Premna serratifolia

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Premna serratifolia
Green leaves with tiny green fruit
Leaves and young fruit of P. serratifolia
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Premna
P. serratifolia
Binomial name
Premna serratifolia
  • Premna integrifolia L.
  • Premna obtusifolia R.Br.

Premna serratifolia (Sanskrit : Agnimantha, अग्निमंथ; Marathi and Malayalam :Arani, अरणी, Tagalog : Alagaw, Visayan: Kulawin, Palauan : Chosm)[1] is a small tree/shrub[2] in the family Lamiaceae. It flowers and fruits between May and November.[3] During flowering season, it attracts a large number of butterflies and bees.[4] Synonyms of Premna serratifolia Linn. include P. corymbosa (Burm. f.) Merr., P. integrifolia L. and P. obtusifolia R. Br.).


It mostly grow in moist sandy soil and scrub jungles along seacoasts and mangrove forests.[3] In the Philippines, particularly in Cebu Island, it is usually found in the interior, watery forests of Southern Cebu. It is commonly called "Kulawin" in the Cebuano Local Dialect.


Trees, to 7 m high. Leaves simple, opposite, estipulate; petiole 4–14 mm, slender, pubescent, grooved above; lamina 2.5-8.5 x 2-7.2 cm, elliptic, elliptic-oblong, base acute, obtuse, subcordate or rounded, apex acuminate, mucronate, obtuse, margin entire or subserrate, glabrous above except along the appressed midrib, chartaceous; lateral nerves 3-5 pair, pinnate, prominent, puberulous beneath; intercostae reticulate, obscure. Flowers bisexual, greenish-white, in terminal corymbose panicled cymes; bracts small; calyx small campanulate, 2 lipped, 5 lobed; corolla tube short, villous inside, lobes 5; stamens 4, didynamous, inserted below the throat of the corolla tube; anther ovate; ovary superior, 2-4-celled, ovules 4; style linear; stigma shortly bifid. Fruit a drupe, seated on the calyx, globose, purple; seeds oblong.[3]

Medicinal uses[edit]

The plant is extensively used in Indian traditional medicine. Studies on the root wood of P. serattifolia led to the isolation of acteoside, a glucoside derivative.[5] The root bark of the plant which showed biological activities have also shown to contain a potent cytotoxic and antioxidant diterpene, 11,12,16-trihydroxy-2-oxo-5-methyl-10-demethyl-abieta-1[10],6, 8,11,13-pentene.[6]


  1. ^ Pharmacographia Indica
  2. ^ Description given by G. Renu, Sanjana Julias Thilakar, D. Narasimhan, Centre for Floristic Research, Department of Botany, Madras Christian College, Tambaram. Referred from indiabiodiversity portal
  3. ^ a b c Described by Dr. N Sasidharan (Dr. B P Pal Fellow), Kerala Forest Research Institute, Peechi in Indiabiodiversity portal
  4. ^ The media files included gives the required verity.
  5. ^ Bose LV, Varghese GK, Habtemariam S. 2013. Identification of acteoside as the active antioxidant principle of Premna serratifolia root wood tissues. Phytopharmacology 4: 228–236
  6. ^ Habtemariam, S., Varghese, G.K. (2015). A Novel Diterpene Skeleton: Identification of a highly aromatic, cytotoxic and antioxidant 5-methyl-10-demethyl-abietane-typediterpene from Premna serratifolia Phytotherapy Research 29(1), 80-85.

Further reading[edit]

  • Flora of Tamil Nadu, VOL. II, 1987
  • Premna serratifolia L., Mant. Pl. 2: 253. 1771; Gamble, Fl. Pres. Madras 1096(767). 1924; Ramach. & V.J. Nair, Fl. Cannanore Dist. 357. 1988; Antony, Syst. Stud. Fl. Kottayam Dist. 318. 1989; Rajendran & Daniel, Indian Verbenaceae 284. 2002.
  • Premna integrifolia L., Mant. Pl. 2: 252. 1771, nom. illeg.; Hook. f., Fl. Brit. India 4: 574. 1885.
  • Premna obtusifolia R. Br., Prodr. 512. 1810; Manilal & Sivar., Fl. Calicut 230. 1982; Ansari, Fl. Kasaragod Div. 296. 1985