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Acanthus ilicifolius L.

Acanthus ilicifolius L.




Acanthus volubilis Wallich.

Vernacular Names


Jeruju, jeruju puteh (Peninsular).


Sea holly.


Jeruju (Sumatra), daruju (Javanese).


Da­guari, diluariu (Tagalog), kasumba (Iloko).


Kaem mo (Penin­sular), cha kreng (Central), ngueak plaamo namn­goen (General).


[oo] r[oo], n[uw] [ows]c, l[ax]o th[uwr] c[aa]n.

Papua New Guinea

Kikia (Kavataria, Trobriand Island, Milne Bay Province).

Geographical Distributions

Acanthus ilicifolius is distributed from South India and Sri Lanka to Indo-China, Indonesia, the Philippines and northern Australia, but rather scarce in Malaysia.


Acanthus ilicifolius is a stout, erect or reclining shrub, up to 1.5 m tall, which is scarcely branched, smooth and with adventitious aerial roots.

The leaves are oblong measuring 6.5-11 cm x 4-6 cm.

The spike is up to 16.5 cm long, dense or interrupted, and with lance-shaped bracts which are 10 mm long while the bracteoles are in 2 pairs, oblong-Iance-shaped and up to 1.5 cm long. The sepal lobes are obovate-oblong and fringed with small hairs while the petal lobe is obovate, measures 3 cm x 2.5 cm and pale to bright blue. The petal tube is white.

Ecology / Cultivation

Acanthus ilicifolius is gregarious and very common along banks of the estuaries, lagoons, and in marshy land and mangroves close to the seashore. It is rarely found inland.

Line Drawing / Photograph


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    1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No.12(2): Medicinal and poisonous plants 2.

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