Plumbago zeylanica

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Plumbago zeylanica
Plumbago zeylanica1MTFL.jpg
Scientific classification
P. zeylanica
Binomial name
Plumbago zeylanica

Plumbago scandens L.[1]

Plumbago zeylanica, commonly known as Ceylon leadwort, doctorbush[2] or wild leadwort,[3] is a species of plumbago with a pantropical distribution. Carl Linnaeus described the paleotropical P. zeylanica and neotropical P. scandens as separate species, but they are currently considered synonymous.


Plumbago zeylanica is a herbaceous plant with glabrous stems that are climbing, prostrate, or erect. The leaves are petiolate or sessile and have ovate, lance-elliptic, or spatulate to oblanceolate blades that measure 5-9 × 2.5–4 cm in length. Bases are attenuate while apexes are acute, acuminate, or obtuse. Inflorescences are 3–15 cm in length and have glandular, viscid rachises. Bracts are lanceolate and 3-7 × 1–2 mm long. The heterostylous flowers have white corollas 17–33 mm in diameter and tubes 12.5–28 mm in length. Capsules are 7.5–8 mm long and contain are reddish brown to dark brown seeds.[1]

Habitat and range[edit]

Plumbago zeylanica grows throughout the tropical and sub-tropical climates of the world,[4] including Australia and India. In Australia, it grows in the understory of monsoon forests and vine thickets from sea level to 900 m.[5] In Dhofar, Oman, this species is often found growing on Olea trunks.[6]


P. zeylanica is a food plant for the Cassius blue (Leptotes cassius), Marine blue (L. marina), and Zebra blue (L. plinius) during their larval stages.[5][7][8]

Traditional medicine[edit]

Early folk medicine used the crushed plant internally and externally as an abortifacient as well as a treatment for leprosy.[6]


  1. ^ a b "Plumbago zeylanica Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 151. 1753". Flora of North America. Retrieved 2011-06-30.
  2. ^ "Plumbago zeylanica". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 2011-02-23.
  3. ^ "Plumbago zeylanica". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
  4. ^ Jain, Paras; Sharma, H. P.; Basri, Fauziya; Baraik, Binit; Kumari, Soni; Pathak, Chanchala (2014). "Pharmacological Profiles of Ethno-Medicinal Plant: Plumbago zeylanica l.- A Review" (PDF). Int. J. Pharm. Sci. Rev. Res. 24 (1): 157–163.
  5. ^ a b "Factsheet - Plumbago zeylanica". Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants. Retrieved 2018-04-17.
  6. ^ a b G., Miller, Anthony (1988). Plants of Dhofar, the southern region of Oman : traditional, economic, and medicinal uses. Morris, Miranda., Stuart-Smith, Susanna., Oman. Office of the Adviser for Conservation of the Environment. [Muscat]: Prepared and published by the Office of the Adviser for Conservation of the Environment, Diwan of Royal Court, Sultanate of Oman. p. 232. ISBN 0715708082. OCLC 20798112.
  7. ^ "Butterfly Larvae & Host Plants" (PDF). Xerces Society. Retrieved 2018-11-24.
  8. ^ "Featured Plants Spring 2016" (PDF). Desert Survivors. February 2016. p. 3.

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