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P Native Photo: Shaista Ahmad
Common name: Hophead, hop-headed barleria, hophead Philippine violet, snake bush • Bengali: কণ্ট বিসল্যকরনী kanta bishalyakarani • Tamil: செம்முள்ளி cem-mulli, முள்கனகாம்பரம் mulkanakamparam
Botanical name: Barleria lupulina    Family: Acanthaceae (Acanthus family)
Synonyms: Barleria macrostachya

Hophead is a popular medicinal plant distributed in mountains of southern and western India. Shrubbery plant with single dark green leaves, red-brown branches, and flowers that bloom in upright spikes. It is an erect shrub with smooth, hairless stems and leaves. Leaves narrowly obovate, spine-tipped, 3.5-9 cm long, 0.8-1.2 cm wide. Flowers occur in a terminal spike with overlapping bracts which are broadly ovate, 15 mm long, green with purple upper half. Flower consists of a 3m long corolla tube, opening into 1 cm long petals. Longer stamen filaments 2 cm long; shorter stamens fertile. Style is 3 cm long and smooth.
Medicinal uses: Traditional and therapeutic use is anti-inflammatory for insect bites, herpes simplex use by its fresh leaves, and roots for anti-inflammatory centipede bites.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Sonipat, Haryana.

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