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Marantochloa purpurea (Ridl.) Milne-Redh.

Family Name: Marantaceae
Common Name: Yoruba Soft Cane, 紫花芦竹芋
Semi-Shade Lots of Water Moderate Water Occasional Misting Ornamental Flowers


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial


Native Distribution Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria (Southern and Northern), Togo and western Cameroon
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Freshwater Swamp Forest)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Herb to 2.5m tall, forming dense stands under optimal conditions
Foliage Leaves light green, to 30cm in length.
Flowers Inflorescence sparsely hairy, loosely branched; flowers dark purple
Habitat In lowland swampforests
Associated Fauna The young pith of the stems are eaten by chimpanzees
Ethnobotanical Uses Medicinal ( Used in the treatment of pulmonary diseases, epilepsy and vomiting in Southern Nigeria)
[Others]: Baka hunter-gatherers in South Eastern Cameroon use the plant for roof thatching, fiber derived from the plant is woven into cords, baskets, containers and mats. It is also made into fishing rods and brooms.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Moist Soils, Waterlogged Soils
Landscape Uses Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens
Thematic Landscaping Marsh Garden

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna) (Insects (Bee))
Seed or Spore Dispersal Biotic (Fauna)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade
Water Preference Lots of Water, Moderate Water, Occasional Misting
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Propagation Method Division


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Smooth

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower Colour(s) Purple, Yellow / Golden
Flower Texture(s) Smooth, Thin
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flowering Period Free-Flowering

Image Repository



Master ID 31021
Species ID 5408
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 16 November 2020.