Stachytarpheta jamaicensis (L.) Vahl

Last updated: 13 August 2015

Scientific Name

Stachytarpheta jamaicensis (L.) Vahl


Abena jamaicensis (L.) Hitchc., Stachytarpheta bogoriensis Zoll. & Moritzi, Stachytarpheta pilosiuscula Kunth, Valerianoides jamaicense (L.) Kuntze, Valerianoides jamaicense (L.) Medik., Valerianoides jamaicensis (L.) Medik., Verbena americana Mill., Verbena jamaicensis L., Verbena pilosiuscula (Kunth) Endl., Vermicularia decurrens Moench [Illegitimate], Zappania jamaicensis (L.) Lam. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Rumput tahi babi, selaseh dandi, selaseh hutan [3]
English Snake­weed (Blue, Jamaican); vervain (Bastard) [2], blue flower, blue snake weed, blue vine, Brazilian tea, burr vine, common snakeweed, devil’s coach whip, Jamaica false-valerian, Jamaica vervain, Jamaican snakeweed, pound cake bush, rooster comb [3]
China Jia ma bian [3]
India Ezhuthani-poodu, kadu-uttarani, kappu uttarani, karaiartharani, karu naayuruvi, longri, nayiuravi, pedda tanthem, seemainaa yuruvi, semainaayuruvi [3]
Indonesia Jarong (Javanese, Sun­danese); gajihan, ngadi rengga (Javanese) [2]
Thailand Phan nguu khieo (Central); yaa nuat sue a (Northern); yaa haang nguu (Peninsular) [2][3]
Philippines Kandikandilaan (Tagalog); bolo moros (Bi­kol); albaka (Panay Bisaya) [2]; kandi-kandilaan [3]
Cambodia Mo mi scha [2]
Vietnam Du[oo]i chu[ooj]t, h[ar]i ti[ee]n [2]
Japan Futo-bo-naga-bo-so [3]
France Queue de rat, ver­vaine [2]
Hawaii Oi, owi [3]
Kenya Mupurure [3]
Madagascar Ananaomby, sadany, toreky [3]
Tanzania Kikwayakwaya [3]
Yoruba Aagba, agogo igun, akitipa, iru alangba, iru amore, opapa, opapara, panipani [3].

Geographical Distributions

Stachytarpheta ja­maicensis originates from the New World tropics, and at present has a pantropical distribution. [2]

S. jamaicensis is a common weed of disturbed soils on roadsides, waste places, espe­cially in pastures but also in plantation crops throughout Asia and Oceania. The main habitat is sunny, to lightly shaded, preferably not on too heavy soils with a pronounced dry season, from sea level up to 1500 m altitude. [2]

Botanical Description

S. ja­maicensis is comes from the family Verbenaceae. It is an erect perennial herb, up to 1.2(-2) m tall which is sometimes woody at the base, often dichotomously branched from the base and spreading. The young stems are obtusely quadrangular and sparingly hairy. [2]

The leaves are arranged opposite, simple, obovate to oblong-elliptical, measure (2-)4-9 cm x (1-)2-5 cm, wedge-shaped to wing-like decurrent at base, with apex obtuse to slightly acute, with serrate-dentate margin, hairless above but sometimes sparingly hairy below. The leaves are subses­sile to shortly-petiolate while the stipules are absent. [2]

The inflores­cence is a spike, 15-50 cm long, solitary, cylindrical, stout and often flexuous. The rachis is up to 7 mm in diame­tre. The furrows of the half-immersed flowers are much narrower than the mature rachis. The peduncle is (0.5-)1-2.5(-3.5) cm long and hairless. The flowers are ses­sile, at first erect but later immersed in the thickened rachis. The sepal is compressed, completely embedded and about 5-7 mm long, while the petal is pale bluish, violet or purple, with a whitish spot at the throat, and saucer-shaped, with the tube about 1 cm long, slightly curved and 2-lipped. The upper lip is 2-lobed while the lower is 3-lobed. The lobes are subequal while the limb is about 8 mm wide. There are 2 fertile stamens and 2 staminodes. The ovary is superior, 2-locular with style included. [2]

The fruit is a schizo­carp, oblong-linear, measures 3-5(-7) mm x 1.5-2 mm and is en­closed in the fruiting sepal. It splits at maturity into 2 hard mericarps where each mericarp is 1-seeded. [2]

The seed is linear and without endosperm. [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 S. jamaicensis [2]


  1. The Plant List. Ver 1.1. Stachytarpheta jamaicensis (L.) Vahl. [homepage on the Internet]. c203. [updated on 2012 Mar 26; 2015 Aug 18]. Available from:
  2. van Valkenburg JLCH, Bunyapraphatsara N. Stachytarpheta jamaicensis (L.) Vahl. In: van Valkenburg JLCH, Bunyapraphatsara N, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 12(2): Medicinal and poisonous plants 2. Leiden, Netherlands: Backhuys Publisher; 2001. p. 510-513.
  3. Quattrocchi U. CRC world dictionary of medicinal and poisonous plants: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms and etymology; Volume V R-Z. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press; 2012. p 388-389.