The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Hen and Chickens

Afrikaans name: Hen-met-kuikens

Hen and Chickens

Hen and Chickens

Photo © Steven Herbert

Chlorophytum comosum

It has been said that the Hen and Chickens plant is the most popular house and pot plant in the world. A number of varieties have been cultivated and these are extremely popular in gardens and homes. The plant is native to Africa.

The plant gets its name by the way it spreads with plantlets developing from the parent plant. These are easily separated and grown to produce new plants. Just cut the runner from the adult plant and place it in a pot filled with potting soil. They can also be grown from seed.

The Hen and Chickens plant does not get spectacular flowers and is better known for its foliage which is usually green and white. The flowers are white and appear in inflorescences. The seeds appear in small capsules that are borne on stalks of around 1 cm in length.

Indigenous tribes make use of this plant to ensure the health of pregnant women and their babies. In a study done by NASA it was found that these plants are effective at reducing common household pollutants from the air. To totally remove these pollutants from an average American home it was determined that around 70 plants would be required.

References and further reading

The Gardener - 2018/07 - Author: - Published: 2018 - Page: 57

The Gardener - 2021/03 - Author: - Published: 2021 - Page: 4

The Gardener - 2017/05 - Author: - Published: 2017 - Page: 6

Indigenous Garden Plants of Southern Africa - Author: Glenice Ebedes - Published: 2017 - Page: 123

SA Wild Flower Guide No 2 - Outeniqua, Tsitsikamma and Eastern Little Karoo - Author: Audrey Moriarty - Published: 1982 - Page: 32

Indigenous Beginnings - Author: Anneke Kearney - Published: 2008 - Page: 79

Field Guide to Wild Flowers of South Africa - Author: John Manning - Published: 2009 - Page: 66

A Field Guide to Wild Flowers in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Region - Author: Elsa Pooley - Published: 2005 - Page: 90

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