Barleria prionitis

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Vajradanti plant photographed in Hyderabad
Species name: Barleria prionitis

Barleria prionitis or Vajradanti has been used in India for a long time for many medicinal purposes. Its chief use is in treating oral disorders like gingivitis, dental caries and is commonly used in Ayurvedic mouthwashes, creams and pastes.


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Parameter Value(s) References
See complete references in the References section at the end
Names of users who have contributed to this species page Gauravm
Date on which this page was first created 2010/08/28
This page was last modified on: 6 September 2010 14:58:10
Name of the species Barleria prionitis
ID on Encyclopedia of Life
Synonyms Please check Binomial Classification section for synonyms.
Common English Names Porcupine flower
Common Hindi Names वज्राद्नती Vajradanti
Common Indian names குந்தன் Kundan (Tamil); Mullu goranti (Kannada); Kuttivetila (Malayalam); Pilikantashelio (Gujarati) Flowers of India
Origins/Meanings of the common names Vajradanti means "Strong Teeth" in Sanskrit/Hindi (Vajra=Strong, Danta=Teeth). The name itself highlights the importance of this plant in maintaining oral health. Gauravm

Taxonomy from Encyclopedia of Life

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{{#EoLOnlyHierarchy:}} 

Taxonomy filled in form

Angiosperm phylogeny. This image is copyrighted. Rights owned by Theodore C.H.Cole (Heidelberg) and Hartmut H. Hilger (Berlin) 2010. Please obtain copyright permissions before reuse.
Click here for the PDF of the phylogeny
Taxon Value
Regnum (Kingdom) Plantae
Division Magnoliophyta
Class Magnoliopsida
Order Scrophulariales
Family Acanthaceae
Genus Barleria
Source of data Encyclopedia of Life

Other closely related species

SpeciesDivisionCommon nameCommon Hindi name
Aloe veraAloe vera, Medicinal aloe, Burn plantGheekumari घीकुमारी
Acacia niloticaArabic Gum, Black Piquant, Egyptian thorn, Prickly acaciaबबूल Babool,कीकर Kikar
Saraca indicaAshokaअशोक Ashok
… further results
DivisionTaxon detailsTaxon morphology details
MagnoliophytaAlso called Angiospermae. The ancestors of flowering plants diverged from gymnosperms around 245–202 million years ago, and the first flowering plants known to exist are from 140 million years ago. They diversified enormously during the Lower Cretaceous and became widespread around 100 million years ago, but replaced conifers as the dominant trees only around 60-100 million years ago.These are seed plants like Gymnosperms, but can be differentiated by the presence of flowers, seeds containing endosperm and seeds that produce a fruit. Angiosperms are the most diverse and highly evolutionarily successful group of land plants.
SpeciesClassCommon nameCommon Hindi name
Acacia niloticaMagnoliopsidaArabic Gum, Black Piquant, Egyptian thorn, Prickly acaciaबबूल Babool,कीकर Kikar
Saraca indicaMagnoliopsidaAshokaअशोक Ashok
Adansonia digitataMagnoliopsidaBaobabGorakh imli गोरख इमली
… further results
ClassTaxon detailsTaxon morphology details
MagnoliopsidaMagnoliopsida is the scientific name for dicots. This class contains about ~1,99,350 species of Angiosperms. Eudicots are a subset of Dicots. Based on chloroplast DNA sequences, the divergence date between monocots and dicots is estimated to be ~200 million years, with a 40 million years uncertainty.Dicots are diverse in habit, with half of all the species being more or less woody-stemmed - a reflection of the usual presence of a vascular cambium in the class. Annuals, biennials, vines, epiphytes, aquatics, parasites, and saprotrophs are also well represented in dicots. Vascular bundles of the stem are usually borne in a ring that encloses the pith. Vessel elements present except in some putatively primitive woody or aquatic families. Most dicots have a primary root system derived from the radicle, although some have an adventitious root system commonly seen in the class of monocots. Cotyledons are usually 2, seldom 1, 3, or 4. Leaves are mostly net-veined.
SpeciesOrderCommon nameCommon Hindi name
Jasminum officinaleLamialesCommon Jasmine, Poet's Jasmine, Spanish Jasmineचमेली Chameli
Martynia diandraLamialesDevil's Claws, Tiger's Clawउलट-कांटा Ulat-kanta, बाघनख Baghnakh
Ocimum tenuiflorumLamialesHoly Basil, Indian Basilतुलसी Tulsi
… further results
OrderTaxon detailsTaxon morphology details
LamialesSpecies in this order probably arose ~70-100 million years ago based on various estimates. Lamiales contain ~12% of eudicot diversity. Well-known or economically important members of this order include lavender, lilac, olive, jasmine, the ash tree, teak, snapdragon, sesame, psyllium, and a number of table herbs such as mint, basil, and rosemary.Members of this species are herbaceous or shrubby, have mono-symmetric flowers and numerous small seeds. Species in this order typically have the following characteristics, although there are exceptions to all of them - 1) superior ovary composed of two fused carpels 2) five petals fused into a tube 3) bilaterally symmetrical, often bilabiate corollas and 4) four (or fewer) fertile stamens
SpeciesFamilyCommon nameCommon Hindi name
Hygrophila auriculataAcanthaceaeHygrophila, Temple plant, Marsh Barbelतालीम ख़ाना Talim Khana
Justicia adhatodaAcanthaceaeMalabar Nutअडुळसा Adulsa
Barleria prionitisAcanthaceaePorcupine flowerवज्राद्नती Vajradanti
… further results
FamilyTaxon detailsTaxon morphology details
AcanthaceaeThe family Acanthaceae (or Acanthus family) is one of the most successful Angiosperm dicot taxon. It contains almost 250 genera and 2500-4000 species. These species are mostly distributed in the tropics as herbs, shrubs, or twining vines; some are epiphytes. The representatives of the family can be found in nearly every habitat, including dense or open forests, in scrublands, on wet fields and valleys, at the sea coast and in marine areas, and in swamps and as an element of mangrove woods.Plants in this family have simple, opposite, decussate leaves with entire (or sometimes toothed, lobed, or spiny) margins, and without stipules. The leaves may contain cystoliths, calcium carbonate concretions, seen as streaks on the surface.

The flowers are perfect, zygomorphic to nearly actinomorphic, and arranged in an inflorescence that is either a spike, raceme, or cyme. Typically there is a colorful bract subtending each flower; in some species the bract is large and showy. The calyx is usually 4-5 lobed; the corolla tubular, 2-lipped or 5-lobed; stamens either 2 or 4 arranged in pairs and inserted on the corolla; and the ovary superior, 2-carpellate, with axile placentation.

The fruit is a two-celled capsule, dehiscing somewhat explosively. In most species, the seeds are attached to a small, hooked stalk (a modified funiculus called a jaculator) that ejects them from the capsule.
SpeciesGenusCommon nameCommon Hindi name
Barleria prionitisBarleriaPorcupine flowerवज्राद्नती Vajradanti

Based on classification

FamilyTaxon detailsTaxon morphology details
AcanthaceaeThe family Acanthaceae (or Acanthus family) is one of the most successful Angiosperm dicot taxon. It contains almost 250 genera and 2500-4000 species. These species are mostly distributed in the tropics as herbs, shrubs, or twining vines; some are epiphytes. The representatives of the family can be found in nearly every habitat, including dense or open forests, in scrublands, on wet fields and valleys, at the sea coast and in marine areas, and in swamps and as an element of mangrove woods.Plants in this family have simple, opposite, decussate leaves with entire (or sometimes toothed, lobed, or spiny) margins, and without stipules. The leaves may contain cystoliths, calcium carbonate concretions, seen as streaks on the surface.

The flowers are perfect, zygomorphic to nearly actinomorphic, and arranged in an inflorescence that is either a spike, raceme, or cyme. Typically there is a colorful bract subtending each flower; in some species the bract is large and showy. The calyx is usually 4-5 lobed; the corolla tubular, 2-lipped or 5-lobed; stamens either 2 or 4 arranged in pairs and inserted on the corolla; and the ovary superior, 2-carpellate, with axile placentation.

The fruit is a two-celled capsule, dehiscing somewhat explosively. In most species, the seeds are attached to a small, hooked stalk (a modified funiculus called a jaculator) that ejects them from the capsule.

More details can be found in the Binomial Classification section.

Morphology from Encyclopedia of Life

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General morphology

Parameter Value(s) References
See complete references in the References section at the end
General morphological features of the plant A much branched shrub armed with (1-) 2-4, greyish-white, 1-2 cm long sharp, axillary spines. Leaves on 0-2.5 cm long petiole; lamina elliptic or ovate-elliptic to obovate, (4-) 6-12 (-17) x 2-5 (-6) cm, sparsely pubescent beneath, scabrid-lineolate above, attenuate, entire, ciliate, bristly acuminate. Flowers large, golden-yellow, up to 7 cm long, often sessile and solitary lower leaf-axils, in short terminal spikes above; bracts oblong or oblong-lanceolate, 1-2.5 cm x 3-5 mm, keeled, glabrous or sparsely hairy on keel, acute, spine-tipped; bracteoles linear-subulate, 10-20 mm long, spinescent. Calyx lobes spine-tipped, outer 2 lobes broadly oblanceolate, 1.5-1.7 cm long, acuminate, glabrous, inner ones narrowly ovate-lanceolate, 10-12 mm long, mucronate; Corolla c. 1.5 cm across, pubescent to glabrous outside, tube 2-2.5 cm long; limb nearly as long as tube, lobes oblong-ovate, obtuse. Fertile stamens 2 with exserted filaments, anthers 2-6 mm long; stminodes 2 with short filaments, included, hairy at insertion. Ovary c. 3.5 mm long; style up to 4 cm long. Capsule ovoid-conical, 1.5-2 cm x 8-10 mm, beaked, 2-seeded. Seeds ± orbicular, c. 6 mm long, 5 mm across, appressed hairy."A much branched shrub armed with (1-) 2-4, greyish-white, 1-2 cm long sharp, axillary spines. Leaves on 0-2.5 cm long petiole; lamina elliptic or ovate-elliptic to obovate, (4-) 6-12 (-17) x 2-5 (-6) cm, sparsely pubescent beneath, scabrid-lineolate above, attenuate, entire, ciliate, bristly acuminate. Flowers large, golden-yellow, up to 7 cm long, often sessile and solitary lower leaf-axils, in short terminal spikes above; bracts oblong or oblong-lanceolate, 1-2.5 cm x 3-5 mm, keeled, glabrous or sparsely hairy on keel, acute, spine-tipped; bracteoles linear-subulate, 10-20 mm long, spinescent. Calyx lobes spine-tipped, outer 2 lobes broadly oblanceolate, 1.5-1.7 cm long, acuminate, glabrous, inner ones narrowly ovate-lanceolate, 10-12 mm long, mucronate; Corolla c. 1.5 cm across, pubescent to glabrous outside, tube 2-2.5 cm long; limb nearly as long as tube, lobes oblong-ovate, obtuse. Fertile stamens 2 with exserted filaments, anthers 2-6 mm long; stminodes 2 with short filaments, included, hairy at insertion. Ovary c. 3.5 mm long; style up to 4 cm long. Capsule ovoid-conical, 1.5-2 cm x 8-10 mm, beaked, 2-seeded. Seeds ± orbicular, c. 6 mm long, 5 mm across, appressed hairy." cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. EoL through eFloras
Seed dispersal mechanism
Bloom type Perennial
Life cycle of the plant The shrubs flower from September to December and fruit from January to April. Average fruit weight is 0.1g/fruit. Seeds obtained can grow in regular potted soils in 13-77 days. Francis USDA

How to identify this species

For a detailed description, refer to the General Morphology details above

Parameter Value(s) References
See complete references in the References section at the end
Type of plant Woody (Tree/Shrub)
Plant height Up to 3 feet
Flower color Yellow Based on images
Flower shape
Floral symmetry
Phyllotaxy of leaves Opposite
Leaf shape Obovate EoL through eFloras
Is the leaf petiolated or sessile? Petiolated Gauravm,Based on images
Is the leaf simple or compound? Simple Gauravm,Based on images

Parameter Value(s) References
See complete references in the References section at the end
IUCN Conservation Status Not Evaluated EoL
Indian States in which the species has been documented
Locations at which the species has been documented
Biotic zones inhabited
Details about the habitat Porcupine flower is a native of tropical East Africa (possibly Madagascar) and Asia. It likes warm and humid climates. It needs well-drained soil for growth and mostly grows on igneous and sedimentary soil types. The plant cannot tolerate intense shade and thus grows in full sunlight or in light forest canopies, either as single plants or as thickets. Found on roadsides, disturbed areas, farmed and overgrazed soils. Francis USDA
Is this species native to India?
Is the species indigenous/endemic to Sub-Himalayan regions?
Is the species indigenous/endemic to Western Ghats?
Is the species indigenous/endemic to Eastern Ghats?

Plant is not native or native status not filled in

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Parameter Value(s) References
See complete references in the References section at the end
Does this species have any medicinal use? Yes

Other plants of the same family having medicinal use:

Species nameCommon nameCommon Hindi nameFamilyAilment typeMedicinal use description
Barleria prionitisPorcupine flowerवज्राद्नती VajradantiAcanthaceaeInfectious diseases
Accidents
Pains and Inflammation
Common ailments
Organ-specific disorders
Plant extracts known to suppress fungal growth. Mouthwash made from root tissue used for cleaning teeth and relieving tooth ache and bleeding gums. Leaves used to promote healing of wounds, joint pains and toothaches. Extracts used in many herbal skin creams to protect against skin infections. Plant extracts have also been shown to have hepatoprotective and anti-spermatogenic activities. Root extract has been shown to reduce fertility of male rats by 100%
Justicia procumbensWater willow, Shrimp plantकरंबल Karambal (Marathi)AcanthaceaePains and Inflammation
Common ailments
The plant, collected and dried when in flower, can be used as a substitute for Fumaria as a laxative, diuretic and skin conditions like eczema (Watt book) Plant extracts are also administered in local medicine as expectorants in asthma, coughs, and rheumatism. In Ophthalmia, leaf juice is squeezed into the eyes of the patient. The odor of the whole plant is unpleasant; it is used in decoction for backache, plethora, and flatulence.
Parameter Value(s) References
See complete references in the References section at the end
General types of ailments this species is used for treating Infectious diseases, Accidents, Pains and Inflammation, Common ailments, Organ-specific disorders
Specific ailments for which the species is used Fever, Toothaches, Respiratory infection, Joint pain, skin complaints and ulcers Francis USDA
Medicinal systems which use this plant Ayurveda, Folk Medicine
Details of Medicinal use Plant extracts known to suppress fungal growth. Mouthwash made from root tissue used for cleaning teeth and relieving tooth ache and bleeding gums. Leaves used to promote healing of wounds, joint pains and toothaches. Extracts used in many herbal skin creams to protect against skin infections. Plant extracts have also been shown to have hepatoprotective and anti-spermatogenic activities. Root extract has been shown to reduce fertility of male rats by 100% Francis USDA, Gupta
Parts of the plant used for treatment Root, Leaves, Flower
Names of some medicinal active compounds in this plant, if known. Indoid glycosides, Barlerin, Verbascoside Francis USDA
Details of the active chemical compounds found in this plant Indoid glycosides, Barlerin, Verbascoside from flower have potent activity against respiratory syntial virus, which may account for the plant's use in fever and respiratory diseases. Francis USDA
Is the molecular basis of the medicinal action known?
Details of molecular basis of action Indoid glycosides, Barlerin, Verbascoside from flower have potent activity against respiratory syntial virus, which may account for the plant's use in fever and respiratory diseases. The anti-spermatogenic effect of the root extract seems to be mediated by disturbances in the Leydig and Sertoli cells in testicles. Francis USDA, Gupta
Are the toxic effects of consumption of this plant known? Yes
Details of the toxic effects of the plant species Anti-spermatogenic at high doses Gupta
Have there been validation/clinical studies related to this plant?
Details of the clinical studies related to the plant species

Parameter Value(s) References
See complete references in the References section at the end
Is this plant/plant-derived product used in food preparations?
Part(s) of the plant used in the food preparations
Details of use in food preparations
Does this species have any religious significance?
Religions which mention/give significance to this species
Religious occasions
Details of religious use

Parameter Value(s) References
See complete references in the References section at the end
Is this plant cultivated commercially in India? Yes
Uses for which the plant is commercially cultivated Medicinal use, Cosmetic use, Ornamental use
Plant parts of commercial value Entire plant, Root, Leaves, Flower Francis USDA
Products where this plant is used User-reported
Description of use The plant is used in several parts of the world as an ornamental plant. In India, it is found in many dental products and skin creams.
States where this plant is cultivated commercially
Best period for planting this plant
Best period for harvesting this plant Winter
Method of propagation Seeds, Vegetative propagation Francis USDA
Water requirement of this plant Average
Pests and Diseases affecting this plant during cultivation Aphids, Spider mites, Whiteflies, Bacterial leaf spots, Stem Galls AHS Encyclopedia
Other considerations while cultivating this plant Seeds germinate in 13-77 days, grow slowly at first, but then at the rate of around 0.5 m/year. The species is generally considered as a weed in most of its range as it is spiny and not eaten by cattle.

The plants can be grown in soil based potting mix with extra compost, in full light. Extreme light can be harmful. When growing, apply balanced liquid fertilizer monthly and water sparingly in winter. (AHS)

The plant can also be grown outdoors in well drained soil and in a sunny area (AHS)

Francis USDA, AHS Encyclopedia


Pubmed Word cloud

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  • If there is an error message below, it means that there is no retrievable information available on NCBI
  • If the number of nucleotide sequences is less than 100, very little genomic work has been done on this species. A respectable number of nucleotide sequences is above 10000.
  • Most of the nucleotide sequences may come from three sources:
  1. Studies on single genes, where people try to sequence genes such as some specific dehydrogenases important,say, for tannin production
  2. Sequences of Ribosomal Internal Transcribed Spacer, whose sequence is used for generating molecular phylogenetic trees to establish species relationships
  3. Expressed Sequence Tags (ESTs) which can tell about which genes are present and expressed in the species at a particular time in the given tissue

{{#queryDB:taxonomy |Barleria prionitis }}

Parameter Value(s) References
See complete references in the References section at the end
Details of modern scientific knowledge available for this species Not much study has gone into genomics of this plant. Very few sequences available at NCBI. However some work has been done on the different secondary metabolites of the plant having drug-like activities - antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory. (Aug 2010) Gauravm, based on Google Scholar search
Are herbarium specimen available for this species?
Institutes having herbarium samples

Click here to go to Google Images





Barleria prionitis flower

References

Gupta (Journal) : Gupta et al (May 2000),Antifertility studies of the root extract of the Barleria prionitis Linn in male albino rats with special reference to testicular cell population dynamics., J-Ethnopharmacol.:70(2):111. doi={{{doi}}}


AHS Encyclopedia (Book) : The American Horticultural Society (2004),', ISBN: 9780756649159


Encyclopedia of Life (Web): Encyclopedia of Life entry, Accessdate=2010-08-28


NCBI Taxonomy (Web): NCBI Taxonomy entry, Accessdate=2010-08-28


Flowers of India, FoI (Web): Flowers of India entry, Accessdate=2010-08-28


Francis USDA (Web): Monograph by John Francis, a USDA researcher, Accessdate=2010-08-29