Willow-Leaf Justicia
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Willow-Leaf Justicia
ative Photo: Angela Pangkam
Common name: Willow-Leaf Justicia, Asian Water-willow • Hindi: Nili nargandi, Kala bashimb, काला अडुलसा Kala adulsa • Marathi: tev, bakas, काला अडुलसा Kala adulsa • Tamil: karunochi, vadaikkutti • Malayalam: karunochchi, vada-kodi • Telugu: addasaramu, gandharasamu, nalla-noch-chili • Kannada: ಆಡುತೋಡ ಗಿಡ Aduthodagida, ಕಾರಲಕ್ಕಿಗಿಡ Kaaralakkigida, ಕರಿಲಕ್ಕಿ Karilakki, ನಾಚುಗಡ್ಡಿ Naachugaddi • Bengali: jagatmadan • Oriya: nilanirgundi • Assamese: tita-bahak, bishalya karani • Sanskrit: गंधरस Gandharasa, Indrani, Kapika, krishnanirgundi
Botanical name: Justicia gendarussa    Family: Acanthaceae (Acanthus family)
Synonyms: Gendarussa vulgaris, Adhatoda subserrata, Justicia salicina

Willow-Leaf Justicia is an erect, branched, smooth undershrub 0.8-1.5 m tall. The leaves are lance-shaped, 7-14 cm long, 1-2.5 cm wide, and pointed at the ends. The rather small flowers are borne in 4-12 cm long spikes, at the end of branches or in leaf axils. The teeth of the sepals cup are smooth, linear, and about 3 mm long. The flowers are about 1.5 cm long, white or pink, with purple spots. The capsule is club-shaped, about 1.2 cm long, and smooth. Willow-Leaf Justicia is found throughout India and SE Asia.
Medicinal uses: Willow-Leaf Justicia is reputed for its beneficial effects in Respiratory disorders like cough, cold, bronchitis, throat infections, pulmonary infections and allergic disorders like bronchial asthma. It is assumed to possess greater medicinal value to yellow vasa plant or Adhatoda vasica.

Identification credit: N.S. Dungriyal Photographed in Upper Siang distt., Arunachal Pradesh and in cultivation in Delhi & Dehradun.

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