Singapore Government Logo

A Singapore Government Agency Website

Stachytarpheta cayennensis


Stachytarpheta cayennensis (Rich.) Vahl

Family Name: Verbenaceae
Synonyms: Stachytarpheta australis Moldenke
Common Name: Branched Porterweed


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants)
Plant Growth Form Shrub
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic


Native Distribution Mexico, Central America, Carribean and South America, Peru and Argentina
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form A perennial shrub, growing to about 0.4 m to 1.5 m tall. 
Foliage Leaves are ovate to elliptic, 2 - 9 cm long and 1 - 5 cm wide, hairy on upperside of leaves, smooth to hairy on the veins underneath, leaf margin crenate to dentate, petiole 1 - 1.5 cm long. 
Stems Sometimes woody at the base, smooth to shortly pubescent. 
Flowers Flowers are white, sometimes pale blue, clustered in spike inflorescence of about 20 - 45 cm long, located terminally.
Cultivation Plant in a well-drained, fertile soil, enriched with compost. Remove spent flowers before they set seed to prevent excessive establishment of new seedlings. 
Etymology The genus Stachytarpheta comes from Greek, for spike "stachys" and thick "tarphys". It refers to the spike inflorescence found in many species of this genus. 

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Well-Drained Soils, Fertile Loamy Soils
Landscape Uses General, Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens, Flowerbed / Border
Thematic Landscaping Butterfly Garden

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Butterfly Food Plant, Bee-Attracting
Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna)

Plant Care and Propagation

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


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Prominent Young Flush Colour(s) Green
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Opposite
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Dentate
Foliar Apex - Tip Acute
Foliar Base Acute

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) White
Flower Texture(s) Smooth
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Symmetry Bilateral
Individual Flower Shape Salverform
Inflorescence Type Spike
Flowering Period Free-Flowering

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type 1 Indehiscent Dry Fruit

Image Repository



Master ID 30986
Species ID 5373
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: 23 March 2023.