Hygrophila spinosa T. Anders.
A stout, suffrutescent, strigose-hispid, upto 80 cm tall herb, armed with 6 axillary, 2-3.5 cm long, straight or curved thorns at each node. Leaves in pseudowhorls of 6, outer 2 larger, sessile, lanceolate or oblong-lanceolate, (4-) 5-12 (-15) x 1.5-2.5 cm, white-hairy, margins inconspicuously dentate, base cuneate, acute at the apex. Flowers in axillary, whorled fascicles, purplish-blue, c. 2.5 cm long; bracts lanceolate, 2-2.5 cm long, hairy; bracteoles linear, 6-8 mm long, pilose. Calyx 4-lobed, lobes unequal, lanceolate, acute, outer ones longest, 2-2.2 cm long, limb 2-lipped, 5-lipped, 5-lobed, lips subequal, upper lip 2-lobed, lower trilobite, lobes obtuse. Stamens 4, all fertile; anthers oblong, c. 2.5 mm long. Ovary oblong, 8-ovuled, hairy at tip; style filiform, upto 2.5 cm long. Capsule oblong, shorter than calyx, glabrous, 4-8-seeded. Seeds orbicular, c. 3 mm across, on long curved retinacula.
Fl. Per.: August-March.
Type: Guinea, Thonning (C).
Distribution: Indo-China, Burma, Bangla Desh, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan Punjab) and Tropical Africa.
The roots, leaves and seeds are used in Indian medicine as diuretic and have been used to cure jaundice, dropsy, rheumatism on account of the presence of large quantities of mucilage and potassium salts in them.