Green Chiretta (കിരിയാത്ത)

Scientific Name: Andrographis paniculata (Burm.f.) Nees

Synonyms: Justicia latebrosa Russell ex Wall, Justicia paniculata Burm.f.

Unique ID: 182

Systematic Position

Class: Dicotyledonae

Sub Class: Gamopetalae                  

Series: Bicarpellatae

Order: Personales

Family: Acanthaceae

Common Names

English – Green Chiretta

Malayalam – കിരിയാത്ത

Tamil – Nilavembu

Hindi – Kaalmegh



Description: The plant grows as an erect herb to a height of 30–110 cm (12–43 in) in moist, shady places. The slender stem is dark green, square in cross-section with longitudinal furrows and wings along the angles. The lance-shaped leaves have hairless blades measuring up to 8 cm (3.1 in) long by 2.5 cm (0.98 in). The small flowers are pink, solitary, arranged in lax spreading racemes or panicles. The fruit is a capsule around 2 cm (0.79 in) long and a few millimeters wide. It contains many yellow-brown seeds. The seeds are subquadrate, rugose and glabrous. The flowering time is September to December.


Habitat:  It can be found in a variety of habitats, such as plains, hillsides, coastlines, and disturbed and cultivated areas such as roadsides and farms. Native populations of A. paniculata are spread throughout south India and Sri Lanka which perhaps represent the center of origin and diversity of the species.     

Distribution: The species is distributed in tropical Asian countries

Uses:  Food, medicinal