Lindernia crustacea (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Lindernia crustacea (L.) F. Muell.

Protologue: Syst. Census Austral. pl. 1: 97 (1882).


Lindernia gracilis (Bonati) Bonati (1927), Vandellia crustacea (L.) Benth. (1935).

Vernacular names

  • Brunei: kerak nasi
  • Indonesia: daun sirik betok (Jakarta), jukut mata keuyeup (Sundanese), brobos kebo (Javanese)
  • Malaysia: akar kerak nasi, akar kelurut, rumput jari chechak
  • Cambodia: (smau) chiëk to:k
  • Thailand: yaa kaaphoi tua mia (peninsular), to ti ke kang (central)
  • Vietnam: mẫu thảo, dây lưởi dồng.


Throughout West Africa and Asia, including South-East Asia, Japan, northern Australia, Micronesia and Polynesia. It has recently been recorded from Texas (United States).


In Peninsular Malaysia, a decoction of the leaves, or leaves of other Lindernia species, is given as a medicine after childbirth. In the Moluccas, it is applied to boils and itches, herpes-like sores, and to sores caused by forest ticks. In Indo-China, the plant is considered to have emetic and cathartic properties, and has given good results in treating bilious disorders, dysentery, amenorrhoea, and hepatitis. It is one of the commonest plants in Chinese pharmacies in Indonesia and Malaysia. In Brunei, the powdered herb mixed with rice water is drunk to relieve diarrhoea, vomiting and cholera.


A small, diffusely branched, annual to short-living perennial herb, 5-–20 cm tall, stems sharply quadrangular to narrowly-winged, green to purple, pubescent on angles and nodes; leaves ovate, 8–-20 mm long, base cordate, margins subentire to serrate, sparingly hairy, petiole 1–-18 mm long; flowers axillary and solitary, unilateral or opposite, pedicel 8-–20 mm long; corolla 9-–12 mm long, tube subcylindrical, dark purple, base pale, upper lip erect, ovate, purple, apex emarginate, pale, lower lip broad, 3-lobed, white or pale purple, yellow spot at base, stamens 4, spurs purple; capsule oblong-ovoid to ellipsoid, 5-6 mm long, as long as the calyx; seed ellipsoid, 0.4 mm long, both ends obtuse, tuberculate, pale brown. L. crustacea occurs in moist, open grassy localities, rice fields, sugar-cane fields, river beds, ditches and disturbed soils, from sea-level up to 1500(-3000) m altitude.

Selected sources

  • Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, 1948-1976. The wealth of India: a dictionary of Indian raw materials & industrial products. 11 volumes. Publications and Information Directorate, New Delhi, India.407, 786.


Isa Ipor