Achyranthes bidentata (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
Introduction
List of species


Achyranthes bidentata Blume


Protologue: Bijdr. 545 (1825).

Synonyms

Achyranthes javanica Moq. (1849), Achyranthes mollicula Nakai (1920).


Vernacular names

  • Chaff flower (En). Genou de buffle (Fr)
  • Papua New Guinea: denogil, kul (Simbu Province)
  • Thailand: khuai nguu noi, phan nguu noi (northern)
  • Vietnam: ngưu tất.

Distribution

Throughout tropical Africa and Asia, in Malesia occurring in Sumatra, Java, Lombok, the Philippines, Sulawesi, the Moluccas and New Guinea. It is cultivated in China and Vietnam.

Uses

In Malaysia, the leaves are chewed against malignant ulcers in the mouth. In Java, the plant is used as a vermifuge for horses. In Papua New Guinea, the heated young leaves are eaten with salt to relieve abdominal pains and to destroy hook worms and other intestinal parasites. In China and Vietnam, the root is commonly prescribed as a diuretic and emmenagogue, in rheumatism, to facilitate delivery, and for vaginal discharges.

Observations

A perennial herb, 40-170 cm tall, stem quadrangular, furrowed, rather flaccid, thinly to densely pubescent, often purple in upper part; leaves elliptical-oblong, lanceolate or ovate, 5-20 cm × 2-8 cm, base attenuate, apex mostly long acuminate, sparsely to densely velvety tomentose on both sides, petiole 0.5-3.5 cm long; spike terminal and axillary in the upper leaf axils, 4-45 cm long, including 1-15 cm long peduncle, more or less whitish-tomentose, bract ovate-oblong, 3-3.5 mm long, apex acuminate, not pungent, margin ciliate, bractoles spinescent, as long as perianth, 3.5-5.5 mm long, apex often recurved, basal wing inserted on lower part of spine; tepals membranaceous, veins absent, acute, 4.5-7 mm long, not pungent in fruit, pseudo-staminodes truncate, dentate; utricle oblong, 2-2.5 mm long. A. bidentata occurs often in forests and well-shaded localities, and along footpaths or streams, under per-humid conditions, in Java from 350-2500 m altitude.

Selected sources

  • Burkill, I.H., 1966. A dictionary of the economic products of the Malay Peninsula. Revised reprint. 2 volumes. Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Vol. 1 (A-H) pp. 1-1240, Vol. 2 (I-Z) pp. 1241-2444.

177, 191,

  • 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.262, 264, 310, 605, 608, 732, 739, 788, 808, 1003.

Authors

J. Raymakers & G.H. Schmelzer