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Hemigraphis sumatrensis (Heyne ex Roth) Boerl. ex Bremek

Family Name: Acanthaceae
Ornamental Flowers Ornamental Foliage Woody Creeper Herbaceous


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Shrub (Herbaceous, Creeper)
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic

Description and Ethnobotany

Others - Plant Morphology Hemigraphis sumatrensis may sometimes be misidentified as Prunella vulgaris, a medicinal herb commonly known as xia ku cao, to which it bears close resemblance. It is also not the same plant as H. alternata (Burm. F.) T. Anderson. Growth Form: H. sumatrensis is a recumbent herb that grows up to 30cm in height. Stem:Stem between nodes washed violet just above node, becoming light green at base of node above. Foliage: Leaves dark green and shiny above, the midrib on older leaves becomes purple at base. Below pale green, some leaves strongly mottled with violet, youngest leaves mostly violet below, the colour extending onto the green petiole as violet-coloured hairs.Flowers: Flowers are borne on inflorescences, bracts (= modified leaves) light green with long translucent (some purplish) hairs. Petals of the flowers form a tubular shape, about 1.7 x 1.7 cm in size, exterior white, minutely hairy, the interior white with purple pencilling. Etymology: Hemigraphisis Greek for “half-writing”, in reference to the brush-like hairs on plants of the genus, while the specific epithet, sumatrensis is likely to mean “from Sumatra”.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Foliage, Ornamental Flowers


Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green, Purple

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower Colour(s) Purple, White

Image Repository



Master ID 30681
Species ID 4990
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: 15 October 2021.

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