Hedyotis is a very problematic genus or group of genera. Neither the overall identity and limits of this lineage, nor the evolutionary patterns within it, are at all understood or delineated. Widely differing treatments have long been used in different regions and floras. The situation is far from resolution or even general consensus and so many authors treat the genus very broadly[
]. In line with several recent (up to 2013) molecular and phylogenic studies, the Kew ‘World Checklist of Selected Plant Families’ has recognised a number of distinct genera and this is the treatment we are adopting here[
Hedyotis dichotoma (Roxb. ex Wight & Arn.) A.Rich.
Hedyotis diffusa Spreng.
Hedyotis herbacea L.
Hedyotis heynei R.Br. ex Wall.
Hedyotis linearis Steud.
Hedyotis micrantha Hochst. ex Hiern
Hedyotis stricta Sm.
Hedyotis trichopoda A.Rich.
Hedyotis triflora Wall.
Kohautia stricta (Sm.) DC.
Oldenlandia asperula DC.
Oldenlandia dichotoma Roxb. ex Wight & Arn.
Oldenlandia heynei (R.Br. ex Wall.) G.Don
Oldenlandia heynei Oliv.
Oldenlandia holstii K.Schum.
Oldenlandia stricta (Sm.) Kuntze
Close-up of the flowering stem
Photograph by: Vengolis
Oldenlandia herbacea is an erect or ascending annual or perennial herb hat can grow up to 50cm long, occasionally to 60cm. The slender stems are usually much-branched[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and a dye.
Tropical and subtropical Africa - widespread south of the Sahara; E. Asia - India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Andaman Islands
Open places such as fields, grasslands and roadsides, often on stony or sandy soils; at elevations up to 1500 metres[
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The plant is bitter, febrifuge and tonic[
]. A decoction is used in the treatment of mild cases of malarial fever of a low remittent type[
]. The powdered plant, combined with honey, is used to treat rheumatic fevers and swellings[
]. The plant is useful in the treatment of elephantiasis, fever, verminosis, inflammations, asthma, bronchitis and ulcers[
A decoction of the plant is used to bathe feverish patients[
The plant is boiled in oil and this oil is then used in the treatment of elephantiasis and pains in the body[
The leaves are used as an expectorant in the treatment of asthma and consumption[
The plant has been reported to be used medicinally in Peninsular Malaysia, without specification[
A dye is oftained from the root bark. It is used to colour fabrics[
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