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[
Gerontogea biflora (Lam.) Cham. & Schltdl.
Gerontogea corymbosa (L.) Cham. & Schltdl.
Gerontogea herbacea (DC.) Cham. & Schltdl.
Hedyotis alsinifolia R.Br. ex Wall.
Hedyotis biflora Hornem.
Hedyotis burmanniana R.Br. ex Wall.
Hedyotis corymbosa (L.) Lam.
Hedyotis depressa (Willd.) Roem. & Schult.
Hedyotis diantha Schult.
Hedyotis graminicola Kurz
Hedyotis hermanniana R.M.Dutta
Hedyotis intermedia Wight & Arn.
Hedyotis pseudocorymbosa Bakh.f.
Hedyotis pusilla Hochst. ex A.Rich.
Hedyotis ramose (Roxb.) Blume
Hedyotis scabrida Steud.
Hedyotis sperguloides A.Rich.
Oldenlandia alsinifolia G.Don
Oldenlandia biflora Lam.
Oldenlandia burmanniana G.Don
Oldenlandia caespitose (Benth.)
Oldenlandia capillaries DC.
Oldenlandia delicatula K.Schum.
Oldenlandia depressa Willd.
Oldenlandia herbacea DC.
Oldenlandia linearis DC.
Oldenlandia mollugoides O.Schwarz
Oldenlandia praetermissa Bremek.
Oldenlandia pseudocorymbosa (Bakh.f.) Raizada
Oldenlandia ramose Roxb.
Oldenlandia scabrida DC.
Oldenlandia subtilis S.Moore
Oldenlandia tenuissima Hiern
Oldenlandia corymbosa is an erect or prostrate, sparsely branched annual plant with stems up to 40cm long that sometimes root at the nodes[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of a dye.
Widespread through tropical and subtropical Africa; Arabia, subtropical and tropical Asia to New Guinea.
Grassland with long or short grass, bushland, montane scrub, shallow soil on rocks, sandy river ridges, furrows and dry ponds on black-cotton soil, cultivated and disturbed ground, at elevations from sea level to 2,300 metres[
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The plant has become a widely naturalized weed through the tropics and subtropics[
Leaves - cooked[
]. The tender young leaves and stems are cooked with other vegetables such as Amaranthus and Cucurbita species, and act as a softener for the other cooked vegetables[
]. They are a rich source of vitamin C[
The leaves and stems can be burnt, the ash mixed with water then filtered, and the resultant liquid used as a tenderizer when cooking other vegetables[
The leaves are pounded, soaked in warm water and the liquid drunk to treat stomach disorders[
They are used externally as a poultice to treat sores and sore eyes[
The entire plant is used in decoction as an anthelmintic, antirheumatic, depurative, diaphoretic, digestive, diuretic, febrifuge, pectoral and stomachic[
]. In India, it is a common ingredient in mixtures used internally to treat remittent fevers, gastric irritation, nervous depression and as a tonic[
]. It is also used to treat jaundice and other liver conditions[
]. In Chinese medicine it is used to treat viral infections, cancer, acne, boils, appendicitis, hepatitis, eye problems and bleeding[
]. In Africa it is used to facilitate childbirth[
The juice of the plant is applied to the hands and feet to cool them when the patient has a fever[
The roots are reported to have vermifuge properties[
]. They are often used as a tincture[
The plant contains 0.12% of the alkaloids biflorine and biflorone, which are interconvertable, The content of biflorone increases in stored plants at the expense of biflorine[
The roots yield a green dye known as 'gerancine' after reatment with a mordant[
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