Acanthus ilicifolius L

[From Greek, akantha = thorn and Latin, i/icifo/ius = Holly-like leaves]

Synonymy: Dilivaria ilicifolia.

Common names: Sea holly, medicinal Acanthus of Java; jerujuputeh (Malay) feuille Saintes d'Acanthe (French); kaya, khaya, kayoro (Burmese); lao chu li (Chinese); harikusa (Sanskrit); attumulli (Tamil); nguakpla maw (Thai).

Leaves: simple, opposite and without stipules. The petiole is 3mm-1.5cm with a pair of stipule-shaped prickles at base. The blade is 7.5cm-15cm x 4cm-7cm, oblong lanceolate, and develops apical and marginal prickles. The flowers are arranged in a few-flowered and 6 cm- Fig. 320. Acanthus iiicifoiius L. 30 cm long spikes. The calyx is 1 cm-1.5 cm long.

The corolla is tubular, 3cm-4.5cm long, develops a characteristic obovate, shortly 3-lobed, 2.5 cm long and bluish purple lilac lip barred with a yellow band. The fruits are 2cm-3cm long capsules containing a few kidney-shaped seeds (Fig. 320).

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