Cuphea hirsuta Gillies ex Hook. & Arn.
Cuphea thymoides Cham. & Schltdl.
Parsonsia glutinosa (Cham. & Schltdl.) A.Heller
Common Name: Lavender Lady
Cuphea glutinosa is an evergreen, low-growing, much-branched, perennial plant with stems that become more or less woody and can persist; it can grow 15 - 35cm tall. All parts of the plant are sticky.
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine. It is grown as an ornamental, where it makes a good ground cover and also helps to reduce soil erosion. It is also a potential oil crop.
S. America - Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, southern and eastern Brazil, Bolivia.
Wet meadows, at elevations usually above 1,200 metres
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Cuphea glutinosa is native to the subtropics of south eastern S. America, just moving into the tropics. In trials in southeastern N. America, forms have been selected that can tolerate temperatures falling to at least -7°c for short periods[
Plants require a sunny position[
The seed of Cuphea species is generally a good source of medium length fatty acids, which have a range of industrial and cosmetic applications and can also be used in foods[
]. Several species are being trialled as seed oil crops in temperate zone countries, though they are unlikely to become a commercial crop in the tropics simply because it is so much easier to grow oil crops such as palm oil (Elaeis species) and coconut (Cocos nucifera).
An oil obtained from the seeds has the potential to be used in foods[
The leaves and stems are a blood purifier, diuretic, emmenagogue, hypotensive, laxative and purgative[
]. They are used as a treatment for malaria, high blood pressure, menstrual disorders, pailpitations and nervous diseases[
The plant can be used to make an attractive and effective ground cover that also helps reduce soil erosion[
The seeds, although small, are a potential commercial crop for their oil. The oil is a good source of medium length fatty acids - these oils are usually obtained from tropical sources such as palm and coconut oils. This species is particularly rich in lauric acid (59.1 - 81.7%)[
Seed - can be sown in situ[
]. Germination usually takes a few weeks because of the hard seed coat.
If you have any useful information about this plant, please leave a comment. Comments have to be approved before they are shown here.