Taxonomy

Kingdom : Plantae
Phylum : Tracheophyta
Class : Magnoliopsida
Order : Scrophulariales
Genus : Acanthus
Species : ilicifolius
Author : L.

Description

Viny shrub or tall herb, upto 1.5 m high, scarcely woody, bushy, with very dense growth
Shallow tap roots, but occasionally stilt roots are conspicuous
Leaf simple, opposite, decussate, cauline, exstipulate, petiole short, flattened, glabrous, pulvinous to sheathing base
Lamina oblong, elliptic-oblong, spiny margin and wavy, apex acute, basal angled, dorsiventral, green
Inflorescence raceme, spike, upto 16 cm long, peduncled
Flowers bracteate, curved, ovoid, entire, acute, basal cup-shaped, glabrous, greenish, two bracteoles partly covered by bracts
Flower bisexual, typically zygomorphic, complete, erect, sessile, hypogynous,
Sepals 5, polysepalous, twisted, borad, ovate, margin folded, acute, basal curved, coriaceous, greenish , persistent
Petals 1, large, showy, violet, ovate, entire, obtuse, coriaceous, slightly fleshy, slightly curved, margin outerly folded, deciduous
Stamens 4, free filament, erect
Carpels 2, syncarpous, ovary dumbel-shaped, glabrous, terete, ovary superior, two chambered, two ovules in each chamber, axile placentation
Styel 1, terminal, persistent, terete, glabrous
Stigma two bifid.
Fruit 1 cm green and 2.5 - 2.0 cm long, kidney shaped 4 seed drupe, Seed 0.5 - 1.0 cm long
Germination of seed hypgeal
Economic Importance : Useful in asthma, decoction used in dyspepsia. Leaves used as fomentation in rheumatism and neuralgia and also used in snake bite.