Pouzolzia zeylanica: Graceful Pouzolz’s bush

Family: Urticaceae
Common name: Graceful Pouzolz’s bush

Graceful Pouzolz’s bushes are very commonly seen in the wild in tropical countries, growing to a height of 20-40 cm. The plants are mostly erect with dark green leaves, rarely slanting to the ground.

Leaves are opposite, 3-5 cm long with deep venation, pointed at the tip. Leaves and and stem are covered with short, white bristles. Flowers are pale green or white developing at the axils, the angle between the leaves and the stem.

There are distinct male and female flowers that later produce small yellow or light brown fruits containing a single seed.

These sturdy plants grow in fields, waste lands, disturbed soil, humid regions, water-logged areas, clearly distinguishable from other wild plants by their dark green, deeply-veined leaves and clusters of flowers growing along the stem.

The stem varies in color from green to red, growing erect with very little branching. They usually grow in areas crowded with other wild plants, standing tall among the other plants because of their erect stems.

Graceful Pouzolz’s bushes are named after the French botanist, Pierre Marie Casimir de Pouzolz and has many closely related species that differ from each other in the shape and placement of leaves, and flower parts.

Some of these plants are used as a vegetable, their leaves cut into small pieces and garnished with onion and spices to add flavor. They also have some medicinal uses in the treatment of cuts, wounds, indigestion, fever, cough, sore throat, insect bites, toothache, ulcers, and urinary problems.|

Extracts of the plant possess antibacterial, antifungal, and cytotoxic activities making them ideal in food processing to control insect larvae.

Propagation is through seeds and stem cuttings.