Fagonia is a genus of wild, flowering plants in the caltrop family, Zygophyllaceae, having roughly 34, distinct species. Species occurring in the US are commonly referred to as fagonbushes. Fagonia ssp. distribution includes parts of Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Mid-East, India, and parts of the Americas. Fagonia species have been used ethnobotanically by traditional practitioners under Ayurvedic and other healing regimes for many maladies. Species occur in deserts, dry washes, ditches and on rocky outcrops, including at altitude. The literature cites various species having anti-febril, antiseptic, anti-cancer, anti-ischemic stroke, anti-diabetic, anti-venom, etc., properties.
Fagonia laevis is a perennial herb of the United States desert southwest. It has opposite leaves, trifoliate with spinescent stipules, a pink corolla and smooth fruits. Under cultivation, F. indica has been found to have a long taproot and to its growth slowing where temperatures dipped below 65 F.
Commercial Fagonia products available on the web should be viewed with caution by reason of there being little to no authentication as to species contained therein, based on DNA analysis. It may be that all Fagonia species contain like, medicinal compounds but that has yet (2015) to be established. 2014 research carried out by a leading university in Pakistan found that all, six, Pakistani Fagonia species, both the verified and unverified ones (Beier, 2005), were represented in commercial Fagonia products in the Islamabad marketplace. Plant systematists caution that species other than Fagonia, as well as other, unrelated material, can be present in commercial preparations.
Numerous, scientific papers cite "Fagonia cretica" as the species studied. However, due to the re-ordering of Fagonia species by Beier in 2005, researchers have found that they have actually been studying another Fagonia species, instead, most commonly, Fagonia indica.
- Fagonia albiflora
- Fagonia arabica L.
- Fagonia chilensis
- Fagonia cretica L.
- Fagonia glutinosa
- Fagonia hararensis Hadidi
- Fagonia laevis Standl. (=Fagonia californica) – California Fagonbush
- Fagonia mollis
- Fagonia orientalis
- Fagonia pachyacantha Rydb. – Sticky Fagonbush
- Fagonia paulyana
- Fagonia scabra
3. "A revision of the desert shrub Fagonia (Zygophyllaceae)", Bjorn-Axel Beier, 2005
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