Friday, 22 May 2015

EXPLORATION OF SOME PTERIDOPHYTIC DIVERSITY FOR ORNAMENTAL AND MEDICINAL VALUE FROM NORTHERN WESTERN GHATS OF MAHARASHTRA, INDIA.


                                                 Shakil D. Shaikh* and V. B. Chopade**
*Head, Department of Botany, Abasaheb Marathe Arts and New Commerce, Science College, Rajapur. Dist: Ratnagiri (MS-India)
 **Department of Botany, Rajarshi Chhatrapati Shahu College, Kolhapur (MS).
*corresponding author email:lakish786@gmail.com

ABSTRACT
India is a mega biodiversity country with about 17,000 species of vascular plants. More than 1200 species of fern and fern- allies have been reported from India. Within India, the Western Ghats, one of the hotspots of the world, possess a large extent of biodiversity. Besides the economic values, a large number of them are cultivated for their ornamental value either in indoors of the houses or outdoors in the botanical gardens due to their delicate beauty and grace. Ferns have got great aesthetic value for their elegant fronds and a large number of them are cultivated as ornamental plants in houses and botanic gardens. More than 40 potential ornamental and medicinally important ferns were listed in the present study and majority of them are suitable for indoor gardens. Five plants are best for rockeries. The ferns can grow well in such moist and shady conditions in the gardens where other plants usually cannot grow.    
Keywords: Ferns, medicinal and ornamental, aesthetic, conservation.
   
                                                                                               
INTRODUCTION
            Plants have always been the source of medicine and of direct use to the mankind. The pteridophytes, though forming dominant vegetation of the carboniferous period, are much neglected group as compared to the angiosperms. These plants have engaged the attention of the botanists and horticulturists because of their beauty and graceful foliage. Besides this, these have been successfully used in the past in Ayurvedic, Unani, Siddha, Homeophathic and other preparations. For their use as horticultural plant or in the medicinal preparations, ferns are being removed from their natural shady habitats in the forests. Benjamin and Manickam (2007) reported the medicinal uses of sixty one Pteridophytes used by the tribals of Western Ghats. Besides the economic values, a large number of them are cultivated for their ornamental value either in indoors of the houses or outdoors in the botanical gardens due to their delicate beauty and grace Vasudeva (1999).
In the recent years, ferns are becoming popular in horticulture for the beauty and variety of their frond forms. Many ferns are grown as landscape plants for cut foliage and as house plants. The present communication is the result of intensive studies on pteridophytic diversity in Gangetic West Bengal for potential use as ornamental plants in the near future.

MATERIALS AND METHODS
Intensive field explorations were carried out in the Northern Western Ghats of Maharashtra during the year 2006-2013, to document the ferns and fern-allies. The collected plants were identified with the help of The Ferns of Southern India (Beddome, 1969 and 1970) and Pteridophyte Flora of the Western Ghats – South India (Manickam and Irudayraj 1991). The potential ornamental and medicinally important ferns were listed out.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Ferns and fern-allies recorded during this study are arranged according to the classification and arrangement of species within genera and genera within families followed by Fraser-Jenkins (2009).

Some medicinal and ornamental important ferns from explored areas

Adiantum philippense L.
Family: Adiantaceae.
Part Used: Rhizome leaves and spores.
Uses: Rhizome is used in curing glandular swelling accompanied by fever. Leaf extract is used in treatment of dysentery, diseases of blood, ulcers and burning sensation. In Ayurveda, the plant is recommended to cure for epilepsy. The spores are said to be effective in the treatment of leprosy and other skin diseases (Nayar, 1959). The plant has astringent, demulcent, pectoral, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, cooling, alternative and alexiteric properties. It is one of the constituents of Hansraj, the drug esteemed in India for the treatment of cough. The rootstock is considered good for fever and elephantiasis (Kirtikar et. al, 1935). Rhizome is given against dog-bite and snake bite as an antidote (Singh et al. 2005).

Adiantum caudatum L.
Family: Adiantaceae.
Part Used: Rhizome leaves.
Uses: Leaves – Cure cough, fever and diabetes. Leaves used in the remedies for skin disease in Philippines (Quisumbing, 1951) and internally for diabetes (Singh et al. 2005).  The decoction of leaves and rhizome is used for chest complains in Malaya (Burkill, 1966). The juice of rhizome is given in case of fever in Nepal (Manandhar, 1996).

Adiantum raddianum Presl.
Family :Adiantaceae.
Parts used: Plant.
Uses: Used for fertility control (Harborne, 2001).
Ornamental value of Adiantum Species: They have short creeping rhizomes, black wiry stems with delicate triangular to oval leaves. They are suitable to grown as pot plant. Grow in partial shade in moist well drained soils.

Actiniopteris dichotoma Kuhn.
Family: Actinopteridaceae.
Part Used: Rhizome, leaves, whole plant.
Uses: Styptic, antihelmintic, astringent, sweet, cooling, acrid, constipating, haemostatic, antileprotic and febrifuge. Used in treatment of severe conditions of Kapha and pitta, diarrhoea, dysentery, helminthiasis, haemoptysis, leprosy, skin diseases, diabetes and fever (Warrier et. al 1996). Fronds are chewed for sore throat and rhizome is boiled to prevent dandruff (Singh et al. 2005).
Ornamental value: It is highly decorative small fern with its palm-like attractive fronds. Best suitable for rockeries and can also used as pot plants.

Acrostichum aureum L.
Family: Pteridaceae.
Part Used: Rhizome, leaves.
Uses: The pounded rhizome is applied as a paste to heal wounds and boils. It is also used as an antihelmintic, vulnerary, healing the invertebrate ulcers and bladder complains in China. (Dixit and Vohra, 1984). Fertile fronds are used for syphilitic ulcers and emollient topically (Singh et al. 2005).  Fronds are used as an anti-fungal agent.

Angiopteris evecta (Frost.) Hoff.
Family: Angiopteridaceae.
Part Used: Tender stem, whole plant and tender leaves.
Uses: The plant is anti-cancerous. The fresh croziers ground to a paste on granite and applied to tumour (Mathew et. al., 2000). The pith and rhizome boiled with mustard oil is used as massage for the ribs and bone pain (Singh et al. 2005). Treat hyperglycemic effects of diabetes found to have a hypoglycemic effect on mice (Nguyen, 2005). Ptomaine, poisoning (Cambie and Ash 1994)

Asplenium falcatum Lamk.
Family: Aspleniaceae.
Parts used: Fronds.
Uses: The fronds are used in the treatment of malaria, jaundice, enlargement of spleen, urine trouble and calculus (Singh et al. 2005).

Asplenium nidus L.
Family: Aspleniaceae.
Parts used: Whole plant.
Uses:   It is used as a depurative and sedative in Philippines (Quioumbing, 1951). The plant is antibacterial and used in sore and ulcer (Singh, 1999). The Plant is also used as ornamental plaitory (Fosberg, 1942). Blood/Whole body infection Lice, (Singh, 2001), Chest pain (Gogoi, 2002) in Meghalaya. Stings and bites, Contraception (Bourdy et al., 1996).
Ornamental value: This is used as house plant and also grown in gardens for its attractive shape of the leaves and grows well in moist shady places which need little care.

Asplenium polydon G. Forster
Family: Aspleniaceae.
Parts used: Whole plant.
Uses: The plant is used in the treatment for the enlargement of the spleen incontinence of urine, jaundice and malaria in North Africa (Manickam and Iruduyuraj, 1992). It is used for Sore throat in Fiji (Cambie and Ash, 1994)

Athyrium hohenkarianum (Kunze) Moore.
Family: Athyriaceae.
Parts used: Whole plant.
Uses: The plant is used in the treatment of beri-beri. (Singh, 1999)

Blechnum orientale L.
Family: Blechnaceae.
Part used: Rhizome and fresh fronds.
Uses: Fresh fronds are used as a poultice for boils in Malaya; rhizome is used as anthelmintic in China, as a cure for intestinal wounds. Fronds are also used for urinary bladder complaints in India, Polynesia and as a diaphoretic, aromatic and aperative in Philippines (Dixit and Vohra, 1984). It is used in impotency in men, urinary disorders and cure of sanipat or Delirium (Singh et al., 2005).

Ceratopteris thalictroides (L.) Brougn.
Family: Sinopteridaceae.
Parts used: Fronds, tender leaves and whole plant.
Uses: The fronds are used in poultice in skin diseases. They are reported to be tonic and styptic (Singh et al., 2005).

Cheilanthes farinosa (Burm. f.) Sw.
Family: Sinopteridaceae.
Parts used: Rhizome, roots and whole plant.
Uses; Paste of the root is applied in cure of eczema and wounds. The decoction of roots is used in stomach-ache (Singh et al., 2005).

Cheilanthes tenufolia (Burm. f.)Sw.
Family: Sinopteridaceae.
Parts used: Rhizome, roots and whole plant.
Uses: Tribals use the extract of rhizome and roots as a general tonic (Dixit, 1989). Roots vulnerary. The decoction of the plant is used for hair wash.
Ornamental value: Plant with small, green attractive fronds and black brittle stipe is best suitable for rockeries. It can also be grown in small pots.
Christella parasitica L.
Family: Thelypteridaceae.
Parts used: Tender leaves and whole plant.
Uses:  It is used in the treatment of gout and rheumatism.

Cyclosorus interrupts Willd.
Family: Thelypteridaceae.
Parts used: Rhizome and sporophyll.
Uses: Rhizome and sporophyll antibacterial agent.

Dicranopteris linearis (Burm. f.) Underwood
Family: Gleicheniaceae.
Parts used: Rhizome, fronds, stipes and whole plant.
Uses: Rhizome is antihelmintic in Assam. The fronds are used for asthma in Madagascar. Spores are used as favourite remedy for diarrhoea in children (Singh et al., 2005). Fluid extracts from the fronds shows antibacterial and anticancerous properties. It is also used in epileptic fits and asthma. The young fronds with cow’s milk improve the fertility in sterile woman (Singh, 1999 and Singh et al., 2005).

Diplazium esculantum (Retz.) Sw. Schrad.
Family: Athyriaceae.
Parts used: Rhizome and fronds.
Uses: Tribal use the extract of rhizome and roots as a general tonic (Dixit, 1989). Roots vulnerary. The decoction of the plant is used for hair wash.
Ornamental value: These are grown as pot plant under moist, well drained soil. The faded fronds should be removed frequently to avoid drying.

Dryopteris cocheata (Buch-Ham ex Don) C. Chr.
Family: Dryopteridaceae.
Parts used: Rhizome, roots and whole plant.
Uses: The whole plant is crushed in a bowl and the extract is given (twice a day) orally in case of snake bite besides a paste of plant is also applied on the bite of wound to prevent infection (Verma and Singh, 1995). The rhizome is antibacterial and antiepileptic (Singh, 1999). A small portion of the rhizome of the plant is powdered and taken with water (twice a day) in rheumatism, epilepsy and leprosy (Shah and Singh, 1990). Juice of the roots (about two table spoon full twice a day) is given to treat amoebic dysentery (Manandhar, 1996).

Drynaria quercifolia (L.) J. Sm.
Family: Polypodiaceae.
Parts used: Rhizome, fronds and whole plant.
Uses: The rhizome has antibacterial properties. It is also used as anodyne, constipating, anti inflammatory, tonic. The fronds are pounded and used as a poultice for swellings (Ambasta, 1992). Aqueous extracts possess antibacterial properties. It is used to treat tuberculosis, hectic fever, dyspepsia, phthisis, and as an expectorant and antihelmintic (Chatterjee and Prakashi, 1991). The rhizome paste is applied to the forehead to relieve headache and its extracts have been used as a bitter tonic for bowel inflammation (Chopra et al., 1992). The rhizome is used in the treatments of typhoid, hectic fever, phthisis, dyspepsia, cough, arthralgia, cephalalgia, diarrhoea, foul ulcers and other inflammations. It is very specific in the treatment of Migraine (Warrier et al., 1996). The fronds are useful in the poulticing swellings. (Singh et al., 2005).
Ornamental value: It can be grown in gardens in ground or as epiphytes. Generally it is grown as pot plant in indoors.

Hemionitis arifolia (Burm. f.) Moore.
Family: Hemionitidaceae.
Parts used: Rhizome and fronds.
Uses: The fronds are used in the treatments of aches and as vermifuge. Crushed juice is used in the burns and menstrual disorders. It is also used as an anti-fertility and anti-flatulence agent. Rhizome has an anti-bacterial property (Singh et al., 2005).

Hypodematium crenatum L.
Family: Dryopteridaceae.
Parts used: Rhizome and leaves.
Uses: Rhizome is used as antibacterial agent. Leaves are used to facilitate the conception in women (Kumar et al., 2003).

Lygodium flexuosum  (L.) Sw. Schrad.
Family: Schizaeaceae.
Parts used: Young shoots, rhizome, spores, fronds and whole plant.
Uses: The plant is used as expectorants. Fronds boiled with mustard oil are locally applied to carbuncle and in the treatment of rheumatism, sprains, ulcers, eczema and cough (Dixit and Vohra 1984). The aqueous extracts of rhizome are used for treatment of gonorrhoea. The part of rhizome is applied for the piles and rhizome is also tied on the waist (Singh et. al 1989). Part of the plant is applied for herpes, juice is given to relieve fever (about 3 tablespoon full twice a day). It is an anti-ovulatory and used in the treatment of jaundice (Manandhar, 1996). The spores cure high fever (Singh et. al., 2005).
Ornamental value: It is a climber with attractive foliage, suitable for growing on walls and trellis.

Marattia fraxinea Sm.
Family:Marattiaceae.
Parts used: Whole plant.
Uses: The plant extract is used as a remedy for ankylostomiasis in Usambara and South Africa (May, 1978). Anti-fungal/ antibacterial activity (de Boer et al., 2005)

Microsorium puntuatum (Linn.) Copel.
Family:  Polypodiaceae.
Parts used: Leaves.
Uses: Leaves and juice are used as purgative, diuretic and for healing wounds (May, 1978).

Nephrolepis cordifolia (L.) Presl.
Family: Oleandraceae.
Parts used: Fronds and tubers.
Uses: The rhizome is reported to have antibacterial property and is used in cough, rheumatism, chest congestion, nose blockage and loss of appetites. (Singh, 1999). Pinnae are antiseptic and antifungal and used in coughs, wounds and for the treatment of jaundice, a decoction of fresh fronds is given (Kumar et al., 2003).

Nephrolepis exaltata (L.) Schott.
Family: Nephrolepidaceae.
Parts used: Tubers.
Uses: The tubers are washed and chewed for sinus trouble, toothache, kidney and liver problems. Rhizome extract is used against women’s sterility. Juice of fresh fronds is used in checking the blood (Singh et al., 2005)

Odontosoria chinensis (L.) J. Smith.
Family: Lindaseaceae.
Parts used: Leaves.
Uses: Leaves used internally for chronic enteritis in Mauritius (Dixit and Vohra, 1984).

Oleandra musifolia (Bl.) Presl.
Family: Oleandraceae.
Parts used: Whole plant, rhizome, stipe.
Uses: A decoction of stipe is considered to be an emmenagoage. Rhizome is used in snake bite in Philippines (May, 1978). Plant is also used as antihelmintic (Kumar et al., 2003).

Ophioglossum  reticulatum  L.
Family: Ophioglossaceae.
Parts used: Fleshy fronds and rhizome.
Uses: Used as a cooling agent and in treatment of inflammations and wounds. Fronds are used as tonic and styptic. Used in contusions and haemorrhages (Singh, 1999) 

Osmunda regalis L.
Family: Osmundaceae.
Parts used: Whole plant and fronds.
Uses: The fronds are used as a tonic, styptic, and also for the treatment of rickets, rheumatism and for intestinal gripping. (Nayar 1959, Dixit and Vohra, 1984)

Pityrogramma calomelanos L.
Family: Hemionitidaceae.
Part used:  Whole plant, fronds.
Uses: In its farina it produces the cytotoxic and anticancer compound dihydrochalcone (Sukumaran and Kuttan, 1991 ; Senger and Somvanshi, 2000). A decoction of the plant is used for kidney trouble in the Philippines. Silver fern tea prepared from the frond is used as a cure for influenza, hypertension, fever, and cough in Trinidad (Dixit and Vohra, 1984). The fronds are also used for treatment of asthma and cold in the head and chest. It has antibacterial activity (Banerjee and Sen, 1980). A decoction of the fronds is taken for boils in mouth and nose. (Kumar et al., 2003)

Pteridium aqualinum (L.) Kuhn.
Family: Dennstaedtiaceae.
Parts used: Whole plant and fronds.
Uses Rhizome is astringent, anthelmintic and useful in diarrhoea and for the treatment of inflammation in gastric and intestinal mucous membranes. Decoction of rhizomes and fronds is given for chronic disorders of viscera and spleen (Dixit and Vohra, 1984).

Pteris ensiformis  Burm. f.
Family: Pteridaceae.
Parts used: Fronds.
Uses The leaf juice is used as astringent to cure dysentery. It is also used as diuretic and cooling agent and to cure malaria. Decoction of fresh fronds is given in the glandular swelling of the neck. (Singh et al., 2005)

Pteris quadriaurita Retz.
Family: Pteridaceae.
Parts used: Rhizome.
Uses    The paste of the rhizome is applied to take out the pus and hasten the recovery of boils (Singh et al., 2005).

Pteris vittata L.
Family: Pteridaceae.
Parts used: Whole plant.
Uses Plant extract is used as demulcent, hypotensive, tonic, antiviral and as antibacterial (Singh, 1999).

Salvinia molesta Mitchell.
Family: Salviniaceae.
Parts used: Plant.
Uses Plant is antifungal and used in asthma, bronchitis, stings of honeybee (Singh, 1999). Extract from fresh rhizome is used for preventing diarrhoea in children. (Dixit and Vohra 1984). The cooked tender portion is used for curing the stomach troubles (Manandhar, 1996).

Tectaria cicutarium Cop. (J. Sm.) C. Chr.
Family: Dryopteridaceae.
Parts used: Rhizome and tender plant.
Uses Plant is antibacterial and used in asthma, bronchitis, stings of honeybee (Singh, 1999). Extract from fresh rhizome is used for preventing diarrhoea in children. (Dixit and Vohra, 1984). The cooked tender portion is used for curing the stomach troubles (Manandhar, 1996). Rhizome along with black pepper fruits and cow’s milk is used as tonic and purifies blood and also blood dysentery. Rhizome with Zingiber purpureum Rosc. and Croton roxburgii Balak. is given in menstrual problems. (Singh et al., 2005)

Tectaria wightii (Clarke) Ching.
Family Dryopteridaceae.
Parts used Rhizome.
Uses The rhizome of the plant is anthelmintic (Dixit and Vohra, 1984).
Vittaria elongata Sw.
Family Vittariaceae.
Parts used Leaves.
Uses The tribal of Andaman and Nicobar Islands use the leaves of this fern for the treatment of rheumatism. (Kumar et al., 2003).

CONCLUSION
The study area is under the cover of Western Ghats of India having very good flora of pteridophytes which is now subjected to unscientific exploitation particularly agriculture, mining, water reservoirs and other developmental activities. Due to this not only pteridophytes but also several plant taxa are disappearing rapidly. Due to these reasons, species are becoming rare and endangered. In addition to awareness among the local people, these species are in great need of either in situ or ex situ conservation.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
Shakil Shaikh thanks the Principal, Abasaheb Marathe Arts and New Commerce, Science College, Rajapur. Dist: Ratnagiri, for providing laboratory facilities.

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