Ruellia tuberosa

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Ruellia tuberosa
Wayside Tuberose -Ruella tuberosa- flower in Hyderabad, AP W IMG 6628.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Acanthaceae
Genus: Ruellia
Species: R. tuberosa
Binomial name
Ruellia tuberosa
  • Cryphiacanthus barbadensis Nees
  • Dipteracanthus clandestinus C.Presl[1]
  • Ruellia clandestina L.[2]
  • Ruellia picta (Lodd. et al.)

Ruellia tuberosa, also known as minnieroot,[3] fever root, snapdragon root and sheep potato (Thai: ต้อยติ่ง), is a species of flowering plant in the Acanthaceae family. Its native range is in Central America but presently it has become naturalized in many countries of tropical South and Southeast Asia.[4]

Some butterfly species, like the lemon pansy (Junonia lemonias) and the mangrove buckeye (Junonia genoveva), feed on the leaves of Ruellia tuberosa.

Description and properties[edit]

It is a small biennial plant with thick fusiform tuberous roots and striking funnel-shaped violet-colored flowers. Its fruit is a 2 cm long sessile capsule containing about 20 seeds. Some of the names of the plant such as popping pod, duppy gun and cracker plant come from the fact that children like to play with the dry pods that pop when rubbed with spit or water.[5]

Ruellia tuberosa reaches an average height of about 25 cm in moist and shady environments.[citation needed] It grows, however, preferably in grasslands and roadsides —often as a weed in cultivated fields—, and also in xerophile and ruderal habitats.[6]

In folk medicine[7] and Ayurvedic medicine[8] it has been used as a diuretic, anti-diabetic, antipyretic, analgesic, antihypertensive, gastroprotective, and to treat gonorrhea.[9] It is also used as a natural dye for textiles.[10]

See also[edit]

  • 21540 Itthipanyanan, an asteroid named after the author of an award-winning study on Ruellia tuberosa


  1. ^ Ruellia tuberosa en PlantList
  2. ^ Ruellia tuberosa - Minnie Root
  3. ^ "Ruellia tuberosa". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 25 October 2015. 
  4. ^ Yang Mekar ditamanku - Fever Root; Ruellia tuberosa, Linn.
  5. ^ Jeannette Allsopp, Dictionary of Caribbean English usage, University of the West Indies Press, 2003, ISBN 978-976-640-145-0
  6. ^ Ruellia tuberosa - Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk
  7. ^ Roger Graveson's The Plants of Saint Lucia: Acanthaceae
  8. ^ H. Panda, Handbook On Ayurvedic Medicines With Formulae, Processes And Their Uses, National Institute of Industrial Research, 2002, ISBN 81-86623-63-9
  9. ^ Lans C.A., Ethnomedicine as used in Trinidad and Tobago for urinary problems and diabetes mellitus; J. Ethnobiol. Ethnomed. 200
  10. ^ Effect of Chitosan and Mordants on Dyeability of Cotton Fabrics with Ruellia tuberosa Linn.

External links[edit]