Hygrophila ringens (L.) R. Br. ex Spreng.

Last updated: 22 June 2015

Scientific Name

Hygrophila ringens (L.) R. Br. ex Spreng.


Hygrophila angustifolia R.Br., Hygrophila quadrivalvis Buch.-Ham., Hygrophila salicifolia (Vahl) Nees, Ruellia salicifolia Vahl, Ruellia ringens L. [basionym] [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Keremak, chukal, maman babi (Peninsular) [2]
Thailand Toiting (Bangkok); nam dap fai (Prachuap Khiri Khan); sam sam (Loei) [2]
Philippines Binakag (Iloko); kangon-kangon; mamitik (Tagalog) [2]
Vietnam C[aa]y h[aj]t ph[or]ng [2]

Geographical Distributions

Hygrophila ringens has a wide area of distribution: from India and Sri Lanka, through Indo- China, Southern China and Japan, to Thailand and the Malesian region, where there are records from Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Java, Borneo, and the Philippines, but it probably also occurs elsewhere. [2]

H. ringens occurs in swampy or periodically humid localities, e.g. at watersides, from sea-level up to 1000 m altitude. [2]

Botanical Description

H. ringens is a member of the family Acanthaceae. It is an erect or ascending annual or shortliving herb that can grow up to 90(-120) cm tall. Stem rooting is at the lower nodes and subquadrangular. [2]

The leaves are arranged decussately opposite, simple, linear-oblong to elliptical-oblong or elliptical-obovate, 1-16 cm x 0.5-5 cm, tapering into petiole at base, acute or obtuse at apex, margin is entire to undulate and irregularly marked with cystoliths. Stipules are absent. [2]

The inflorescence is a dense axillary cluster and conspicuously bracteate. Flowers are bisexual with 5-merous.  The sepal is 6-12 mm long and with unequal linear-lance-shaped lobes. The petal is with ventricose, 7-10 mm long hairy tube, 2-lipped where the upper lip is about 5 mm long and 2-fid while the lower lip is about 5 mm long and pale violet-blue or whitish. There are 4 stamens, didynamous and inserted below the middle of the petal tube. The ovary is superior with 2-celled, slender style and often with 2 teeth at apex. [2]     

The fruit is a linear-oblong to linear-ovoid, 1-2 cm long loculicidal capsule and many-seeded. [2]

The seed is spherical-ovoid subcompressed which is about 1.5 mm long and long hairy. [2]


No documentation

Chemical Constituent

No documentation

Plant Part Used

No documentation

Traditional Use

No documentation

Preclinical Data

No documentation

Clinical Data

No documentation


No documentation

Poisonous Management

No documentation

Line drawing


Figure 1: The line drawing of H. ringens [2]


  1. USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network-(GRIN). Hygrophila ringens (L.) R. Br. ex Steud. [homepage on the Internet]. Beltsville, Maryland: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory; c2013 [updated 2008 Aug 08; cited 2015 Jul 06]. Available from: http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/taxon.pl?456733      
  2. Hygrophila ringens (L.) R.Br. ex Steudel. In: Lemmons RHMJ, Bunyapraphatsara N, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 12(3): Medicinal and poisonous plants 3. Leiden, Netherlands, Backhuys Publisher; 2003.