Articles

Mesona palustris Blume

Mesona palustris Blume

Family

Labiatae

Synonyms

Geniosporum parviflorum Wallich ex Benth., Mesona wallichiana Benth., Mesonaparviflorum (Wallich ex Benth.) Briq.

Vernacular Names

English Black cincau.
Indonesia Cincau hitam (Indonesian), janggelan (Javanese), cincau hideung (Sundanese).

Geographical Distributions

Mesona palustris originated in the region from India and Burma (Myanmar) to Indo-China. From there it spread into the Malesian region, particularly into Central Sumatra, the whole of Java, the Lesser Sunda Islands (Bali, Lombok, Sumbawa), Sulawesi, the Philippines (northern half of Luzon) and East New Guinea (Wau). M. palustris is cultivated in Java.

 

Description

M. palustris is an annual, erect, aromatic herb, with a size of measure about 30-50 cm tall and with a well-developed root system. The stem is slender, obtusely quadrangular in shape, often branched from the base, unbranched or only sparsely branched at the apex and thinly to densely cover with short curled hairs.

The leaves are arranged decussately opposite. The petiole is measure 0-1.5 cm long. The blade is oblong-elliptical or narrowly obovate-elliptical in shape, with a size of measure about 2-8 cm x 1.2-3.5 cm, narrowly acute or rounded base, crenate or serrulate margin and with acute or obtuse apex.

The inflorescence is axillary or terminal, raceme-like, with a size of measure about  5-20 cm long and composed of many-flowered verticillasters. The pedicel is a measure about 5-6 mm long. The sepal is bell-shaped, with a size measure about 2-2.5(-3) mm long, 8-veined and covered with white hairs. The upper lip is 3-lobed while the lower lip is oblong in shape, rounded where in fruit the sepal is tubular-urceolate and it is measuring about 4-5 mm long. The petal is pink or lilac-white in colour, with a size measure about 4-5 mm long and with 2-lipped limb. The upper lip is with 3 obtuse-rounded lobes while the lower lip is concave and obtuse. There are 4 stamens in 2 pairs. The filaments are long-exserted where 2 anterior ones are longest while the posterior pair is appendaged at the base. The ovary is 4-locular and while the style is briefly 2-fid. The disk is gibbous and on the anterior side is shortly tongue-shaped.

The fruit is a nutlet, ellipsoid in shape, flattened, with a size of measure about 1 mm x 0.4-0.7 mm and finely granular.

 

Ecology / Cultivation

M. palustris grows on roadsides, along ditches, on open grassy slopes, in forest margins, on dry fields of rice, and also around springs, from sea-level up to 2300 m altitude. It may be locally common and tolerates both per-humid and seasonal conditions.

 

Line Drawing / Photograph

Mesona_palustris

References

  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 16: Stimulants.