Bushy Lippia
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Bushy Lippia
P Naturalized Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Bushy Lippia, Bushy mat grass
Botanical name: Lippia alba    Family: Verbenaceae (Verbena family)
Synonyms: Lantana alba, Lantana cuneatifolia, Lippia obovata

Bushy Lippia is a straggling shrub about 4-6 ft tall, with a close resemblance to Lantana. Young branches are velvet-hairy, hairless when mature, branches 4-angular, furrowed, round at nodes. Leaves are decussate-opposite, lanceshaped-oblong 3-10 x 1.5-3.5 cm across, base narrowed to pointed, margin sawtoothed, tip pointed, chartaceous, sparsely velvet-hairy above, silvery velvet-hairy beneath, lateral veins 5-9 on either side of the midvein, more prominent beneath. Leaf-stalk are velvet-hairy, slender, about 1 cm long, exstipulate. Flowers are borne in leaf-axils, in a solitary spike or cylindric head, flower-cluster-stalk hairy, round, about 0.5-2.5 cm long. Flowers are stalkless, aromatic, calyx cup-shaped, 2 lobed bracts lanceshaped, base fused, forming a circular cup, tip 2 toothed, hairy, velvet-hairy. Flower hypocrateriform, bluish purple, 4 lobed, upper 2 lobes notchedd, lower 2 lobes deflexed, Flower tube narrow, cylindric, tip ampliate 5 x 1 mm, Stamens are 4, didynamous, filaments hairless, slender, anthers ovoid or spherical, stigma oblong, Fruit is a drupe, pear-shaped, about 2 x 1.5 mm hard, bony, separating into 2-seeded pyrenes. Bushy Lippia is native of South America, naturalized in parts of India.
Medicinal uses: A tea made from the leaves is a favourite domestic remedy in Central America for both intestinal and respiratory disturbances, including influenza. A well-sugared infusion is drunk to bring relief of heart problems and to soothe tachycardia. Used externally, the aromatic leaves are used in herbal baths, to cure fevers and severe stomach pain, and to cleanse the bladder[.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Shillong, Meghalaya.

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