Callicarpa formosana (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Callicarpa formosana Rolfe

Protologue: Journ. Bot. 20: 358 (1882).


  • Callicarpa blancoi auct. non Rolfe.

Vernacular names

  • Philippines: palis (Tagalog), tigau (Bisaya, Bikol, Tagalog), anuyup (Ibanag, Iloko)
  • Vietnam: nàng nàng dài loan.


From southern China, Japan, Taiwan and Vietnam to the Philippines.


In the Philippines, the leaves are locally used to relieve difficulty in breathing. They are rolled into cigarettes which are considered to have a sedative effect on asthma. Fresh and crushed the leaves are also used to stupefy fish, shrimp and eels. In Taiwan, crushed flower and leaf buds are applied as a styptic to wounds. The root is employed as remedy for gonorrhoea and as an emmenagogue, the whole plant to treat hepatitis.


  • A deciduous or evergreen shrub up to 4 m tall, stem and branches densely clothed with brownish or greyish tomentum of stellate or dendriform hairs.
  • Leaves variable, elliptical, ovate to rhomboid, 7-18 cm × 3-11 cm, base cuneate, obtuse or rounded, apex acute to acuminate, margin serrulate to dentate, sparsely glandular, and loosely to subdensely pubescent with stellate and dendriform hairs above, densely glandular, and densely tomentose beneath with stellate hairs, petiole 1-2 cm long, densely dendriform hairy.
  • Cyme tomentose, primary peduncle as long as the petiole, 1-2 cm long.
  • Flowers subsessile, calyx shallowly 4-toothed, about 1 mm long, glandular and densely stellate hairy outside, corolla purplish pink or rarely white, tube 2 mm long, lobes obtuse to rounded, stamens exserted, ovary globose, glabrous or with a few hairs at the top, glandular all over, style exserted.
  • Drupe globose to ellipsoid up to 4 mm in diameter, glabrous, glandular, purple.

C. formosana is found in thickets, roadsides and secondary forest from sea-level up to 2300 m altitude.

Selected sources

  • [188] Chen, T.T., Chaw, S.M. & Yang, Y.P., 1998. A revision of Callicarpa (Verbenaceae) of Taiwan. Taiwania 43(4): 330—345.
  • [190] Chen, Z.S., Lai, J.S. & Kuo, Y.H., 1990. Studies on the constituents of the stem of Callicarpa formosana Rolfe. Chinese Pharmaceutical Journal 42(5): 397—402.
  • [380] Gutierrez, H.G., 1980—1982. An illustrated manual of Philippine materia medica. 2 volumes. Natural Research Council of the Philippines, Tagig, Metro Manila, the Philippines. Vol. 1 (1980) pp. 1—234, Vol. 2 (1982) pp. 235—485.
  • [786] Perry, L.M., 1980. Medicinal plants of East and Southeast Asia. Attributed properties and uses. MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States & London, United Kingdom. 620 pp.
  • [810] Quisumbing, E., 1978. Medicinal plants of the Philippines. Katha Publishing Co., Quezon City, the Philippines. 1262 pp.

Main genus page


  • J.L.C.H. van Valkenburg & N. Bunyapraphatsara