South-Indian Hoppea
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South-Indian Hoppea
P Native Photo: N Arun Kumar
Common name: South-Indian Hoppea
Botanical name: Hoppea fastigiata    Family: Gentianaceae (Gentian family)
Synonyms: Cicendia fastigiata, Exacum fastigiatum, Exacum concinnum

South-Indian Hoppea is a small branched herb with leaves opposite, 4-8 x 2-5 mm, ovate, nearly stalkless. Flowers are borne in cymes at branch-ends and in leaf-axils, carried on flower-cluster-stalks up to 5 mm. Flower tube is 4 mm, petals unequal, oblong, much protruding beyond sepals. Sepal-tube is 4 mm, teeth 2 mm, lanceshaped, tapering. Stamens are 1 perfect, 3 sterile; ovary ellipsoid, one celled, many ovuled, stigma 2 lobed. South-Indian Hoppea is found in Peninsular India, Sri Lanka and Myanmar. Flowering: September-October.
Medicinal uses: South-Indian Hoppea is used by local communities for various brain-related ailments. The genus possesses a unique class of compounds, xanthones, which are known for their potential against Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.

Identification credit: N Arun Kumar Photographed in Bannerghatta, Karnataka.

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