Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Orthosiphon aristatus
(Blume) Miq., Lamiaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Other Latin names:  Clerodendranthus spicatus (Thunb.) C. Y. Wu ex H. W. Li; Clerodendrum spicatum Thunb.; Ocimum aristatum Blume; Orthosiphon stamineus Benth.

Common name(s): [more details]

Chinese: shen cha

English: cat's whiskers, Java tea, kidney tea

Fijian: kumi ni pusi

French: thé de Java

Malayan: pokok misai kucing

Palauan: emadecharebub

Pohnpeian: alisen-kaht, elisiniket

Samoan: ‘ava pusi, ‘ava pusi

Tongan: kava ‘i pusi

Habit:  herb

Description: 


Note:  Apparently Orthosiphon is being promoted as an herbal remedy for weight loss.  This species is known to be a diuretic and can thus result in temporary weight loss through the loss of water.  I have been unable to locate reliable information regarding any effect on fat. Be aware that herbal remedies can be promoted with virtually no scientific evidence as to their efficacy or side effects. It's strictly buyer beware!



"[S]lender perennial herb to 2 m high, the branchlets 4-angled, sparsely puberulent to glabrescent, sometimes purplish; leaves petiolate, the petioles 1-2 (-4.5) cm long, puberulent, the blades lanceolate to ovate or rhombic, 2-9 x 1-5 cm, chartaceous to membranaceous, cuneate at base, acute to acuminate at apex, coarsely serrate at margin (especially above middle of blade), glabrous to puberulent on both surfaces; racemes 10-15 (-20) cm long, the verticils lax, distant, the bracts sessile, ovate, 1-2 mm long, ciliolate, the pedicels to 4 mm long; calyx curved-campanulate, the tube to 3 mm long at anthesis, 10-nerved, scabridulous on nerves, the upper lip ovate, to 3 x 2.5 mm, the lower lip longer, the median lobes acuminate-aristate; corolla white or pale blue, 10-16 (-20) mm long, the tube 10-15 mm long, straight, strigose-tomentose without, the upper lip shallowly 4-lobed, recurved, the lower lip as long as upper lip, concave; stamens glabrous, coiled in bud, the anthers purple; style 5-6 cm long, glabrous, clavate and briefly 2-lobee at apex, white, purplish distally; nutlets ovoid-oblong, to 2 mm long, glabrous, rugose" (Smith, 1991; pp. 227-228).

Habitat/ecology:  Naturalizes along roadsides, in stream bottoms and wet places.  Often a cultivated plant.  In Fiji, "cultivated in villages and gardens at elevations up to about 200 m, and sometimes naturalized along roadsides" (Smith, 1991; pp. 227-228).

Propagation:  Seed

Native range:  India through southeastern Asia and the Nicobars and throughout Malesia to Australia (Smith, 1991; pp. 227-228).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Aitutaki Atoll cultivated
McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
‘Atiu Island cultivated
McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Mangaia Island cultivated
McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Rarotonga Island cultivated
McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Rarotonga Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2002) (p. Field notes.)
Federated States of Micronesia
Chuuk Islands
Fefan Island introduced
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara/Denslow, Julie S./Nelson, Duane/Mazawa, Thomas R. (2000) (p. 28)
Federated States of Micronesia
Kosrae Island
Kosrae Island introduced
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara/Denslow, Julie S./Nelson, Duane/Waguk, Erick E. (2000) (p. 28)
Federated States of Micronesia
Kosrae Island
Kosrae Island introduced
invasive
Lorence, David H./Flynn, Timothy (2010) (p. 18)
Voucher cited: Lorence 7887 (PTBG)
Naturalized
Federated States of Micronesia
Kosrae Island
Kosrae Island introduced
invasive
Josekutty, P. C./Wakuk, E. E./Joseph, M. J. (2002) (p. 63)
Federated States of Micronesia
Pohnpei Islands
Pohnpei Island introduced
Glassman, S. F. (1952) (p. 105)
Voucher cited: Glassman 2903 (US), Takamatsu 791 (BISH)
Federated States of Micronesia
Pohnpei Islands
Pohnpei Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Herrera, Katherine/Lorence, David H./Flynn, Timothy/Balick, Michael J. (2010) (p. 101)
Vouchers cited: E. Albert 51 (NY, PTBG), F.R. Fosberg 26337 (BISH, PTBG), S.F. Glassman 2455 (BISH), S.F. Glassman 2903 (BISH), E.Y. Hosaka 3522 (BISH), S. Perlman 21464 (PTBG), M. Tamakatsu 791 (BISH)
Naturalized
Federated States of Micronesia
Pohnpei Islands
Pohnpei Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (2003) (voucher ID: PTBG 46198)
Taxon name on voucher: Orthosiphon aristatus (Blume) Miq.
Federated States of Micronesia
Pohnpei Islands
Pohnpei Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (1946) (voucher ID: PTBG 23372)
Taxon name on voucher: Orthosiphon aristatus
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Vanua Levu Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Smith, Albert C. (1991) (pp. 227-228)
Voucher cited: DA 16956
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Smith, Albert C. (1991) (pp. 227-228)
Vouchers cited: DA 12126, Smith 7233, DA 16469
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawai‘i (Big) Island   Flynn, Tim (year unknown)
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Grande Terre introduced
cultivated
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 69)
Voucher cited: MacKee 36622
Niue
Niue
Niue Island introduced
Sykes, W. R. (1970) (p. 104)
Uncommon. Voucher cited: CHR 169934
Niue
Niue
Niue Island introduced
Whistler, W. A. (1988) (p. 20)
Niue
Niue
Niue Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara M./Newfield, Melanie/Bull, Cate (2004) (p. 44)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Babeldaob Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara/Miles, Joel E./Tiobech, Joseph/Rengulbai, Kashgar (2003) (p. 102)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Koror (Oreor) Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara/Miles, Joel E./Tiobech, Joseph/Rengulbai, Kashgar (2003) (p. 98)
Papua New Guinea
Bismarck Archipelago
Bismarck Archipelago   Peekel, P. G. [translated by E. E. Henty] (1984) (p. 491)
Abundant, at scrub-edges, in open places, under coconuts, etc.
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island)
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Philippines
Philippine Islands
Philippine Islands native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Philippines
Philippine Islands
Philippine Islands   Merrill, Elmer D. (1923) (p. 422)
In thickets at low and medium altitudes, not common.
Samoa
Western Samoa Islands
Savai‘i Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2002) (p. Field notes.)
Voucher: Flynn 6950 (PTBG, US, SAMOA)
Samoa
Western Samoa Islands
Savai‘i Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (2002) (voucher ID: PTBG 280)
Taxon name on voucher: Orthosiphon aristatus
Samoa
Western Samoa Islands
Upolu Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2002) (p. Field notes.)
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands introduced
cultivated
Hancock, I. R./Henderson, C. P. (1988) (p. 95)
Tonga
Tongatapu Group
Tongatapu Island   Whistler, W. A. (1988) (p. 20)
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Australia
Australia (continental)
Queensland native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Cambodia
Cambodia
Cambodia (Kingdom of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
China
China
China (People's Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Malaysia
Malaysia
Malaysia (country of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Singapore
Singapore
Singapore (Republic of) introduced
cultivated
Chong, Kwek Yan/Tan, Hugh T. W./Corlett, Richard T. (2009) (p. 65)
Cultivated only
Taiwan
Taiwan Island
Taiwan Island native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Thailand
Thailand
Thailand (Kingdom of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam (Socialist Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)

Comments:  Somewhat invasive along wet streambanks on Kosrae.


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This page was created on 1 JAN 1999 and was last updated on 4 APR 2011.