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HerbaceousSpecies Plant

Tripogandra serrulata

Tripogandra serrulata

The purple scimitars (Tripogandra serrulata (Vahl) Handlos) is a herbaceous species belonging to the Commelinaceae family.

Systematics –
From a systematic point of view it belongs to:
Eukaryota Domain,
Kingdom Plantae,
Magnoliophyta Division,
Liliopsida class,
Commelinales Order,
Commelinaceae family,
Subfamily Commelinoideae,
Tradescantieae tribe,
Tradescantiinae sub-tribe,
Genus Tripogandra,
T. serrulata species.
The terime is basionimo:
– Commelina serrulata Vahl.
The terms are synonymous:
– Aneilema floribundum (Kunth) Hook. & Arn.;
– Aneilema serrulatum (Vahl) G.Don;
– Aneilema serrulatum (Vahl) Loudon;
– Callisia ciliata Pers.;
– Callisia rosea Pohl;
– Callisia rosea Pohl ex Seub.;
– Callisia serrulata (Vahl) Christenh. & Byng;
– Commelina elongata (G.Mey.) Woodson;
– Commelina floribunda Kunth;
– Commelina mexicana E.Mey.;
– Commelina serrulata Vahl;
– Descantaria balbisii Hassk.;
– Descantaria balbisii Hassk. ex C.B.Clarke;
– Descantaria cumanensis (Kunth) G.Brückn.;
– Descantaria cumanensis (Kunth) Schltdl.;
– Descantaria diuretica Hassk.;
– Descantaria diuretica Hassk. ex C.B.Clarke;
– Descantaria elongata (G.Mey.) G.Brückn.;
– Descantaria schlechtendalii Hassk.;
– Descantaria schlechtendalii Hassk. ex C.B.Clarke;
– Heterachthia gaudichaudeana Hassk.;
– Heterachthia gaudichaudeana Hassk. ex C.B.Clarke;
– Heterachthia gaudichaudiana Hassk.;
– Heterachthia gaudichaudiana Hassk. ex C.B.Clarke;
– Leptorhoeo floribunda (Kunth) Baill.;
– Tradescantia balbisii Kunth;
– Tradescantia congesta M.Martens & Galeotti;
– Tradescantia cumanensis Kunth;
– Tradescantia cumanensis var. cumanensis Kunth;
– Tradescantia cumanensis var. glabior C.B.Clarke;
– Tradescantia cumanensis var. glabrior C.B.Clarke;
– Tradescantia elongata G.Mey.;
– Tradescantia elongata subsp. elongata G.Mey.;
– Tradescantia elongata var. elongata G.Mey.;
– Tradescantia elongata var. schlechtendalii (Kunth) C.B.Clarke;
– Tradescantia elongata var. triandra (Kunth) C.B.Clarke;
– Tradescantia guianensis Miq.;
– Tradescantia mexicana (E.Mey.) Kunth;
– Tradescantia schlechtendalii Kunth;
– Tradescantia schomburgkiana Kunth;
– Tradescantia triandra Kunth;
– Tripogandra cumanensis (Kunth) Woodson;
– Tripogandra cumanensis f. glabrior (C.B.Clarke) Standl. & Steyerm.;
– Tripogandra cumanensis var. cumanensis (Kunth) Woodson;
– Tripogandra cumanensis var. glabior (C.B.Clarke) Standl. & Steyerm.;
– Tripogandra elongata (G.Mey.) Woodson;
– Tripogandra floribunda (Kunth) Woodson.

Etymology –
The term Tripogandra comes from the Greek τρέις, tréis tre (Latin numerical prefix tri-), from πώγων, pόgon barba and from ἀνήρ ἀνδρός, anér andrόs man, male and, by extension, male organ, stamen: reference to the three stamens with the most filament long, conspicuously bearded at the apex.
The specific serrulata epithet comes from serrula, small saw (diminutive of greenhouse saw): serrated, usually referring to the margin of the leaves or leaflets.

Geographic Distribution and Habitat –
Purple Scimitarre is a plant native to the neotropical region and precisely to Colombia and the departments: Antioquia, Boyacá, Caldas, Chocó, Cundinamarca, La Guajira, Magdalena, Meta, Nariño, Quindío, Risaralda, Valle del Cauca.
It is present in the biogeographical region: Andean, Caribbean, Orinoquia, Pacific.
Its habitat is that of areas between 0 and 1380 m a.s.l.

Description –
Tripogandra serrulata is a herbaceous plant with an intense purple stem.
The leaves are long, lanceolate, waxy, varying in color from purple to green and sometimes with variegations of the two colors.
The flowers are small flowers, with three petals, as many sepals and six yellow stamens, and is light purple in color.
Flowering is autumn.

Cultivation –
Tripogandra serrulata is a fast growing plant that grows well in a sunny position.
It is a species with an average water requirement and is generally very easy to grow and care for.
It can be used indoors as a houseplant, outdoors in containers, as a ground cover or in hanging baskets.
Reproduction can take place by seed or by cutting through portions of stems.

Customs and Traditions –
Tripogandra serrulata is a plant known in the vernacular as: chicoria, conejera, siempreviva, siempreviva chocoana.
In popular tradition, plants of this genus are known by the name grass misery, linked to the drooping habit of plants of this genus, which are purely herbaceous and which are among other things cultivated as hanging plants.
These plants are grown today mainly as ornamental in the garden or in baskets due to their tendency to form descending stems and very decorative foliage.
Especially in the past it was also used as a medicinal plant in traditional medicine.
The species is included in the National Red List of Colombia (2021) as a potential LC.

Preparation Method –
Tripogandra serrulata is a plant that, in addition to its current ornamental purpose, was once used above all as a medicine in the traditional medicine of the Andean peoples.
For medicinal use the leaves are used.

Guido Bissanti

– Acta Plantarum – Flora of the Italian Regions.
– Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
– GBIF, the Global Biodiversity Information Facility.
– Useful Tropical Plants Database.
– Conti F., Abbate G., Alessandrini A., Blasi C. (ed.), 2005. An annotated checklist of the Italian vascular flora, Palombi Editore.
– Pignatti S., 1982. Flora of Italy, Edagricole, Bologna.
– Treben M., 2000. Health from the Lord’s Pharmacy, Advice and experiences with medicinal herbs, Ennsthaler Editore.
Photo source:

Warning: Pharmaceutical applications and alimurgical uses are indicated for informational purposes only, they do not represent in any way a medical prescription; therefore no responsibility is taken for their use for curative, aesthetic or food purposes.

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