Biophytum sensitivum

Biophytum sensitivum (L.) DC.                              

Family            :  Oxalidaceae 

Common Name : മുക്കുറ്റി(Mal)

                                  Little tree plant (Eng)

    लजालू  (Hin)                           


Tropical Little Tree Plant is an annual herb, base woody. Flowers are borne in several flowered umbels carried on flower-cluster-stalks 2-7 cm, nearly equal to leaf length. Petals are yellow, longer than sepals. Sepals are 5-6 mm, with glandular septate trichomes. Flower-stalks are about 1 mm at anthesis but up to 3 mm in fruit. Bracts are several, lanceshaped, about 2 mm, densely crowded at tip of flower-cluster-stalk, cluster about 3 mm. Stem is simple, slender to robust, bristly especially apically. Leaves are 3-13 cm; axis slender, moderately bristly; leaflets 6-14 pairs; leaflet blades oblong to obovate-oblong, 3-15 x 2-7 mm, usually hairless, occasionally sparsely covered with trichomes, base almost symmetric. Leaves are sensitive to touch, and fold up on being disturbed.  ca 3 mm long.

Annual herbs, to 15 cm high, downy-pubescent. Leaves 1.5-8 cm long; petioles to 2 cm long; leaflets 7-15 pairs; terminal pair the largest, obovate, curved, ca 12 x 7 mm; upper ones oblong, ca 10 x 6 mm; basal ones ovate, obtuse at base, short-apiculate at apex, ca 7 x 4 mm; apical bristles to 1.5 mm long. Umbels 5-10, 7-10 flowered; peduncles 3-7 cm long, appressed-strigose and glandular hairy; bracts ovate, setaceous; pedicels 2 mm or longer. Flowers 6-8 mm across, yellow with brick red tinge or red lines inside corolla. Sepals 5, lanceolate, to 5 mm long, glandular-pubescent, 5-nerved. Petals 5, oblong to 8 mm long. Stamens 10, short ones to 1 mm long, long ones to 3 mm long; staminal tube to 1.5 mm long; filaments sparsely puberulous. Ovary to 1.5 mm long; style to 1.8 mm long, 2-fid, puberulous at base. Capsules glandular-pubescent along septa; seeds 2(-4) in each locule, concentrically 9-ridged.


It is recommended to be used in the treatment of stomach ache, asthma, treating insomnia, convulsions, cramps, chest complaints, inflammations, tumors, and remedying chronic skin diseases. Commonly, the whole plant decoction is used for asthma and phthisis and the decoction of root is used for gonorrhea and lithiasis. 


Tropical and subtropical Asia 

Flowering & Fruiting :