Dye Foldwing
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Dye Foldwing
P Native Photo: Huirem Bhabini
Common name: Dye Foldwing
Botanical name: Dicliptera tinctoria    Family: Acanthaceae (Acanthus family)
Synonyms: Peristrophe bivalvis, Justicia bivalvis, Peristrophe tinctoria

Dye Foldwing is a perennial herb up to 3 ft tall. An extract of its leaves is used as a food dye, and imparts a magenta tone to some Vietnamese foods, particularly in a taro-filled cake. Flowers are borne in cymes in leaf-axils or at branch-ends, stalked. Flower-cluster-stalk is 0.3-2.3 cm; outer involucral bracteoles broadly ovate, ovate, or elliptic, unequal in size, tip pointed; larger outer involucral bracteole 2.3-3.3 x 0.8-1.5 cm; smaller outer involucral bracteole 0.71-0.85 x as long as larger one; inner cymule bracteoles triangular-subulate, 1-2 mm. Sepal-cup is 4.5-5 mm, velvet-hairy; lobes lanceshaped. Flowers are pink, 3.5-5.7 cm, outside velvet-hairy with non-glandular trichomes; tube about 1.5 mm in diameter. Lower lip broadly ovate-elliptic, 2.2-2.6 x about 1.8 cm, tip notched; upper lip oblong, 2-2.5 x about 0.9 cm, 3-lobed. Staminal filaments are about 1.3 cm. Stems are 5- or 6-angled, much branched, grooved, velvet-hairy. Leaf-stalk is u to 3.5 cm; leaf blade ovate to lanceshaped-ovate, 3-14.5 x 1.5-5.3 cm, both surfaces finely velvet-hairy or becoming hairless, secondary veins 5 or 6 on each side of midvein, base broadly wedge-shaped to nearly rounded, margin entire to sinuate, tip tapering to pointed. Capsule is about 1.5 cm, velvet-hairy. Seeds about 1.5 x 1.5 mm. Dye Foldwing is found in NE India, China and SE Asia, at altitudes of 500-1000 m. Flowering: August-March.
Medicinal uses: The plant is used in traditional Chinese medicine. The leaves have been used in water extract decoctions for the treatment of ailments including cough, dysentery, diarrhoea and bronchitis.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Leimaram, Manipur.

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