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Barleria prionitis


Barleria prionitis L.

Family Name: Acanthaceae
Common Name: Porcupine flower, 黄花假杜鹃


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

Classifications and Characteristics

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


Native Distribution Asia and Tropical East Africa
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Primary Rainforest)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical

Description and Ethnobotany

Foliage The leaves are elliptic to oblong and armed with 5-20mm long spines at the axils.
Flowers The flowers are yellow, sessile in the leaf axils or in terminal branched spikes.
Fruit The capsule is two-celled, ovate-lanceolate and 10 to 20mm long, with a shape-pointed beak about 6mm long. The seeds are 8 by 5mm, flattened and covered with matted hairs.
Ethnobotanical Uses Medicinal: Porcupine flower is a herb common in India and also found in many parts of the world, like Malaysia, USA, Indonesia and Philippines. The whole plant are used for variety of purposes in Traditional Indian medicine. The leaves are used to promote healing of wounds and to relieve joint pains(Parrotta 2001). Mouthwash made from root is used to relieve toothache and treat bleeding gums(Burkill 1985). The extracts of the plant are incorporated in herbal cosmetics and hair products to promote skin and scalp health(Prakruti 2002, Probiotics New Zealand 2002, Vaipani 2002).

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers
Landscape Uses General, Hedge / Screening, Container Planting, Slope Stabilization
Usage Hazard - Cons Spines/Thorns - Stem/Branch

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Rootzone Tolerance Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils
Propagation Method Seed, Stem Cutting


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Smooth
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Opposite
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Elliptical, Linear)
Foliar Margin Entire

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower Colour(s) Yellow / Golden
Flower Texture(s) Smooth
Flower Grouping Solitary, Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Axillary, Terminal
Individual Flower Shape Tubular
Flowering Period Free-Flowering

Image Repository



Master ID 31229
Species ID 5624
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: 22 February 2022.