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Useful Tropical Plants

Oldenlandia umbellata

L.

Rubiaceae


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[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
]. 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[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

+ Synonyms

Gerontogea umbellata (L.) Cham. & Schltdl.

Hedyotis brevicalyx Sivar.

Hedyotis indica Roem. & Schult.

Hedyotis linarifolia R.Br. ex Wall.

Hedyotis puberula (G.Don) Arn.

Hedyotis umbellata (L.) Lam.

Hedyotis wightii (Hook.f.) K.K.N.Nair

Oldenlandia puberula G.Don

Oldenlandia wightii Hook.f.

Common Name: Chay Root

Oldenlandia umbellata
Flowering stem
Photograph by: Lalithamba
Creative Commons License
Oldenlandia umbellata Oldenlandia umbellata

General Information

Chay root is a small, annual plant.
The plant is gathered from the wild for local use as a medicine and dye. It used to be an important source of a red dye before the large-scale production of synthetic dyes started at the end of the 19th Century[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. It was commonly gathered from the wild and was also at one time often cultivated as a dye plant[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
,
688
Title
Journal of the Arnold Arboretum Vol. 68
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Harvard University.
Year
1987
ISBN
0004-2625
Description
Various articles on plants. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.

Range

E. Asia - India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Vietnam, Indonesia.

Habitat

Prefers sandy soils along coasts and river banks, where the roots can penetrate the soil deeply[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

Properties

Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitAnnual
Height0.00 m
PollinatorsInsects
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details


Prefers a well-drained, deep sandy soil[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
,
387
Title
Economic Products of India. Volume 1.
Publication
 
Author
Watt. G.
Publisher
Government of India: Calcutta.
Year
1883
ISBN
 
Description
Although over 100 years old, it still contains a wealth of information on useful plants. Many of the botanical names have been changed since then, so you have to check for up to date names. The book can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

A decoction of the leaves and bark is considered expectorant and is prescribed in cases of bronchial catarrh, bronchitis, tuberculosis and asthma[
240
Title
Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement).
Publication
 
Author
Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C.
Publisher
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi.
Year
1986
ISBN
-
Description
Very terse details of medicinal uses of plants with a wide range of references and details of research into the plants chemistry. Not for the casual reader.
,
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
,
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
,
688
Title
Journal of the Arnold Arboretum Vol. 68
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Harvard University.
Year
1987
ISBN
0004-2625
Description
Various articles on plants. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
A decoction of the leaves is used as a wash for poisonous bites[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

The root is used in the treatment of snake bites[
240
Title
Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement).
Publication
 
Author
Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C.
Publisher
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi.
Year
1986
ISBN
-
Description
Very terse details of medicinal uses of plants with a wide range of references and details of research into the plants chemistry. Not for the casual reader.
].

Other Uses

The root bark, when mixed with alum, is the source of a red dye known as 'Indian Madder' or Chay root'[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
,
316
Title
Tropical Timbers of the World. Ag. Handbook No. 607.
Publication
 
Author
Chudnoff. Martin.
Publisher
USDA Forest Service. Wisconsin.
Year
1984
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details on the properties of the wood of almost 400 species of trees from the Tropics.
,
688
Title
Journal of the Arnold Arboretum Vol. 68
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Harvard University.
Year
1987
ISBN
0004-2625
Description
Various articles on plants. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. It is used to stain calico, wool and silk[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
]. It was at one time much used for a range of purposes, particularly for dyeing turbans and bandana handkerchiefs[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
].
The root is known for its ability to impart a red colour to wool, silk and calico fabrics. It was much employed for dyeing handkerchiefs in Madras, for which that town was once so famous[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
,
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. Small quantities of the dye have been traded to Europe, but without much success[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
The dye consists of a complex mixture of quinones. Some constituents are similar to those found in the dye from Indian madder (Rubia cordifolia), such as alizarin, rubichloric acid and ruberythric acid[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. Other major constituents of the true Indian madder dye, such as purpurin and purpuroxanthin, are not found in this plant[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. The dye is considered to be somewhat inferior to the dye of Indian madder, possessing only about half the dyeing power of that species[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

Propagation

Seed -

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