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Family name: Convolvulaceae

Scientific name: Ipomoea obscura

Authority: (L.) Ker Gawl.

Zulu names: usiboniseleni

Short description: I. obscura is a perennial herb with heart-shaped leaves, star-shaped white flowers, and fruits in the form of sub-globose capsules containing seeds. The seeds are toxic when ingested.


The Zulu name “usiboniseleni” means “why have you shown us”.

The plant gets the name isiboniseleni because it is used as a hallucinogen to induce lucid and vivid dreaming.

Related uses: The seeds are crushed in water and taken in the evening to induce vivid dreaming. The leaves are cooked and eaten as leafy green. The leaves are also used to make a poultice that is applied topically to treat wounds, sores, and swelling.

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