Afghanii Boottii
Plantae Afghanicae


Thanks to the State Botanical Museum of Lausanne we had the chance of studying and publishing certain basic materials on Afghan Flora.
The book, pamphlets and articles are available at the State Botanical Museum of Lausanne or through Afghanii Boottii (see contact form).

  • Alam M., 2011. Trees and Shrubs of Afghanistan. A Dendrological Guide. Musée botanique cantonal Lausanne, Rossolis ed. 530 p. (in English)

  • Alam M., 2003. Bref aperçu de la bibliographie botanique afghane, permière étape d’un guide dendrologique et sylvicole. 18 p. (in French)

  • Alam M., 2004. Trees, Shrubs and some Sub-Shrubs of Afghanistan. 50 p. (in English)

  • Alam M., 2009. Plant Collectors in Afghanistan. 39 p. (in English)

  • Alam M., & Philippe Sauvain, 2010. De Herbarium Land Larshowd “Short Guide of Herbarium” 18 p. (in Pashto)

  • Alam M., 2011. Roots of botanical name and their English, Pashto and Dari equivalents. 93 p. (in English)

  • Moret J.-L., M. Alam and J.-Ph. Guignard, 2013. Some Common Trees and Shrubs of Afghanistan. 49 p. (in Pashto)

  • Alam M., 2012. Afghan Plants in Flora Iranica. (in English), Unpublished.

  • Alam M. & J.-L. Moret, 2005. La pistache et le pistachier. 16 p. (in French).

  • Alam M. & J.-L. Moret, 2005. Grenade et grenadier. 16 p. (in French).

  • Alam M. & J.-L. Moret, 2006. Le mûrier, 16 p. (in French).

  • Alam M. & J.-L. Moret, 2009. La figue et le figuier. 20 p. (in French).

    Trees and Shrubs of Aghanistan

    Alam M., 2011. Trees and Shrubs of Afghanistan. A Dendrological Guide. Musée botanique cantonal Lausanne, Rossolis ed. 530 p. (in English).

    This book has been published thanks to the State Botanical Museum of Lausanne (Switzerland). The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, UNEP and the Association of the Friends of the State Botanical Museum of Lausanne have made possible the donation of 1000 exemplars of the book among Afghan institutions in 2014.

    Short guide of Herbarium


    Cover page of the Short Guide of Herbarium in Pashto


    A sample page from the Short Guide of Herbarium

    Roots of Botanical Names and their English, Pashto and Dari Equivalents


    Cover of the dictionary


    A sample page from the mentioned Dictionary

    Some Common Trees and Shrubs of Afghanistan


    This pamphlet contains about 20 trees.

    Sample pages of the mentioned pamphlet.

    Plants of Traditional Medicine in Afghanistan

    We are presently working on the book Plants of Traditional Medicine in Afghanistan.

    Herbal medicine is part of Afghan culture and has been practiced by traditional herbalist called Hakim (philosopher/physician), Tabib (physician) and Muallej (practitioner). They are considered to be Yunani Doctors. These herbalists have their shops in the cities and they are from different ethnic groups (Pashtun, Tajik, Uzbek, Hindus, Sikhs … etc.). Those who only sell the herbs and mineral compound and do not practice the medicine are called Attar. In the villages mostly the old women play an important role in promotion of folk medicine.


    A shop of traditional medicine in Kabul, Mirwais Maidan, Koch-e Qala-e Wahed
    Photo : M. Alam 2013

This book is the result of library research and personal discussion with some Afghan herbalists in Kabul.

The book is presented in two parts :
Part I: Afghan plants
Part II: Imported plants
The book contains about 85 families, 270 genera and their relative species. In most cases the species are accompanied by the herbarium specimens or their photos. It is completed by a bibliography and a detailed index.



Peganum L.
Erect, pubescent or glabrous, perennial herbs. Leaves alternate, multifid ... .

Peganum harmala L.
Vernacular name:
spelanai, ispand, isfand, harmal (Hindi)
__ __ var. harmala
Afghanistan: Mazar-i-Sharif, inter Haibak and Tashqurghan, Podlech; Mazar-i-Sharif, Hewer; ...
__ __ var. stenophyllum Boiss.
Afghanistan: Andkhoi, Neub.; Bala Murghab, Jakes; Herat, Chin Kilak, Aitch. ...
__ __ var. grandiflorum Hadidi var. nov.
Afghanistan: NW Farah Rud, Amin, Kabul, Koelz; Sarobi, Neub.; ...
Medical use: haemostatic, given in colic and fever as vermifuge, anthelmintic, alterative, antispasmodic, hypnotic, given in asthma, hiccough, hysteria, rheumatism, impaction of calculus in ureter, gallstone, jaundice, dysmenorrhoea, neuralgia, intermittent fever, against sight weakness, for retention of urine, …
Part used: SE (seeds)

Publications_Peganum_harmala            Publications_Peganum_harm_seed
Peganum harmala
L.                                            Seeds of Peganum harmala L.
Kabul, near Company, Khwajajam Graveyard.
Photos: M. Alam, July 2014



Terminalia L.

Terminalia bellirica (Gaertn.) Roxb. Myrobalanus bellirica Gaertn., Terminalia bellerica var. laurinoides Clarke, Terminalia punctata Roth
Vernacular name: balila, balilaj, balera (Hindi)
A large deciduous tree, 12-50 m tall with ashy bark, often with a bluish tinge. Leaves alternate or fascicled at the end of branches, elliptic or ...
Medical use: fruit laxative, bitter astringent, tonic, antipyretic, given in piles, dropsy, diarrhoea, dyapepsia, headache, extract in leprosy, kernel narcotic, eaten as masticatory (AGARWAL, 1986).
Part used: FR (fruit)

Terminalia chebula Retzius, Myrobalanus chebula Gaertn., Myrobalanus gangetica Kostel., Terminalia gangetica Roxb., Terminalia reticulata Roth
Vernacular name: tora halila (Pashto), halila-e siah (Dari) - the young unripe nuts. halila-e zard, halila-e kabuli (Dari), ghata halila (Pashto), harra (Hindi) – mature nuts.
A medium size to large tree, up to 25-30 m tall with many spreading branches with pale greenish, grey and smooth bark. …
Medical use: dried fruit astringent, analgesic, laxative, alterative, applied on chronic ulcer, as gargle in stomatitis, as dentifrice, in toothache, bleeding gum, bark diuretic, fruit extract as wash in watering eyes, in asthma, fruit paste in burns, gum as adhesive, edible, tonic, given in colitis (AGARWAL, 1986).
Part used: FR (Fruit), G (gum).

Terminalia sp. in bazaar of Kabul.
Photo : M. Alam, May 2014