Barleria buxifolia: Chullimullu

Family: Acanthaceae
Common name: Carachulli, Chullimullu

Barleria plants are commonly seen the wild, and are distinguished by their long thorns and beautiful flowers. It’s a small erect shrub that grows to a height of about 1.5 feet with spreading branches, commonly seen in gravelly areas or hillsides. Leaves do not have stalks, and are oval with a blunt squarish end and a pointy tip at the end of the vein.

They have light, downy hair on both the upper and lower surfaces. The stem is densely covered with sharp, prickly thorns that are about a centimeter long. Flowers vary in color from light violet, blue or peach. Barleria plants have tubular flowers with 5 distinct petals. Flowering season is from November to March, and from July to October.

After flowering, they produce an ellipsoidal seed capsule with many seeds. The name Buxifolia comes from the leaves, which look like those of the Boxwood tree. The roots and leaves are used in treatment of inflammation, cough and bronchitis. Barlieria plants are used in all streams of medicine, popular in India like Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani.

Propagation is from seeds.

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