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  Nelsonia canescens (Lam.) Spreng.
  Family Name : Acanthaceae

  Synonyms : Justicia brunelloides, Justicia canescens, Acanthus brunelloides

  Common Names : Blue Pussyleaf

Blue Pussyleaf
  • Record Info
  • Life Stage & Characteristics
    • Plant Growth Form :
      Shrub (Trailing)
      Mode of Nutrition :
      Maximum Height :
      0.4 m
  • Biogeography
    • Native Distribution :
  • Description & Ethnobotany
    • Plant Morphology :
      [Others]: Growth Form: Herbaceous perennial with trailing or erect growth habit. Habitat: Occurs in savanna grasslands. Found in shady locations near streams or between rocks that become submerged after heavy rainfall. Stems: Stems are thickly covered in soft, long hairs. Foliage: Opposite, sessile leaves are elliptic with entire leaf margin. They are deeply veined and densely covered in long, soft hairs. Flowers: White or bluish to purplish flowers are bilabiate with a small, bi-lobed upper lip and a large, tri-lobed lower lip. White flowers are uniformly white, while purple flowers have an upper lip streaked with dark purple lines. Flowers are arranged in spike inflorescences and occur between leaf-like bracts that are ovate and hairy. Fruits: Dry, dehiscent fruits are known as capsules. They are oblong and pointed at the tips. Landscaping: This species produces striking bluish flowers. It is not commonly used in landscaping, so it would provide a unique look. This species could be used as a groundcover in poorly drained areas, because it is tolerant of waterlogged soils. It is also shade tolerant, so it could be planted underneath a tree or large shrub. Cultivation: This species grows best in fertile, well-drained soil that is kept moist. However, it is tolerant of waterlogged soils. Propagation: Propagate by seed or stem cuttings. Etymology: The species epithet "canescens" refers to the leaves which are canescent (covered in white, thin hairs).
      Associated Fauna :
      Host plant of Grey pansy  Junonia atlites
      Ethnobotanical Uses :
      Food (Herb & Spice)
      [Others]: Medicine: Leaf extracts reduced inflammation and provided pain relief in a rat model study by Owoyele et al. (2005). Whole plant extracts are rich in antioxidants which are compounds that remove disease-causing free radicals from the body (Sawadogo et al. 2006). Other: Fongod et al. (2010) found that planting this species as a cover crop in banana plantations reduced the number of weeds by 60 - 100%, repelled snails and improved crop yield.
  • Landscaping Features
    • Plant & Rootzone Preference/Tolerance :
      Waterlogged Soils (Drains Site)
  • Fauna, Pollination & Dispersal
    • Associated Fauna :
      Butterfly Food Plant
  • Plant Care & Propagation
    • Light Preference :
      Full Shade
      Water Preference :
      Moderate Water
  • Foliar
    • Mature Foliage Colour(s) :
      Mature Foliage Texture(s) :
      Hairy / Hirsute
      Foliar Type :
      Simple / Unifoliate
      Foliar Arrangement Along Stem :
      Foliar Shape(s) :
      Non-Palm Foliage (Elliptical)
      Foliar Venation :
      Pinnate / Net
      Foliar Margin :
      Foliar Apex / Tip :
  • Floral (Angiosperm)
    • Flower Colour(s) :
      Blue, Purple, White
      Flower Symmetry :
      Individual Flower Shape :
      Labiate / Lipped
      Inflorescence Type :
      Flowering Habit :
  • Fruit, Seed & Spore
    • Fruit Classification :
      Simple Fruit
      Fruit Type :
      Dehiscent Dry Fruit (Capsule)
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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