return to: checklist; family Verbenaceae; keys
Coarse herb; leaves opposite (or sub-opposite), simple, ovate, base acute, margin coarsely toothed, apex acute, essentially glabrous; inflorescence a coarse terminal spike, the flowers densely crowded and appressed to the spike axis, opening one at a time; corolla 5-lobed, bilaterally symmetrical, violet with white towards the throat; fruit a capsule.
Standley (1930) mentions several medicinal properties: juice from crushed leaves placed in the ear canal to relieve earache and a tincture in rum used as a lotion to relieve "nervous pains." The plant has been used in the treatment of malaria, yellow fever, amneorrhea, siphylis, gonorrhea. Further, tonic, emetic, expectorant and sweat-inducing (sudorific) effects are claimed for the plant.