Leonurus sibiricus

Leonurus sibiricus




Leonurus japonicus Houtt., Leonurus heterophyllus Sweet., Leonurus artemisia (Lour) S.Y.Hu

Vernacular Names

Malaysia Seranting, tebungaga (Peninsular), kacangma (Sarawak).
English Lion’s tail, Siberian motherwort.
Indonesia Ginjean (Javanese), dendereman (Sundanese), si saratan (Sumatra).
Philippines Kamariang-sungsong (Tagalog).
Thailand Khanchaa thet (south-western), saa saa, saa nam (north-eastern).
Vietnam [is]ch m[aax]u, sung [us]y, ch[os]i d[ef]n.
French Agripaume, gros tombe.

Geographical Distributions

L. sibiricus is native to temperate Asia, Siberia, China, Korea, and is found from Japan to India and the Mascarenes. It now has a pantropical and temperate distribution. In Malesia, it is distributed from Peninsular Malaysia to Sumatra, Java, Borneo, Bali, Sulawesi, Timor and the Moluccas, and also in the Philippines.


It is a branched annual or biennial herb can grow up to a height of 0.5-1.5 m . Its stem is 4-angled, furrowed, hairy or glabrescent and with an unpleasant smell.

The leaves are decussate in arrangement. The lower leaves are egg-shaped or equilateral triangle in outline,  sized between 5-7 cm x 3-4.5 cm. The leaves form is palmately-pinnately partite or dissected, with linear incised segments. The upper leaves are papery, glabrescent above, waxy bluish-green and hairy on the veins beneath. The stalk of lower leaves is between 2-4 cm long but the upper leaves without a stalk.

Inflorescence composed of verticillasters with numerous axillary, bisexual, irregular, sessile flowers. Bracts are awl-shaped or spinescent that are about 4-10 mm long. Its sepal is turbinate-campanulate. It is between 4-5 mm long while its  fruit is 6-7 mm long. There are 10-veined and 5-toothed and almost equal, almost hairless to sparingly hairy to spinous. Its petal are 2-lipped  and 10-11(-20) mm long. The tube is slightly shorter than the sepal, when young with an oblique ring of hairs inside. The upper lip is entire, obovate, erect, convex, hairy outside while the lower lip is 3-lobed, mid-lobe very large, obcordate, hairy, white and pinkish or red. There are 4 stamens in 2 pairs. The filaments are thinly hairy, ascending under the upper lip.

Its fruit consisting of 4 dry 1-seeded schizocarpous nutlets enclosed in the persistent sepal. Its nutlets are ellipsoid in 2 mm long. It is truncate at the apex, smooth, and brown.

The seedling is with epigeal germination.

Ecology / Cultivation

L. sibiricus is locally common in waste places, along river banks, railway embankments, and also as a weed in arable land. It is sometimes cultivated as an ornamental or for medicinal purposes and also occurs escaped, under both humid and semi-humid climatic conditions, from 0-2000 m altitude. L. sibiricus flowers throughout the year.

Line Drawing / Photograph


Read More

  1)  Safety


  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No 12(2). 1998, Unesco.