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Common Name : Ceylon Bow-string Hemp     -       Scientific Name : Sansevieria zeylanica (Asparagaceae)       -       Other Name : Mother-in-law’s Tounge (E) Niyanda (S)
Manikkapola Uttu Sand Patch
10/26/2013
Ochchappukallu
07/20/2013

This is a species native to India and Sri Lanka. It is found in the low country dry zone and mostly found near rocky out crops. These plants are names after the prince of Sanseviero, Raimond de Sangro, who was a patron of horticulture in the 18th century in Italy.

The conservation status of this species is regarded as “Least Concerned”. (National List 2012).

I have observed this species at many dry zone National Parks such as Yala, Wasgomuwa, Gal Oya, Kumana and Udawalawa and forested areas such as Dolu Kanda, Ritigala, Nilgala and Kokagala in Padiyathalawa.

The leaves of this species can be used for the production of fibre and the sap is known to have antiseptic qualities. The leaves are used in native medicine as bandages.

The new brides of the ‘Vedda’ community (indigenous people in Sri Lanka) traditionally use the fibre taken from the leaves of this species to make a string, which is given to her husband to wear around his waist. The rope made of the fibre taken from these leaves is said to be very strong. 

In Wilpattu it is seen in dry sandy places such as Manikkapola Uttu sand patch and rocky areas such as Ochchappukallu, Galge Viharaya and Kimbula Ketu Gala.