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Family: Ranunculaceae

Scientific name: Anemone fanninii

Authority: Harv. ex Mast.

Synonym: Knowltonia fanninii (Harv. ex Mast.) Christenh. & Byng

Zulu names: amanzamnyama, emnyama, umanzamnyama 

Other names: giant wild anemone (English) anemoon, syblom (Afrikaans)

Plant description:  A. fanninii is a perennial herb. It has rosette lobed leaves, creamy white, flushed purplish flowers, and an acrid sap that causes blisters on the human skin. The plant is largely restricted to the eastern foothill and scap of the central and northern Drankensburg.

A. fanninii  is often confused with A. caffra. The name amanzamnyama means black or dark waters.


  • The roots are used for the same purpose as A.caffra, see A. caffra.
  • The roots are charred and used to make insizi, black powder medicine.  
  • The roots are used to produce hatred.
  • The roots are ground to powder and taken as snuff to treat dizziness.
  • The roots are used to make love potions.
  • The roots are used to stimulate breast development in girls.
  • The roots are used to treat convulsion.
  • The plant is used as a sedative.

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: 

  • Batten, A. 1986. Flowers of southern Africa. Frandsden, Fourways.
  • Doke, C.M. and Vilakazi, B.W., 1972. Zulu-English dictionary, second edition. Witwatersrand University Press, Johannesburg. 
  • Gerstner, J., 1941. A preliminary checklist Zulu names of plants with short notes. Bantu Studies.
  • Hao, D.C., Gu, X., and Xiao, P., 2017. Anemone medicinal plants: ethnopharmacology, phytochemistry and biology. Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B. 7(2), pp.146-158.
  • Hutchings, A. 1996. Zulu medicinal plants: an inventory. University of Natal Press, Pietermaritzburg.
  • Manning, J.C. and Goldblatt, P., 2013. A taxonomic review of the dry-fruited species of Anemone (Ranunculaceae) in southern Africa. Bothalia, 43(1), pp.1-14.
  • Pooley, E. 1998. A Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Region. Natal Flora Publications Trust, Durban.
  • Watt, J.M., and Breyer-Brandwijk, M.G., 1962. Medicinal and poisonous plants of southern and eastern Africa, second edition. Livingstone, London.

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