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Rhinacantus nasutus (L.) Kurz

Rhinacantus nasutus (L.) Kurz

Family

Acanthaceae

Synonyms

Rhinacanthus communis Nees.

Vernacular Names

Indonesia

Daun burung (Malay, Ambon), tarebak (Sundanese), tereba jepang (Malay, Jakarta).

Philippines

Parajito (Spanish), ibon-ibonan, tagak-tagak (Tagalog).

Myanmar

Anitia.

Laos

Thong kan2sang.

Thailand

Thong khan chang, thong phan chang, yaa man kai (Central).

Vietnam

B[aj]ch h[aj]c, ki[ees]n c[of].

Geographical Distributions

Rhinacantus nasu­tus is probably native to Sri Lanka, India, Indo-­China and southern China, but has been intro­duced long ago in Madagascar, tropical East Africa, Thailand and the Malaysian region (Penin­sular Malaysia, Java, the Moluccas, the Philippines) where it is now widely naturalised and often common.

Description

Rhinacantus nasu­tus is an erect, branched shrub which can grow up to 2(-3) m tall. The stems are obtusely quadrangular and puberulent when young.

The leaves are arranged opposite, simple, ovate to lance-shaped or elliptical, measuring 3-10 cm x 1-5 cm, acute to attenuate at base, with entire margin, acute at apex and puberulent. The petiole is 0.5-2 cm long while stipules are absent.

The inflorescence is axillary and peduncled. The lax cymes are often combined into a leafy and terminal pani­cle and densely appressed pubescent. The flowers are sub­sessile. The sepal is 5-6 mm long and with 5 narrow lobes which are short­ly connate at the base. The petal is 2-lipped, with narrowly cylindrical tube and green. The upper lip is with 2 teeth, measuring 8-10 mm x 2-3 mm and white while the lower lip is with 3 large lobes where the central one measures 10-14 mm x 9-13 mm, and white with red markings at the base. It has 2 stamens that are in­serted near the petal tube apex. The anther cells are in­serted at unequal level. Disk is present. The ovary is supe­rior, 2-locular with 2 ovules in each cell, with 1 style and with a 2-fid stigma.

The fruit is club-shaped, loculicidal, with hairy capsule, measures 17-25 mm long and with sterile basal part.

The seeds are held up on well-developed hooks (retinacula), orbicular, flat and hairy.

Ecology / Cultivation

Rhinacantus nasu­tus is found in thickets, hedges and waste places up to 750 m altitude. It thrives best on moist, well-drained soils, but it is also found in much drier habitats such as rock crevices.

Line Drawing / Photograph

BOT00405

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  1) Safety

References

  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No.12(1): Medicinal and poisonous plants 1.

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