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Cullen corylifolium - (L.) Medik.

Common Name Bu Gu Zhi
Family Fabaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards Although no specific mention of toxicity for this species has been found, at least some members of this genus contain furanocoumarins, these substances can cause photosensitivity in some people[65].
Habitats Warm valleys in Guizhou, Sichuan and Yunnan Provinces, China[266]. Relatively common in disturbed habitats, such as escarpments roadsides, banks and cropped land, often weedy[310].
Range E. Asia - southern China, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Malaysia, and Indonesia.
Edibility Rating    (1 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (4 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Full sun
Cullen corylifolium Bu Gu Zhi

Cullen corylifolium Bu Gu Zhi
Biswarup Ganguly Agri-Horticultural Society of India


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Cullen corylifolium, commonly known as Bu Gu Zhi, is a valued medicinal plant in traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda. It is an erect plant of up to 1.5 m tall and is branched from its base. It is usually found in East Asia. The fruit is aphrodisiac and tonic to the genital organs. The seed is edible and is used in the treatment of fever, impotence, premature ejaculation, lower back pains, skin ailments, bed wetting, and frequent urination among others. The plant produces oleoresin which can be used in the treatment of kidney disorders, impotence, lumbago, premature ejaculation, etc.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Cullen corylifolium is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.6 m (2ft in) at a fast rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10. The flowers are pollinated by Insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Cullen corylifolia (L.) Medik. (Spelling variant). Cullen corylifolius (L.) Medik. [Spelling variant

Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Seed
Edible Uses:

Seed[ 177 ].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Anthelmintic  Antibacterial  Aphrodisiac  Astringent  Cardiac  Cytotoxic  Deobstruent  Diaphoretic  
Diuretic  Febrifuge  Leprosy  Odontalgic  Skin  Skin  Stimulant  
Stomachic  Tonic

Bu Gu Zhi is valued in Chinese herbal medicine as a tonic remedy and is used to improve general vitality[ 254 ]. Modern research has shown that it is also of value in the treatment of skin disorders, including vitiligo. Some caution should be employed when applying the herb externally, however, since it can sensitise the skin and cause an allergic reaction to sunlight[ 254 ]. The one-seeded fruits (or the seed plus the seedpod) are highly regarded as an aphrodisiac and tonic to the genital organs[ 218 ]. The seed is anthelmintic, antibacterial, aphrodisiac, astringent, cardiac, cytotoxic, deobstruent, diaphoretic, diuretic, stimulant, stomachic and tonic[ 4 , 147 , 176 , 178 , 218 , 240 ]. It is used in the treatment of febrile diseases, premature ejaculation, impotence, lower back pains, frequent urination, incontinence, bed wetting etc[ 240 , 254 ]. It is also used externally to treat various skin ailments including leprosy, leucoderma and hair loss[ 218 , 240 ]. The seed and fruit contain psoralen. This causes the skin to produce new pigment when exposed to sunlight and is used for treating vitiligo and psoriasis[ 176 ]. The antibacterial action of the fruit inhibits the growth of Mycobacterium tuberculos[ 176 ]. The fruit is gathered when ripe in the autumn and can be dried for later use[ 254 ]. The root is used for treating dental caries[ 218 ]. The plant yields a useful medicinal oleoresin, it treats kidney disorders, impotence, premature ejaculation, lumbago etc[ 4 , 147 , 176 , 178 ].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses


Other Uses: None known

Special Uses

Nitrogen Fixer

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Succeeds in an ordinary garden soil[ 1 ]. Requires a well-drained soil in a sunny position[ 200 ]. Plants are very intolerant of root disturbance, they are best planted out into their permanent positions whilst still small[ 200 ]. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[ 200 ].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Plant Propagation

Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in warm water and then sow in individual pots or pot up the young seedlings as soon as possible in order to avoid root disturbance. Grow them on in the pots until planting out in their final positions. It is usually impossible to transplant this species without fatal damage to the root[ 200 ]. Division with great care since the plant resents root disturbance. It is virtually impossible to divide this species successfully[ 200 ].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Cullen corylifolium, commonly known as Bu Gu Zhi.

China, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

None Known

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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(L.) Medik.

Botanical References

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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