Head Leucas
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Head Leucas
ative Photo: Gurcharan Singh
Common name: Head Leucas • Hindi: bishkhapru, deldona, dhurpisag, goma, goma madhupati, gomo, guma • Kannada: dronapushpi • Malayalam: tumba • Marathi: deokhumba, deokumba, kumbha, shetad, shetvad • Sanskrit: chhatraka, chhatrani, chitrak-shupa, chitrakshupa, chitrapathrika • Tamil: peruntumpai, thumbai, tumbay-keere • Telugu: pedda tummi • Urdu: do na i me tog
Botanical name: Leucas cephalotes    Family: Lamiaceae (Mint family)
Synonyms: Leucas capitata,

Head Leucas is an annual herb with stems erect, unbranched or with few branches, 10-50 cm, leafy, hairy with spreading and adpressed retrorse hairs. Leaves are narrow oblong-elliptic, cuneate, nearly entire to slightly toothed, up to 8 x 2 cm, with long and short eglandular hairs denser below. Leaf-stalk on lower leaves is nearly-absent to about 5 mm. Flowers are borne in 1-2 distant spherical dense whorls on branches, 2-3.5 cm in diameter, up to 50-flowered. Bracts are numerous, imbricate, narrow, ovate-lanceolate, acuminate, equalling calyces, ciliate on margins. Sepal cup is 1.2-1.5 cm, tubular, slightly curved, clearly nerved, with a slightly oblique mouth, distinctly hairy at throat, with eglandular and sometimes also with very short glandular hairs; teeth 10, subequal, shortly triangular, mucronulate, about 1 mm. Flowers are white, about 1.5 cm, upper lip bearded; lower lip clearly longer than upper. Nutlets are narrow oblong, bluntly trigonous, about 3 x 2 mm. Head Leucas is found in cultivated fields as a weed, especially after a period of rain. It is collected for use as a leafy vegetable in rural areas. It is found in Afghanistan, Punjab, Himalayas, from Uttarakhand to Bhutan, at altitudes of 150-2400 m. Flowering: July-October.
Medicinal uses: It is cultivated for its medicinal uses and is readily available in markets. One of the plant's most common historical uses has been as a treatment for snakebite. It is also steeped in water which is then used for bathing and for washing livestock.

Identification credit: Gurcharan Singh
Photographed at Jim corbett park, Uttarakhand.
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