VERBENACEAE Stachytarpheta

Stachytarpheta [genus] (963)
Synonyms: Valerianoides [genus]Medik.
S. cayennensis (3,465)
Synonyms: Stachytarpheta urticifolia (Salisb.) Sims
S. fruticosa (740)
S. indica (607)
S. jamaicensis (8,716)
Synonyms: Stachytarpheta dichotoma (Ruiz & Pav.) Vahl, Valerianoides jamaicensis (L.) Medic.
S. mutabilis (1,475)
Synonyms: Valerianoides mutabile (Jacq.) Kuntze


VERBENACEAE Stachytarpheta

Stachytarpheta [genus] Vahl VERBENACEAE

Synonyms: Valerianoides [genus] Medik.

Common names: False Vervain, Snakeweed, Bastard Vervain (Griffiths)

New World, trop. & subtrop.; 65 spp.; 1-2 spp. in trop. Asia & Africa. Shrubs or herbs. Lvs. simple, toothed, often rugose. Fls. red, purple, blue or white, in terminal spikes, calyx 5-toothed, corolla 5-lobed, stamens 2. Fruit dry, enclosed in the calyx, separating into 2 nutlets at maturity (Hortus Third 1976:1068) Cent. & S Am. Fls. sessile or immersed in depressions in the rachis, sol. in axils of bracts (Griffiths 1994:1111) Flowers last one day, but if spike is picked the corolla is shed in a few minutes: traumatochory. Some cult. for ornament, but usually widespread weeds (Mabberley 1997:678) Valid genus, but Valerianoides is not in GRIN (GRIN 2007)


VERBENACEAE Stachytarpheta cayennensis

Stachytarpheta cayennensis Vahl VERBENACEAE

Synonyms: Stachytarpheta urticifolia (Salisb.) Sims

Common names: Brazilian Tea, Blue Rat’s Tail, Snakeweed (Griffiths) Rat-Tail Verveine, Wild Broom (Wong)

Cent. & S Am., nat. in tropics elsewhere. Shrubby ann. or per. to 2 m, stem slender, 4-ridged. Lvs. to 10 cm long, thin or papery, pale green, oblong, acute, densely puberulent to scabrous above, strigillose or glabrate beneath. Infl. to 45 cm, often almost black, slender rachis, white-pilose, fls. sunk in furrows as broad as rachis, bracts to 5 mm long, lanceolate, corolla blue, purple, rose (Griffiths 1994:1111) S. urticifolia: Coarse herb or subshrub to 2 m, weakly erect, intricately branched. Lvs. to 8 cm long, membranous, bullate and dark glossy green above, ovate, acute, glabrous. Infl. to 40 cm, slender, rachis swelling toward the tip. Bracts to 7 mm, corolla indigo with a white throat. Often confused in the lit. with S. jamaicensis. Includes S. indica (Griffiths 1994:1111) S. urticifolia: Am., nat. in Africa, may be nat. in Asia. In Africa a hedge plant (Mabberley 1997:678) S. urticifolia: S Am. Subshrub to 2 ft. Lvs. ovate to 4″ long, toothed, glabrous or with few hairs on veins beneath. Spikes slender to 1.5 ft. long. Fls. blue (Hortus Third 1976:1068) Damp thickets, swamps, often a weed, to 1,500 m. Plants erect, stiff, branching, to 1 m. Indians of Alta Verapaz use it for malaria, other fevers. In Belize to treat dysentery (Flora of Guatemala 1970:225) W Indies, Yuc. to Peru & Argentina, to 1,500 m. Lvs. decurrent at base, usually rough above, rippled between the main veins, sometimes hairy on veins. Fls. pale blue, purple or white, to 5 mm wide, calyx with 4 teeth. Capsule has 2 seeds, to 4 mm long. Damp thickets, forests, swamps, cult. fields. Nat. in Hawaii, has become a pestiferous weed. Dominica, plant decoction taken as a cure-all. Brazil, infusion of new shoots & lvs. regarded as stimulant, sudorific, diuretic; recommended in stomach distress & for fever. Plant yields 0.035-0.7% essential oil; contains citral, geraniol and salicylic acid. Panama, plant is made into a foaming beverage like porter (Morton 1981:Vol. 2 page 751) Low shrub common along roads, in waste places. Lavender fls. usually in groups of 3-4 beginning two-thirds of the way up the stiff curving spikes. In Trinidad, leaf juice an eye-wash for ophthalmia. Drunk for dysentery, worms, cold in chest, congestive heart failure. Leaf teas for heat (constipation ?) & fever (Wong 1976:136) In Peru this is commonly recommended for diabetes. Stem & lvs. chopped, mixed with a little water, squeeze to obtain a green extract. Take half a glass daily for 3 consecutive months (Ayala Flores 1984) S. urticifolia: A serious weed throughout Fiji (Parham 1972)Valid species & synonym (GRIN 2007)


VERBENACEAE Stachytarpheta fruticosa

Stachytarpheta fruticosa B.L.Robinson VERBENACEAE

Bahamas, Turks & Caicos. Shrub to 2 m, slender branches, quadrangular twigs. Lvs. opp., stems to 1 cm, lanceolate to 8 cm long, pointed at apex, decurrent at base. Fls. purple, 6 mm long, calyx with 2 teeth. Slender spikes to 15 cm long, 3-4 cm thick. Capsule inverted pear shape, 6 mm long. Rocky savannas & scrub. Bahamas, leaf decoction of a warm infusion of beaten lvs. as a vermifuge, laxative. Boil lvs. with those of Bidens pilosa [Compositae], use the decoction to bathe prickly heat (Morton 1981:Vol. 2 page 752) Name not in GRIN (GRIN 2007)


VERBENACEAE Stachytarpheta indica

Stachytarpheta indica Vahl VERBENACEAE

Malays do not distinguish between this & S. jamaicensis. Some botanists say S. indica orig. in the Old World as a mutation from S. jamaicensis. Lvs. rubbed on sprains & bruises in Malaya. Java, a leaf decoction is used for dysentery (Burkill 1966:Vol. 2 page 2107). Lvs. sold in Austria as Brazilian Tea, which Lindley 1849 says is a rather poor article (Sturtevant 1972 [1919]:557) Valid species (GRIN 2007)


VERBENACEAE Stachytarpheta jamaicensis

Stachytarpheta jamaicensis (L.) Vahl VERBENACEAE

Synonyms: Stachytarpheta dichotoma (Ruiz & Pav.) Vahl, Valerianoides jamaicensis (L.) Medic.

Common names: Blue Snakeweed, Common Snakeweed, Jamaica Vervain (Griffiths) Bastard Vervain, Brazilian Tea, Devil’s Coach Whip, Queue de rat (Dalziel)

Widespread in tropics. Ann. or per. herb to 4 ft. Lvs. oblong or elliptic to 3″ long, coarsely serrate, almost glabrous. Spikes stiff or flexuous to 1.5 ft. long; fls. blue, 0.2″ across. Includes S. indica (Hortus Third 1976:1068) Subtrop & trop. Am. but now a pantrop. weed. Low spreading shrub to 1.2 m, often flushed purple. Lvs. to 8 cm long, fleshy, blue or gray-green, ovate, serrate. Infl. stout, stiff, rachis conspicuously larger toward the tip, furrows narrower than rachis, bracts to 8 mm long, corolla to 11 mm, light blue (Griffiths 1994:1111) S. jamaicensis is in S. dichotoma [??] (Willis 1973:1092). Valerianoides j: Fls. dark blue or purple, with white eye, 0.4″ across, protruding from apertures in cylindrical flower-stalk. Open in the morning, close at noon in warm weather. Nutlets protected by a bract covering the receptacle (Morton 1977) Brought into cult. in Asia about the end of the 18th cent. Has run wild in many places eg. N Malaya. Frequent in Chinese herbalists shops. Root decoction for gonorrhea. Leaf decoction drunk for ulceration of the nose [may be from syphilis]. Also as an antiperiodic medicine in malaria. Said to act as an abortifacient. Stem-tips eaten in Java as a flavoring. Cattle are said to eat it (Burkill 1966:Vol. 2 page 2107) Quite a dominant weed in all fallows & forest clearings of Nagaland, NE India. One of the best medicines for stomach-ache, cholera, dysentery. Lvs. dried, powdered, mixed with salt & water (Rao and Jamir 1982:180) Widely used for dysentery in W Africa. N Nigeria, a decoction with natron given for dysentery in humans, similar conditions in horses. Also as a vermifuge, or a purging vehicle for other vermifuges. Cold infusion for gonorrhea. Gold Coast, juice for eye troubles, eg. cataract. Also for sores in children’s ears. Lvs. said to cure heart trouble. Cited as a horse & cattle fodder in Java (Dalziel 1948:456) Valerianoides j.: Gro. to Ver., Yuc.; widespread in tropics. Plants essentially ann., sometimes suffrutescent, glabrous. Lvs. petiolate, oblong, 8 cm long, coarsely serrate. Spikes to 50 cm long, corolla 1 cm long. Said to have emetic, cathartic, anthelmintic & emmenagogue props. Used in various places for intestinal worms, venereal diseases, ulcers, erysipelas, yellow fever, dropsy, stomach affections. Has been reported to be poisonous to sheep. Brazil, lvs. have been used to adulterate tea [Camellia, Theaceae]. Dried lvs. said to have been exported to Eu. as ‘Brazilian Tea’ (Standley 1924:1243) A common weed in Yuc. Stout erect glabrous herb, fls. blue in stout spikes. Leaf juice put in the ear to relieve earache. Plant said to have tonic, emetic, expectorant and sudorific props. Has been used locally to treat malaria, yellow fever, amenorrhea, syphilis, gonorrhea. A tincture of the plant in rum is used as a lotion to relieve nervous pains (e) (Standley 1930:403) Ibin-xiu is not mentioned in Maya medicinal texts (Roys 1931) W Indies, Mexico to Argentina. Lvs. sometimes clustered at nodes, blunt at apex, decurrent. Fls. blue, purple, rarely white, to 1 cm long, calyx 2-toothed, borne in stiff spikes to 25 cm long, 8 mm wide. Capsule to 7 mm long. Honduras, some are abnormally fasciated, spike to 2.5 cm wide. In moist or dry soil, disturbed ground, beaches, etc. Nat. in Old World tropics, a pestiferous weed in Hawaii. Puerto Rico, Bahamas, leaf decoction or a lukewarm infusion given as an emetic & purgative. El Salvador, Argentina, plant decoction much used as an enema against intestinal worms, famed as an emmenagogue. Also crushed lvs. poulticed on ulcers for their astringent effect. Bahamas, lvs. bound on boils to bring them to a head. Argentina, plant juice with salt applied on erysipelas, contusions, boils. Turks & Caicos, the whole plant with roots is crushed, juice squeezed out, given to children as a vermifuge. Or the whole plant boiled with Teucrium cubense [Lamiaceae], add a little pulverized red brick to the decoction, give to children to prevent worms. Mashed plant poulticed on boils & sores. Bahamas, boil lvs. with those of Annona [Annonaceae] for a lotion for prickly heat. A decoction of lvs. with Dendropemon [Loranthaceae] is drunk by new mothers. Decoction of the plant with Phyllanthus [Euphorbiaceae] taken for 9 mornings as a vermifuge, followed by a dose of castor oil [Ricinus, Euphorbiaceae]. Parched lvs. steeped in fat, taken for chest colds, bronchitis, asthma. Haiti, one spoonful of juice of fresh lvs. allays colic & griping in dysentery. Trinidad, leaf decoction for coughs, fever, pneumonia, influenza (e), urinary burning, also as a galactagogue. Expressed juice applied on skin rash, eczema, vitiligo [piebald skin], boils. Also taken as a purgative & vermifuge. Cuba, drink plant decoction to halt diarrhea. Also a depurative & remedy for liver troubles. Cuba, Bahamas, applied on sores, skin diseases; also used to bath week-old infants. Puerto Rico, used in aromatic baths. Panama, in Darien a decoction with other herbs as a bath for children to reduce fever. Curaçao, some people drink a leaf decoction to calm their nerves. El Salvador, drink the root decoction for jaundice. Panama, root decoction gargled for mouth ulcers. Argentina, 2 handfuls of root boiled for 20 minutes in 2 liters of water, used for washing the head once a week, will stop falling hair. Root decoction has long been reported to be an abortifacient; reports mainly from the Old World. Jamaica, plant decoction alone or with castor oil, taken to relieve colds, to ‘clean the system’ and to relieve painful menstruation. Jamaica, Bahamas, plant juice with sugar given to children as a vermifuge, alone or with Chenopodium ambrosioides [Chenopodiaceae] etc. St. Lucia, plant decoction primarily as a diuretic. Barbados, plant boiled with Eclipta [Compositae], decoction as a diuretic to children with swollen bellies because of malnutrition. Chewed lvs. pressed into a small wound or sore, with a whole leaf over it as a bandage. Plant in Panama is made into a foamy porter-like beverage (Morton 1981:Vol. 2 page 752) In Trinidad, leaf teas for heat, cough, flu, fever, bich estomak (sustained fever & vomiting, pains in knees & waist); as lactagogue. Leaf juice drunk for eczema, rash, vitilago, boils, worms, as a purgative. Plant yields the glycoside stachytarphine and an alkaloid (Wong 1976:136) In Nicaragua, lvs. squeezed or boiled, juice or tea drunk for worms or parasites. Lvs. to clean the blood, for colds, cough, as a purge and for the kidneys (Barrett 1994) S. dichotoma: In Argentina Montes 1955: A popular medicine (von Reis and Lipp 1982:253). Valid species; synonyms not in GRIN (GRIN 2007)


VERBENACEAE Stachytarpheta mutabilis

Stachytarpheta mutabilis (Jacq.) Vahl VERBENACEAE

Synonyms: Valerianoides mutabile (Jacq.) Kuntze

Common names: Pink Snakeweed (Griffiths)

Cent. & S Am. Slender straggling shrub to 3 m, branches 4-angled. Lvs. to 1 cm, thick-chartaceous to leathery, ovate, sometimes silky beneath. Infl. to 60 c, rachis stout, shallowly incrassate, pubescent, bracts to 1.2 cm, corolla large, showy, scarlet fading to pink (Griffiths 1994:1111) Valerianoides m.: Sin. to Gro., Ver., Yuc.; widespread in trop. regions. Chiefly herbaceous but often suffrutescent. Lvs. broad-ovate to spatulate to 10 cm long, decurrent at base, scaberulous, pubescent or hirsute. Spikes to 7 mm diam., fls. closely appressed to the rachis, style usually not exserted, to 30 cm long or more, stout, pubescent. Calyx pubescent, corolla purplish or reddish, to 15 mm long (Standley 1924:1243) S Am. Has been in Eu. gardens since 1801, and in Java before 1863. Can be grown in gardens in Malaya, not nat. there. Java, decoction of lvs. with those of Aerua sanguinolenta [Aerva, Amaranthaceae] drunk for painful menstruation. Pounded with lime, lvs. applied to swollen wounds or sores. Said to be abortifacient (Burkill 1966:2108) Valid species, synonym not in GRIN (GRIN 2007)




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