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Family: Orchidaceae

Scientific name: Eulophia streptopetala

Authority: Lindl.

Synonyms: Eulophia grantii (Rchb. f.) Summerh., Eulophia krebsii (Rchb. f.) Bolus, Eulophia paivaeana (Rchb. f.) Summerh., Lissochilus krebsii Rchb. f., Lissochilus oatesii Rolfe, Lissochilus papilionaceus Rendle, Lissochilus streptopetalus (Lindl.) Lindl.

Zulu name: amabelejongosi

Other name: striped petal Eulophia

Plant description: E. streptopetalus is an epiphytic orchid. It has large lance-shaped leaves and flowers with pale yellow petals and brownish green striped sepals. The plant can be found in South Africa, Eritrea, and the Arab peninsula and occurs in woodland, grassland, and forest habitats.


  • The roots used to make an infusion that is used as a love charm that is consumed by young men.
  • The plant is used as ikhubalo, a protective charm.
  • The plant is used to ward off evil.
  • The plant is used as a courting and emetic love charm.  
  • The tubers and roots are used to treat infertility.
  • The plant is used to make paediatric medicine.
  • The plant is cultivated as a beautiful exotic ornamental plant.

Safety precaution:

Using traditional medicine responsibly can enhance your overall health and well-being. Misuse and abuse can lead to complications. You can inquire about the correct use of traditional medicine from a knowledgeable herbalist and practitioner. You can also visit or email: to learn more about traditional medicine

References and further reading: 

  • Chinsamy, M., Finnie, J.F. and Van Staden, J., 2011. The ethnobotany of South African medicinal orchids. South African Journal of Botany, 77(1), pp.2-9.
  • Grosvenor, R.K., 1976. A list of orchids indigenous in Rhodesia. Excelsa 6 Page 82.
  • Hulme, M.M., 1954. Wild Flowers of Natal. Schuter and Shooter, Pietermaritzburg.
  • Hutchings, A., Scott, A.H., Lewis, G., and Cunningham, A.B., 1996. Zulu Medicinal Plants: An Inventory. Natal University Press, Pietermaritzburg.
  • Pooley, E., 1998. A field guide to wildflowers: KwaZulu-Natal and the eastern region. Natal Flora Publications Trust, Durban.

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