "Calaguala")

Pleopeltis          memby ja (giver of     --Menstrual analgesic,
pleopeltifolia      children)              treatment of
(Raddi) Alston                             excessive
                                           menstruation and
                                           female sterility

Pleopeltis          teko'a pord ja         --Indicator of cardinal
squalida (Vell.)    (owner of good         points

de la Sota          customs)               --Menstrual analgesic,
                                           treatment of
                                           menstruation and
                                           female sterility

Pteridium           amambai rata           --Menstrual analgesic
arachnoideum        (hard fern)
(Kaulf.) Maxon.                            --Indicator of places
Pteris deflexa      amambai (fern)         with an abundance
Link                                       of ticks

                                           --Used in a magic
                                           process to forget an
                                           ex wife

Pteris              nachi'u ra ra          --Treatment of sore
denticulata Sw.     (similar to Anemia     throat,
                    phyllitidis)           antidepressant

Selaginella         guaimi rogue           --Female
muscosa Spring      (old lady's hair),     contraceptive,
                    ygau jaryi (false      washing wounds

Selaginella         koto jaryi (false      --Female
sulcata (Pair.)     moss)                  contraceptive

Serpocaulon         karaguora              --Menstrual analgesic
latipes (Langsd.    (calaguala)
& Fisch.) A. R.

Thelypteris         amambai tyre'i         --Male charm to
recumbens           (orphan fern)          attract opposite sex
(Resent.) C. F.
Reed                                       --Tranquilizer for

Thelypteris         jakore ka'a            --Male charm to
riograndensis       (caiman herb)          attract opposite sex
(Lindm.) C. F.
Reed                                       --Antidepressant

Thelypteris         amambai tyre'i         --Male charm to
scabra (C.          (orphan fern)          attract opposite sex

Vittaria lineata    avukujo guachu         --Sold as an
(L.) Sm.            (great owner of        ornamental

                    long hair)             --Treatment to make
                                           hair grow


Adiantopsis         --Fronds           Keller 2787
(Sw.) Fee

Adiantopsis         --Fronds           Keller 1057
radiata (L.) Fee
pseudotinctum       --Petioles         Tressens et
Hieron.                                al. 6469

Adiantum            --Fronds           Keller 1371
C. Presl.

Alsophila           --Stems            Tressens et
setosa Kaulf.                          al. 4719

                    --Exudate from

Anemia              --Fertile fronds   Keller 2979
phyllitidis (L.)
Sw.                 --Fronds

Anemia              --Fronds           Keller 829
(Christ) Mickel

Anemia              --Fronds           Keller &
tomentosa                              Gatti
(Sav.) Sw.                             1693

Asplenium           --Whole plant      Keller 5629

Asplenium           --Whole plant      Keller 5628
brosiliense Sw

Asplenium           --Whole plant      Keller et al.
scandicinum                            1939

Blechnum            --Whole plant,     Keller 3599
australe L.         fronds
(Cav.) de la

Blechnum            --Whole plant      Keller 773
de la Sota

Blechnum            --Whole plant      Keller 1072
brasiliense Desv.

Campyloneurum       --Whole plant      Fernandez
lapathifolium                          et al. 98
(Poir.) Ching       --Rhizomes

Campyloneurum       --Whole plant      Keller 1081
nitidum (Kaulf.)
C.Presl             --Rhizomes

Dicksonia           --Stems            Tressens
sellowiana Hook.                       et al. 4631

                    --Exudate of

Didymochlaena       --Stems            Keller 1106.
truncatula (Sw.)
J. Sm.              --Whole plant

Doryopteris         --Whole plant      Keller 1368
nobilis (Moore)
C.Chr.              --Petioles



Elophoglossum       Whole plant        Keller 7462
(Fee) T. Moore

Equisetum           --Shoots           Keller 3282
giganteum L.

Hemionitis          --Whole plant      Keller &
tomentosa                              Gatti 1858
(Lam.) Raddi        --Whole plant


Huperzia            --Whole plant      Keller et al.
mandiocana                             1941
(Raddi) Trevis.

Lastreopsis         --Propagules       Keller 5624
effusa (Sw.)

Lycopodiella        --Whole plant      Keller 1994
cernua (L.) Pic.

Lycopodium          --Whole plant      Keller 49
clavatum L.

Lygodium            --Fronds           Keller &
volubile Sw                            Franco 5814

Microgramma         --Whole plant      Keller 5678
lindbergii (Kuhn)
de la Sota

Microgramma         --Whole plant      Keller 1080
(Kaulf.) de la

Microgramma         --Whole plant,     Keller 7541
vacciniifolia       fronds
(Langsd. &
Fisch.) Copel.

Niphidium           --Whole plant      Keller 1889
(L.) Lellinger      --Rhizomes

Ophioglossum        --Whole plant      Keller 3065
reticulatum L.

Osmunda             --Whole plant      Keller 1058
regalis L.          fronds


Pecluma filicula    --Whole plant      Keller 797
(Kaulf.) M. G.

Price               --Fronds

Pecluma             --Fronds           Keller et al.
pectinatiformis                        3096
(Lindm.) M. G.      --Whole plant

Pecluma sicca       --Whole plant      Tressens
(Lindm.) M.G.                          4942

Pecluma             --Whole plant      Keller 5594
singeri (de la
Sota) M.G. Price

Phlebodium          --Rhizomes         Keller &
areolatum                              Paredes
(Willd.) J. Sm.                        7465

Pleopeltis          --Whole plant,     Keller 776
pleopeltifolia      fronds
(Raddi) Alston

Pleopeltis          --Whole plant,     Keller 1891
squalida (Vell.)    fronds

de la Sota

Pteridium           --Tender fronds    Keller &
arachnoideum                           Benitez 2727
(Kaulf.) Maxon.     --Fronds
Pteris deflexa                         Tressens et
Link                                   al. 6750

Pteris              --Fronds           Keller 1892
denticulata Sw.

Selaginella         --Whole plant      Tressens et
muscosa Spring                         al. 4635

Selaginella         --Whole plant      Keller 1163
sulcata (Pair.)

Serpocaulon         --Rhizomes         Keller &
latipes (Langsd.                       Franca 5827
& Fisch.) A. R.

Thelypteris         --Propagules       Tressens et
recumbens                              al. 6845
(Resent.) C. F.

Thelypteris         --Fronds           Keller 2975
(Lindm.) C. F.      --Whole plant

Thelypteris         --Propagules       Keller &
scabra (C.                             Gatti 1861

Vittaria lineata    --Whole plant      Keller 2409
(L.) Sm.

FIG. 1. Species in each category of use

Medicinal:            38(76%)
Commercialization:    19(38%)
Food:                  1(2%)
Crafts;                3(6%)
Indicators plants;     4(8%)
Magic:                15(30%)

Note: Table made from pie chart.
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Author:Keller, Hector A.; Torres, Esteban I. Meza; Prance, Ghillean T.
Publication:American Fern Journal
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:3ARGE
Date:Jul 1, 2011
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