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Grangea maderaspatana (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Grangea maderaspatana (L.) Poir.

Protologue: Lamk, Encycl., Suppl. 2, 2: 825 (1812).
Family: Compositae
Chromosome number: 2n= 18


Artemisia maderaspatana L. (1753).

Vernacular names

  • Indonesia: kembang paku konde, serawan hutan
  • Philippines: pakopatoli-alog (Ilokano)
  • Thailand: pha-yaa mutti (central), yaa chaam luang (northern)
  • Vietnam: cải dồng, cúc dại, rau cóc.

Origin and geographic distribution

G. maderaspatana is found from Africa and Madagascar to tropical Asia; it occurs throughout South-East Asia.


In the Philippines an infusion of G. maderaspatana leaves is employed as a stomachic and antispasmodic. In Indo-China the leaves are used as a stomachic and in antiseptic fomentations. A leaf decoction is given as a post-partum tonic, to soothe coughing and to treat irregular menses. In India the plant is considered a valuable stomachic, with deobstruant and antispasmodic properties. An infusion is used as a remedy for irregular menses and hysteria. The leaves are sometimes employed as an antiseptic or anodyne fomentation. In West Africa G. maderaspatana is taken as a stomachic.


The aboveground parts of G. maderaspatana contain numerous labdane and clerodane type diterpenoids. In addition, steroidal compounds, hardwickiic acid and derivatives, acetylenic compounds, auranamide, grangolide and eudesmanolides have been isolated. A crude chloroform extract of G. maderaspatana exhibits strong cytotoxic activity. A mixture of flavonoids, extracted from dried aerial parts of G. maderaspatana possessed oestrogenic and anti-implantation activities in various mouse models.

The methanol extract of whole G. maderaspatana plants showed a dosedependent analgesic activity. At doses of 1 g/kg and 3 g/kg, the extract significantly inhibited acetic acidinduced writhing in mice by 50% and 80%, respectively.


A prostrate-ascending to erect annual herb up to 55 cm tall, branched from the base, with a taproot. Leaves alternate, oblong-obovate in outline, 2-10 cm × 1-6 cm, pinnatilobed, with 3-4 pairs of coarsely dentate, opposite lobes, thinly patently hairy on both sides, sessile. Inflorescence a terminal, truncate-globose head 6-10 mm in diameter, solitary or 2-3 together, yellow, many-flowered; peduncle 1-4 cm long; involucral bracts 2-3-seriate, outer ones oblong, acute, inner ones elliptical. Flowers all tubular, c. 1.5 mm long; marginal flowers female, with narrowly tubular corolla, shortly lobed; disk flowers bisexual, with cylindrical corolla, 4-5 lobed; stamens 5, loosely cohering; ovary inferior, 1-celled, style with 2 short acute arms. Fruit a turbinate, compressed, truncate achene c. 2 mm long, glabrous, sparingly glandular; pappus consisting of a ciliate cup. Seedling with epigeal germination; hypocotyl 2-2.5 mm long; cotyledons subsessile, elliptical to widely elliptical; epicotyl absent.

G. maderaspatana can be found flowering and fruiting throughout the year. The fruits are dispersed by water and ants.

Grangea comprises 10 species, and is confined to the Old World tropics.


G. maderaspatana occurs on river banks, in desiccated pools, rainfed rice fields, waste places and teak forests, preferring heavy soils but also common in sandy locations. It is often gregarious, up to 800 m altitude.

Genetic resources

G. maderaspatana is widespread and commonly encountered in disturbed habitats, and is not threatened by genetic erosion.


The traditional use of G. maderaspatana as an analgesic is supported by the observed antinociceptive effect in animal tests. However, in view of the present day limited use and the numerous alternatives available, G. maderaspatana is not likely to rise above the level of limited local importance.


17, 409, 508, 732, 794, 879.

Other selected sources

62, 112, 120, 181.

Main genus page


J.L.C.H. van Valkenburg