Trichodesma indicum (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Trichodesma indicum (L.) J.E. Smith

Protologue: Rees, Cyclop. 36, 1: No 1 (1817).


Borago indica L. (1753).

Vernacular names

  • Thailand: phak phaeo (Lamphun), phak phaeo khaao (Kanchanaburi).


The Mascarene Islands, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Burma (Myanmar), Thailand and the Philippines (Luzon); introduced in eastern Africa.


In the Philippines the flowers are used as a sudorific and pectoral, as a substitute for Borago officinalis . In Thailand roots are used to treat cough and indigestion. In India the leaves and roots are esteemed as a remedy for snakebites, leucorrhoea and cough, and are also considered diuretic. T. indicum is prescribed in Ayurvedic medicine for the expulsion of a dead foetus. An infusion of the leaves is considered depurative. The leaves are used as an emollient poultice, and a paste made from the root is applied to swellings. The root is used to treat dysentery and fever.


An annual herb up to 40 cm tall, much-branched; leaves oblong-lanceolate, lower leaves 5-8 cm × 0.8-2.2 cm, base narrow, upper leaves 2-4.5 cm × 0.3-1.2 cm, base broadly rounded to semi-amplexicaul; flowers with calyx c. 1 cm long, accrescent to 1.3 cm in fruit, cleft to the base into narrowly triangular lobes, sagittate at base, corolla funnel-shaped, lilac, tube c. 5 mm long, limb 1.3-1.5 cm in diameter; pyrenes oblong-ovoid, 5 mm × 2-3 mm, smooth, whitish. In the Philippines T. indicum occurs as a weed in fields, especially of groundnut at low elevations.

Selected sources

181, 247, 322, 731, 760.

Main genus page


N.O. Aguilar