Justicia gendarussa

Justicia gendarussa




Gendarussa vulgaris Nees.

Vernacular Names

Malaysia Gandarusa, temenggong melela, urat sugi (Peninsular).
Indonesia Gandarusa (General), besi-besi (Aceh), kawo (Seram).
Philippines Kapanitulot (Tagalog), bunlao(Bisaya), tagpayan (Iloko).
Thailand Chiang phraa man (Central), pong dam (Trat), kraduuk kaidam (Northern).
Vietnam t[aaf]n c[uwr]u, thu[oos]c tr[awj]c, t[aaf]n giao.

Geographical Distributions

This plant is well distributed in Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Indo-China, China, Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Java, the Moluccas and the Philippines; possibly a native of China, but now much cultivated and naturalised.


This is a shrub up to 150 cm tall. The stems are cylindrical and usually the young twigs are dark purple.

The leaves are linear-lance-shaped size 5-20 cm x 1-3.5 cm, with up to 1 cm long stalk.

The inflorescence is a spike with lance-shaped bracts and about 4 mm long. The flowers are 1.5-2 cm long, white with purplish streaks and with spots on the inside.

The fruit is club-shaped to ellipsoid, about 1.3 cm long and smooth.

Ecology / Cultivation

J. gendarussa is cultivated, and naturalised in forest, forest borders and on river banks in Java, up to 1500 m altitude. In the Philippines, it often grows along streams in primary and secondary forest.

Line Drawing / Photograph


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