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  Andrographis paniculata (Burm. f.) Wallich ex Nees
  Family Name : Acanthaceae

  Synonyms : Justicia paniculata

  Common Names : Bitterweed, King of Bitters, Creat, Chiretta, Indian Echinachea

  Chinese Name : 穿心莲, 四方蓮

Bitterweed,King of Bitters,Creat,Chiretta,Indian Echinachea
  • Record Info
    • Featured in '1001 Garden Plants in Singapore' Book (2ed) :
  • Life Stage & Characteristics
    • Plant Division :
      Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
      Lifespan (in Singapore) :
      Mode of Nutrition :
      Plant Shape :
      Maximum Height :
      0.5 m
  • Biogeography
    • Native Distribution :
      India, Sri Lanka
      Native Habitat :
      Terrestrial (Secondary Rainforest; Monsoon Forest; Coastal Forest; Disturbed Area / Open Ground)
      Preferred Climate Zone :
      Tropical, Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal
  • Description & Ethnobotany
    • Plant Morphology :
      Growth Form: Annual herb with branched growth form up to 0.5 m tall.
      Foliage: Leaves (1.5-7 cm long, 1-2.5 cm wide) are ovate-lanceolate (intermediate between egg-shaped and lance-shaped), lanceolate or narrowly elliptic (narrow oval).
      Stems: Stems are hairless and 4-sided.
      Flowers: Two-lipped, tubular flowers (0.9-1.5 cm long) are white with the lower lip having purple dots. The outer surface of the tube is covered in glandular hairs (hairs with glands at the tip). Flowers are arranged in a secund raceme (a spike-like inflorescence composed of stalked flowers that are all pointing in a single direction). The racemes are arranged in branched clusters near the stem tip known as terminal panicles.
      Fruits: Dry, dehiscent fruit is known as a capsule (1.5-2 cm long, 0.3-0.4 cm wide). It has a flattened, oval shape. Each capsule contains about 12 wrinkled seeds (2 mm long, 1.5 mm wide).
      Ethnobotanical Uses :
      Edible Plant Parts (Edible Leaves)
      Edible Plant Parts (Edible Leaves), Medicinal (Traditionally used in Asia to treat colds, sinusitis and other upper-respiratory ailments, thus also known as 'Indian Echinachea'. Regarded as 'cooling' herb in Traditonal Chinese Medicine, used as fever remedy and to eliminate heat and toxins from body. Also used as stomachache remedy. Decoction of leaves (sometimes boiled together with Orthosiphon aristatus (Cat's Whiskers) consumed in Malaysia to treat diabetes and high blood pressure. Leaf poultice applied to skin to relieve itch from insect bites and rash. Recent research shows plant has antibiotic, antifungal and antiviral properties, and may be useful in formulating treatments for cancer and HIV infection.)
  • Landscaping Features
    • Plant & Rootzone Preference/Tolerance :
      Well-Drained Soils, Saline Soils / Salt Spray, Poor Infertile Soils, Fertile Loamy Soils, Easy to Grow
      Landscape Uses :
      General, Coastal, Container Planting
      Thematic Landscaping :
      Economic Garden
      Usage Hazards / Cons :
      Toxic Upon Ingestion, [Remarks] (Plant has anti-fertility and abortive properties, may cause miscarriages if consumed in large quantities.)
  • Fauna, Pollination & Dispersal
    • Seed / Spore Dispersal :
      Abiotic (Explosive Dehiscence)
  • Plant Care & Propagation
    • Light Preference :
      Full Sun
      Water Preference :
      Moderate Water
      Plant Growth Rate :
      Propagation Method :
      Seed, Stem Cutting
  • Foliar
    • Foliage Retention :
      Mature Foliage Colour(s) :
      Mature Foliage Texture(s) :
      Glossy / Shiny, Raised / Sunken Veins, Thin
      Foliar Type :
      Simple / Unifoliate
      Foliar Arrangement Along Stem :
      Foliar Shape(s) :
      Non-Palm Foliage (Lanceolate)
      Foliar Venation :
      Pinnate / Net
      Foliar Margin :
      Foliar Apex / Tip :
      Foliar Base :
      Rounded / Obtuse
      Typical Foliar Area :
      Microphyll ( 2.25cm2 - 20.25 cm2 )
      Leaf Area Index (LAI) * for Green Plot Ratio :
      4.5 (Shrub & Groundcover - Dicot)
  • Non-Foliar & Storage
    • Stem Type & Modification :
      Root Type :
      Underground (Fibrous Root)
  • Floral (Angiosperm)
    • Flower & Plant Sexuality :
      Bisexual Flowers
      Flower Colour(s) :
      Purple, White
      Flower Size :
      Remarks (1.2 cm)
      Inflorescence Type :
      Flowering Habit :
  • Fruit, Seed & Spore
    • Mature Fruit Colour(s) [Angiosperms & Gymnosperms] :
      Fruit Classification :
      Simple Fruit
      Fruit Type :
      Dehiscent Dry Fruit (Capsule)
      Mature Seed Texture(s) :
      Ridged / Corrugated, Wrinkled
      Seed Quantity per Fruit :
      Several (11-20)
  • References
The information given on this website has been compiled from reference works on medicinal plants and/or pron only. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Reliance on this information is strictly at your own risk. You should always consult your physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.

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