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Fitoterapia. 2004 Mar;75(2):149-61.

Medicinal plant diversity in the flora of Saudi Arabia 1: a report on seven plant families.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacognosy, College of Pharmacy, King Saud University, P.O. Box 2457, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia.


A preliminary survey on the medicinal plant diversity in the flora of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been made with seven families: Amaranthaceae, Apocynaceae, Capparidaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Labiatae, Polygonaceae and Solanaceae, as an initial study. These families are represented in the flora with 254 species (i.e. 12% of the total species), and individually with 21, 7, 29, 66, 76, 22 and 33 species, respectively. Of these, 86 species, so far investigated, are medicinal, distributed in these seven families as follows: 7, 5, 12, 20, 23, 7 and 12, respectively. The Labiatae have the highest number (23) of medicinal plants among them while maximum medicinal plant diversity within the family has been observed with the Apocynaceae. An enumeration of these 86 medicinal species is presented with the current nomenclature, Arabic names and medicinal uses. This communication aims at emphasizing the importance of setting up conservation priorities, and sustained development of various medicinal plants of Saudi Arabia.

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