Leucas zeylanica (L.) R.Br. - LAMIACEAE - Dicotyledon

Basionym : Phlomis zeylanica L.

Common name : Ceylon slitwort.

Habit - © Juliana PROSPERI - CIRAD 2005 - 2006 Habit - © Juliana PROSPERI - CIRAD 2005 - 2006 Opposite leaves - © Juliana PROSPERI - CIRAD 2005 - 2006 Elliptic leaves - © Juliana PROSPERI - CIRAD 2005 - 2006 Leaf lower face clear green - © Juliana PROSPERI - CIRAD 2005 - 2006 Leaf apex - © Juliana PROSPERI - CIRAD 2005 - 2006 Leaves with glandular hairs - © Juliana PROSPERI - CIRAD 2005 - 2006 Quadrangular stem - © Juliana PROSPERI - CIRAD 2005 - 2006 Hollow stem - © Juliana PROSPERI - CIRAD 2005 - 2006 Flowers grouped in heads - © Juliana PROSPERI - CIRAD 2005 - 2006 Flower - © Juliana PROSPERI - CIRAD 2005 - 2006 Taproot - © Juliana PROSPERI - CIRAD 2005 - 2006

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Botany Biology Phenology Ecology Distribution Agricultural importance Chemical control

Botany :

Description : Terrestrial, annual, erect or sometimes tufted, aromatic herb, up to 120 cm tall. Taproot white or brown. Stem quadrangular, hollow, hairy. Stipules absent. Leaves simple, not lobed or divided, opposite, stalked, elliptic, more than 2 cm long/wide, (glandular) hairy, margin coarsely dentate, apex acute, base acute, pinnately veined. Flowers bisexual, grouped together in an axillary, sessile head, petals 5, white. Fruit a nut.

Biology :

Leucas zeylanica is reproduced by seed. It is pollinated by bees moths and flies.

Phenology :

Flowering and fruiting throughout the year.

Ecology :

L. zeylanica occurs in various habitats, a weed of sunny dry localities, often on sandy soils, paddy dams, waste places, road-sides from the lowland up to 1,000 m altitude.

Distribution :

L. zeylanica widely distributed throughout South-East Asia, but is rather rare in East Asia.

Agricultural importance :

All of Leucas species is becoming a serious weed in rice fields, sugarcane and banana plantation.

Chemical control :

The application of Paraquat at 3 l/ha.

Uses :
Used medicinally for coughs, toothaches, and abdominal pains. In Malesia, the leaves may be taken as a sedative, and to heal wounds. The entire plant is rubbed on the abdomen after child-birth. The leaves are used as an anthelminthic.
The whole herb has a bitter taste, but is still used as a pot herb.

Remarks :
Leucas belongs to the subfamily Lamioideae, and is closely related to the small genera Acrotome and Leonotis.

References :
-Lavit Kham. 2004. Medicinal plants of Cambodia.
-Soerjani M., Kostermans A. J. G. H., Tjitrosoepomo G. 1987. Weeds of rice in Indonesia. Balai Pustaka. Jakarta.
-Tavatchai Radanachaless, J.F.Maxwell. 1994. Weeds of soybean fields in Thailand. Multiple Cropping, Center Publications. Thailand.

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