Barleria cristata (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Barleria cristata L.

Protologue: Sp. pl. 2: 636 (1753).


Barleria dichotoma Roxb. (1832).

Vernacular names

  • Bluebell, Philippine violet (En)
  • Thailand: kaan chang, luem thao yai (northern), thong ra-aa (central)
  • Vietnam: hoa chông.


Distributed from the Himalayas through India, eastwards to China, and also in the Philippines and northern Australia.


The bitter juice of the leaves or roots is used as a diaphoretic and expectorant for serious catarrhal infections. An infusion of the roots and leaves is applied to boils and sores to reduce swellings.


An erect, branched shrub, up to 1.5 m tall, unarmed, with appressed hairy twigs; leaves lanceolate to elliptical-oblong, 1-12 cm long, base attenuate, apex pointed, hairy, petiole 1-2 cm long; flowers 1-3 in each axil, bracts absent or lanceolate, 8-12 mm long, bristly on margins, bracteoles absent, calyx lobes acuminate, corolla tube 3.5 cm long, outside glandular, lobes 5, unequal, white, pink or purple, fertile stamens 4, filaments hairy; capsule ellipsoid, 2 cm long, 4-seeded. B. cristata occurs in waste places and along roadsides, and is sometimes weedy.

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.

250, 407, 725, 810, 968.


N.O. Aguilar