Do Urban Households Prefer Medicinal Plants for Landscaping? A Case Study in Kurunegala Municipal Area
De Silva, K. J. B. and Yakandawala, K.
Sri Lankans use medicinal plants for curative and therapeutic values and in other social, cultural and religious activities. However, there is a potential of using medicinal plants in landscaping to provide aesthetic and other benefits. Therefore, the present study was conducted with the objective of assessing the preference of selected home garden owners on selected medicinal plants in view of introducing these plants for landscaping. For this, a survey was conducted in Kurunegala Municipal limits using a pretested questionnaire. Friedman and Mann-Whitney tests were carried out to analyze preferences. Results revealed a high preference towards medicinal plants by households and among the species studied, Komarika, Vishnukranthi and Thebu received a significant preference. Komarika and Vishnukranthi can be used as a ground cover while Thebu can be used as a specimen plant or can be introduced into borders. Therefore, this study stresses the importance of popularizing medicinal plants in home garden landscaping as it will give an aesthetic value in addition to medicinal and other benefits.
KEYWORDS: Landscaping, Medicinal plant, Urban households