Kampala Tree and Palm Directory

Tree Species
Common Name
Tree Description
Tree Uses

English: Malabar nut, Adhatoda, Vasa, Vasaka, Malabar Nut Tree.

+ Tree Species

Justicia adhatoda

+ Tree Family


+ Ecology

Native to Eastern Asia. Found on a variety of sites from moist river banks to dry slopes and disturbed areas, at elevations from sea level to 1,300 metres. It is a plant of the drier to wet, lowland tropics, where it is found at elevations up to 1,300 metres. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 700 - 1,700mm, but tolerates 500 - 4,200mm.

+ Description

Justicia adhatoda is an erect, evergreen, shrub with few branches to many branches. It usually grows up to 2.5 metres tall, but exceptional specimens to 6 metres can be found.

BARK: Herbaceous, erect, branched, cylindrical, solid, swollen nodes, green to pale-green in colour.

LEAVES: Ramal and cauline, simple, exstipulate, opposite decussate, petiolate, lanceolate to ovate, entire, acute unicostate reticulate venation, pale green.

FLOWERS: Axillary racemose spike.

FRUIT: Capsule. Seeds are large, non-endospermic and provided with hooks (Jaculators).

+ Uses

Edible: Shoots. http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php id=Justicia+adhatoda

Medicine: Whole plant, Leaves, roots. http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php id=Justicia+adhatoda

Agroforestry: The plant is often used in hedges. The plant is also used for reclaiming waste land.

The leaves, when boiled with the sawdust of Jack wood (Artocarpus integrifolia), yield a yellow dye.

Extracts of the leaves are used as insecticides and fungicides.

The wood is made into beads.

The wood is used for fuel and a good quality charcoal is made from it.

An ornamental tree

+ Propagation


+ Management

+ Remarks

It is used in traditional medicine, in craftwork etc. The plant is also often grown in gardens as an ornamental. Since it is unpalatable to livestock and has the ability to colonize waste places and disturbed areas, this plant may become a pest when introduced to new areas.

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