Plant from the UAE

Use this forum for identification of plants and flowers found in countries outside the UK. To allow us to help provide accurate identification we need clear pictures of the whole plant, where it is growing and close up pictures of flowers, buds or seed heads if any available. It would also be useful to see pictures showing the leaf attached to the stem.
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Cateb68
Posts: 2
Joined: 14 May 2019, 05:17

Plant from the UAE

Post by Cateb68 » 15 Oct 2019, 14:12

Anyone know if this plant is safe .. I think it’s called leguminosae / Christmas candle

Thanks
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Nina
Posts: 848
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Plant from the UAE

Post by Nina » 15 Oct 2019, 20:46

Hi Cateb and thanks for sending in this plant. It's called Senna alata and is in the plant family Leguminosae (also called Fabaceae) -- the Pea family.
it's a plant that is used for medicinal purposes in many cultures, including the treatment of ringworm as it has anti-fungicidal properties. It's not been shown to have any toxic properties in studies with mice ( https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10 ... 16.1272166 ) but I have read elsewhere that it is well known for having laxative properties, which you obviously don't want. In general we don't recommend feeding plants from the Leguminosae family as they tend to be high in protein and most species of tortoise require a very low protein/high fibre diet. What species is your tortoise?

I can't find any studies showing that tortoises in the wild eat this plant, so I think that on balance I would say not to feed it deliberately, but if it is growing in your garden and your tortoise accidentally nibbles a few leaves that there shouldn't be any problem.

Nina

Cateb68
Posts: 2
Joined: 14 May 2019, 05:17

Re: Plant from the UAE

Post by Cateb68 » 16 Oct 2019, 17:52

Thank you Nina , we think our tort is either a Hermann or a spur thigh :D

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Nina
Posts: 848
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Plant from the UAE

Post by Nina » 16 Oct 2019, 21:03

Both Hermanns and Spur Thighs have the same dietary needs -- so high fibre and low protein diet that I mentioned above is appropriate. Hope that helps and please don't hesitate to contact us again if you have any more questions or problems.

Best,
Nina

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