Hophead is a popular medicinal plant distributed in mountains of southern
and western India. Shrubbery plant with single dark green leaves, red-brown
branches, and flowers that bloom in upright spikes.
It is an erect shrub with smooth, hairless stems and leaves.
Leaves narrowly obovate, spine-tipped, 3.5-9 cm long, 0.8-1.2 cm wide.
Flowers occur in a terminal spike with overlapping bracts which are broadly
ovate, 15 mm long, green with purple upper half. Flower consists of a 3m long
corolla tube, opening into 1 cm long petals. Longer stamen filaments 2 cm
long; shorter stamens fertile. Style is 3 cm long and smooth.
Traditional and therapeutic use is
anti-inflammatory for insect bites, herpes simplex use by its fresh leaves,
and roots for anti-inflammatory centipede bites.