FoI
Porcupine Flower   
Foto info
Porcupine Flower
P Native Photo: Shaista Ahmad
Common name: Porcupine Flower, ommon yellow nail dye, thorny nail dye • Bengali: কণ্টঝিন্টি kantajhinti, পীতঝিন্টি pitajhinti • Gujarati: પીળો કાંટા શેરિયો pilo kanta sheriyo • Hindi: झिण्टी jhinti, परुष parush, पीला पियाबांसा pila piyabansa, पीली कटसरैया pili katsaraiya, वज्रदंती vajradanti • Kannada: ಮುಳ್ಳುಗೋರಣ್ಟ mullugoranta • Konkani: कोरांटी korant • Malayalam: കരിമകുറുഞ്ഞി karimkurunni • Marathi: कोळिता kolita, पिवळी कोरांटी pivali koranti • Oriya: daskaranta • Sanskrit: आर्तगलः artagalah, बाण bana, दासी कुरण्टकः dasi kurantakah, झिंटी jhinti, ककुभ kakubha, किङ्किरातः kinkiratah, कुरण्टकः kurantakah, कुरवकः kuravakah, महासह mahasaha, मृदुकण्टः mrdukantah, पीतकुरण्टकः pitakurantakah, पीतकुरवः pitakuravah, पीतम्लानः pitamlanah, पीतपुष्पकः pitapushpakah, पीतसैरीयकः pitasairiyakah, सहचरः sahacharah, उद्यानपाकी udyanapaki, वज्रदन्ती vajradanti • Tamil: செம்முள்ளி cem-mulli, கோரண்டம் korantam, கொடிப்பசலை koti-p-pacalai, கொவிந்தம் kovintam, குறிஞ்சி kurinci, குடான் kutan, மஞ்சட்செம்முள்ளி mancat-cemmulli • Telugu: గోరంటచెట్టు gorantachettu
Botanical name: Barleria prionitis    Family: Acanthaceae (Acanthus family)
Synonyms: Barleria appressa, Barleria coriacea, Barleria spicata

Porcupine flower is an erect, prickly shrub, usually single-stemmed, growing to about 1.5 m tall. Spines are about 1.2 cm long. Leaves are up to 5-9 x 2.5-4 cm, elliptic, pointed, with a fine point, base wedge-shaped, sparsely puberulus, fringed with hairs on the margins, gland dotted beneath, leaf-stalk up to 2 cm. Orange-yellow flowers are borne in cymes in leaf-axils; bracts 2, 1.5 cm, oblong with a fine point at the tip. Outer sepals are 1.3 x 0.4 cm, inner 1.1 x 0.2 cm, fine-tipped, hairy. Flower tube is 2.5 cm, petals 2 cm obovate, filaments 1.3 cm, staminodes 2, remaining at the base of the flower tube. Ovary is 2.5 mm, style 2.5 cm. Porcupine flower is found in Tropical Africa and Asia.
Medicinal uses: Porcupine Flower has numerous medicinal properties including treating fever, respiratory diseases, toothache, joint pains and a variety of other ailments; and it has several cosmetic uses. A mouthwash made from root tissue is used to relieve toothache and treat bleeding gums. The whole plant, leaves, and roots are used for a variety of purposes in traditional Indian medicine. For example, the leaves are used to promote healing of wounds and to relieve joint pains and toothache. Because of its antiseptic properties, extracts of the plant are incorporated into herbal cosmetics and hair products to promote skin and scalp health.

Identification credit: Thingnam Sophia Photographed in Delhi.

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