Ethnobotanical Dictionary
Caribbean lili

Xiphidium caeruleum Aubl.

It is native to Central America and northern South America. Its scientific name xiphidium comes from the Greek xiphos which means sword or weapon that ends in a point, while coeruleum is Latin and means celestial blue. In Venezuela it is common to find this plant in forests near creeks. It grows low to the ground like grass, as undergrowth, in ravines or on the edges of roads and streams. Its leaves are linear, alternate, and equidistant from one another, measuring 55 cm. long by 3 cm. wide at its center. The flowers are white and the fruit has a yellowish-green color that turns reddish when ripe. Propagation occurs by rhizome division. It grows in partially shaded places with fertile soils and easy access to water, as can be found at the edge of streams and run-off channels.

Applications:

It is frequently used to decorate gardens and inner courtyards. It is used for the treatment of snake bites. Other uses in traditional medicine are as an analgesic, anti-anemic, to cure skin diseases and dysmenorrhea. It can also be prepared as a beverage.

Xiphidium caeruleum Aubl.