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Family Liliaceae

Spider plant
Chlorophytum comosum (Thunb.) Jacques

Dian lan

Scientific names Common names
Anthericum comosum Thunb. Airplane plant (Engl.)
Anthericum longituberosum Poelln. Hen-and-chickens (Engl.)
Anthericum sternbergianum Schult. & Schult.f. Ribbon plant (Engl.)
Anthericum vallis-trappii Poelln. Spider ivy (Engl.)
Anthericum williamsii auct. Spider plant (Engl.)
Caesiia comosa (Thunb.) Spreng. St. Bernard's lily (Engl.)
Chlorophytum beniense De Wild. Tufted bracket plant (Engl.)
Chlorophytum brevipes Baker  
Chlorophytum bukobense Engl.  
Chlorophytum burchelli Baker  
Chlorophytum comosum (Thunb.) Jacques  
Chlorophytum delagoense Baker  
Chlorophytum elatulum Poelln.  
Chlorophytum gazense Rendle  
Chlorophytum glaucidulum Engl. ex Poelln.  
Chlorophytum inopinum Poelln.  
Chlorophytum kirkii Baker  
Chlorophytum limurense Rendl  
Chlorophytum longum Poelln  
Chlorophytum magnum Peter ex Poelln.  
Chlorophytum miserum Rendle  
Chlorophytum nemorosum Poelln.  
Chlorophytum paludicolum Poelln.  
Chlorophytum ramiferum Rendle  
Chlorophytum rugosum Poelln.  
Chlorophytum semilikiense De Wild.  
Chlorophytum turritum Peter ex Poelln.  
Cordyline vivipara Steud.  
Hartwegia comosa (Thunb.) Nees.  
Hollia comosa (Thunb.) Heynh.  
Phalangium comosum (Thunb.) Poir.  
Phalangium viviparum Reinw. ex Kunth  
Chlorophytum comosum (Thunb.) Jacques is an accepted name. The Plant List

Other vernacular names
AFRIKAAN: Hen-en-kuikens, Iphamba.
CHINESE: Dian lan.
FRENCH: Chlorophytum, Phalangium, Phalangere, Plante araignée.
JAPANESE: Orizoruran, Orizururan.

- Chlorophytum derives from the Greek words chloros meaning yellow-green, and phyton meaning plant. The specific epithet comosum refers to the leaves, from the Greek word kome, a tuft of hairs, relating to the leaves arranges in a rosette. (5)

Chlorophytum comosum is tufted grass-like perennial herb growing to a height of 60 centimeters. Leaves are narrow-linear, blunt at the tip, up to 2 cm wide, recurved, glossy, solid green. The variegated form may be pale green with white longitudinal stripes. Flowering racemes are long, pendulous.
Flowers are white, up to 20 centimeters. Fruit is a 3-angled capsule with 3 to 5 black, flat and shiny seeds.

- Recently introduced to the Philippines.
- Suited for use as ground-cover.
- Propagated by division of rhizomes and from plantlets.

- Native to South Africa, where it is effective in steep embankments to combat soil erosion. (5)

• Study isolated three new spirostanol pentaglycosides and four known saponins.
• Major phytochemicals from the plants are steroidal saponins, proteins and carbohydrates.
• Root tubers have yielded three sapogenins (gitogenin, hecogenin and tigogenin) and saponins (gitonin and desgalactotigonin). (6)
• Nutrition analysis showed the ash value at 10.38% , fat 2%, protein 4.6%, phytic acid 4.7 mg/g, phenolic compounds 1.4 mg/g, fat value 2%, iron 1.89 mg/g, zinc 0.76 mg/g, sodium 4 mg/g, potassium 4.3 mg/g. (12)

• Studies have suggest antitumor, antiproliferative, indoor air-purifying, phytoremediative, burn wound healing properties.

Parts utilized

• Roots are reportedly edible.
• No reported folkloric use in the Philippines.
• In Chinese traditional medicine, used for treating bronchitis, fractures and burns.
• In Africa, used by the Nguni to protect pregnant mothers. It is used as an indoor plant, as a charm to protect the mother and child. Roots are dipped in a water bowl and drunk by mothers daily to protect the infant. Infusion is given to young babies as purgative. (5)

Steroidal Saponins / Antitumor-Promoter Activity: Study isolated three new spirostanol pentaglycosides and four known saponins. The saponins were examined for inhibitory activity on tumor promoter-induced phospholipid metabolism of HeLa cells. (1)
Antiproliferative: The antiproliferative effects of a n-butanol extract from C comosum was tested in vitro against four human cell lines. Results showed the extract to have antiproliferative effects and apoptosis in human cell lines. (2) Plant extracts have exhibited potential antiproliferative effect against HeLa (human cervical adenocarcinoma), CCRF-HSB-2 (human T-cell leukemia), HL-60 (human promyelocytic leukemia) and U037 (human monocytic tumor) cell lines. (6)
Indoor Air Purifier: According to a NASA study, spider plants absorb 96 percent of carbon monoxide in a controlled environment within a 24-hour period, making it one of the most effective air purifier in its research. (3)
• Hepatoprotective / Enzymatic Hydrolyzate: Study evaluated the influence of enzymatic hydrolyzate of C. comosum on experimental toxic liver damage induced by CCl4 in rats. Results showed the enzymatic hydrolyzate exhibited significant hepatoprotective properties by reduction of the inflammatory process and positive effect on liver regeneration as evidenced by differences in the mitotic, necrotic, apoptotic index and proliferation rate. Liver of treated rats showed a higher level of adaptation and regenerative capacity. (7)
• Phytoremediation of Particulate Matter from Indoor Air: Study evaluated the ability of spider plants to take up particulate matter (PM), one of the harmful pollutants to man, in the indoor air five rooms of varied activities. Spider plants accumulated PM of both categories (water washable and trapped in waxes) and in all three size fractions. The amount of PM accumulate on aluminum plates was always significantly lower than that accumulated on plant leaves, suggesting more than simple gravity was at work in PM accumulation in leaf blades. (8)
• Influence on Intestinal Microflora / Leaves: Study evaluated the effect of C. comosum extract of leaves on some of the main representatives of intestine microflora of rats. Feeding of the hydroalcohoic extract of leaves showed no effect on the number of representatives of Bifidobacterium spp. Lactobacillus spp. during free reception or with induced dysbiosis. However it promoted moderate stimulation of E. coli with normal enzymatic activity and reduction of Candida spp. Results suggest the CC extracts has potential in cases of dysbacteriosis associated with lack of E. coli, as well as for reduction of high number of Candida spp. (10)
• Burn Wound Healing / Roots: Study evaluated the effectiveness of spider plant root extract in treating third degree kin burns and compared it with Silver sulfadiazine. Based on measured parameters, spider plant root ointment and silver sulfadiazine showed no significant difference. E. coli and P. aeruginosa both showed partial sensitivity. Spider plant root showed epithelialization and granulation on the 9th and tissue fibrosis on the 13th day. The prepared spider plant root ointment showed potential as new treatment for skin burns. (11)


Updated Nov 2018
March 2010

Photos © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Photograph / Flowers: Chlorophytum comosum / click on image to go to source page / © SANBI: South African National Biodiversity Institute book

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Steroidal saponins from the underground parts of Chlorophytum comosum and their inhibitory activity on tumour promoter-induced phospholipids metabolism of hela cells / Yoshihiro Mimaki et al /
Phytochemistry, Vol 41, Issue 5, March 1996, Pages 1405-1410 / doi:10.1016/0031-9422(95)00789-X |
Apoptosis Induced Human Cell Lines by a Butanol Extract from Chlorophytum comosum Roots / Hirohisa Matsushita et al / Journal of Health Science, 51(3), 341-345 (2005)
The Best Plants to Purify Air / Holly L Roberts / Livestrong
Sorting Chlorophytum names / /Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / Copyright © 1995 - 2020 / A Work in Progress. School of Agriculture and Food Systems. Faculty of Land & Food Resources. The Univers ity of Melbourne. Australia.
Chlorophytum comosum / SANBI: South African National Biodiversity Institute
CHLOROPHYTUM COMOSUM (THUNBERG) JACQUES: A REVIEW / Braria Alisha, Ahmad Shoaib, Harikumar S. L. / Int. Res. J. Pharm., 2014; 5(7) / DOI: 10.7897/2230-8407.0507110
The use of enzymatic hydrolyzate of Chlorophytum comosum with experimental toxic liver damage in rats
/ Areshidze David, Timchenko Luydmila, Кozlova Maria / American Journal of Biomedical and Life Sciences, 2013; 1(1): pp 32-36 / doi: 10.11648/j.ajbls.20130101.16
Phytoremediation of particulate matter from indoor air by Chlorophytum comosum L. plants
/ H Gawronska and B Bakera / Air Qual Atmos Health, 2015; 8(3): pp 265–272 / doi:  10.1007/s11869-014-0285-4
Evaluation of Biochemical Contents, Trace Elements, Nutritive Value and HPTLC Profiling in Two Edible Food Plants Based Diets / Ali Aberoumand / Nutrition and Food Sciences Research, Jul-Sep 2014: Vol 1, No 1: pp 57-61
Influence of the Chlorophytum Comosum Leaves Hydroalcoholic Extract on Some Representatives of Intestinal Microflora of Rats / BONDAREVA N.I., TIMCHENKO L.D., DOBRYNYA Y.M., AVANESYAN S.S., PISKOV S.I., RZHEPAKOVSKY I.V., KOZLOVA M.A., ARESHIDZE D.A., LYHVAR A.V. / J. Pharm. Sci. & Res., 2017; 9(6): pp 874-877
Effectiveness of Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum var. variegatum) Ointment in Skin Burns of Albino Rats (Rattus norvegicus strain Sprague Dawley) Compared to Silver Sulfadiazine / Julius T Capili, Nasudi M Pastores / International Journal of Ecology and Conservation, 2017; 22(1)
Studies on Nutritional Values of Some Wild Edible Plants from Iran and India / Ali Aberoumand and S S Deokule / Pakistan Journal of Nutrition, 2009; 8: pp 26-31 / DOI: 10.3923/pjn.2009.26.31

It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page.

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