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Orthosiphon aristatus

Family Name: Lamiaceae (Labiatae)
Synonyms: Orthosiphon stamineus, Orthosiphon spiralis
Common Name: Cat's Whiskers, Java Tea, Kidneys Tea Plant, Misai Kuching, 猫须草
Full Sun Moderate Water Herb or Spice Ornamental Flowers Shrub


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Shrub
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Maximum Height 0.6 m to 1 m


Native Distribution Tropica Asia

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Perennial herb up to 1 m tall.
Foliage Dark green, smooth leaves are lighter green on the bottom with a toothed leaf margin (5 cm long, 2.5 cm wide).
Stems Purplish stems are 4-sided and smooth.
Flowers White, 2-lipped flowers are hairy with 5 cm-long, whisker-like stamens (male part producing the pollen). Flowers are arranged in a conical-shaped inflorescence (6-10 cm long).
Ethnobotanical Uses Food (Herb and Spice)
Medicinal ( It is mainly taken to stimulate urination. According to Indonesian and Malaysian folk medicine, bladder or kidney pain, gout, rheumatism and arteriosclerosis can be treated by drinking a decoction of leaves boiled in water. In Vietnamese folk medicine, a plant infusion is used to treat influenza, hepatits, rheumatism, jaundice and fever, as well as stimulating urination. In India, this plant is used to treat diabetes in combination with the herb Andrographis paniculata.)

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Fast
Propagation Method Stem Cutting


Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Ovate)
Foliar Margin Serrate / Toothed
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 4.5 (Shrub & Groundcover - Dicot)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower Colour(s) White


References Wiart, C. . 2006. Medicinal Plants of the Asia-Pacific: Drugs for the Future?. Singapore: World Scientific Printers. 719 pp.

Image Repository



Master ID 991
Species ID 2285
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 07 September 2021.