Hemigraphis alternata alternata

Sub-Family: Not available
English Name: Red Flame Ivy
Synonym: Ruellia alternata Burm.f.
Common Name: Waffle plant
Flowering & Fruiting Period: February-May
Distribution: Native of Central America
Habitat: Grown as garden plant
Uses: Used to decorate aquariums and goldfish bowls. In folklore, the leaf juice is applied directly on open wound to stop bleeding. In folk medicine, it used internally to cure anemia. Traditionally, the leaves are consumed to mend gall stones, excessive menstruation and as a contraceptive. In Vanuatu, sap of leaf buds are squeezed in water and drunk at dawn for 4 days as contraceptive and to induce sterility. In Java, leaves are used to treat bloody dysentery and haemorrhoids (piles). It is also credited with diuretic competence.
Key Characteristics: Low-creeping perennial herb that reaches a height of 15 to 30 cm. The leaf has metallic purple lustre on upper surface and a solid dark purple on ventral side. The leaves are opposite, ovate to cordate, serrate-crenate, bearing well-defined veins. Flowers are small, five lobed, bell shaped with imbricate bracts. These are white in colour with faint purple marks within and appear in terminal spikes. Capsules are small, slender, oval, linear and light green in colour. Seeds are small, flat and white in colour