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Oldenlandia diffusa - (Willd.)Roxb.

Common Name Snake-Needle Grass
Family Rubiaceae
USDA hardiness 7-10
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Moist ground and fields[238]. A weed of gardens and fields[147].
Range E. Asia - China, Japan, Korea and Formosa.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Care (info)
Frost Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade
Oldenlandia diffusa Snake-Needle Grass

Oldenlandia diffusa Snake-Needle Grass


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Oldenlandia diffusa is a ANNUAL growing to 0.3 m (1ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in).
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 8. It is in flower from August to September. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs).
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map



 Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

None known

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.
Alterative  Anodyne  Antibacterial  Antiinflammatory  Antitumor  Cardiotonic  Depurative  Diuretic  
Febrifuge  Sedative  Urinary

Snake-needle grass is a pleasant-tasting cooling, alterative herb that lowers fever, reduces inflammation, relieves pain and is diuretic and antibacterial[238]. It acts mainly on the liver and also stimulates the immune system[238]. The whole plant is alterative, anodyne, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antitumor, cardiotonic, depurative, diuretic, febrifuge and sedative[147, 176, 238]. The plant is harvested in the summer and dried for later use[238]. It is taken internally in the treatment of fevers, coughs, asthma, jaundice, impure blood, urinary tract infections, acute appendicitis, biliousness and cancers of the digestive tract[176, 238, 240]. Externally, it is used in the treatment of snake bites, boils, abscesses and severe bruising[176, 238].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

None known

Special Uses

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Prefers growing in a damp soil in partial shade[238]. This species is not very hardy outdoors in Britain, tolerating temperatures down to about -5°c[238]. It should be possible to grow it as a spring-sown annual in most parts of the country[K].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Seed - sow spring in situ.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

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Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

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.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

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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Botanical References

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

Dave Horst   Sat Feb 17 2007

Where can I find this in Bellevue Nebraska? My wife has lung cancer and we would like to try Oldenlandia. We have heard a lot of good things about this product.

Ken Fern, Plants for a Future   Sun Feb 18 2007

I wish Dave luck in finding a supplier. My suggestion is to go to a Chinatown if you have one in a city near you, otherwise contact a Chinese herbalist. Being based in Britain, I have very little knowledge of herbal suppliers in America, but I can tell you of one herbal supplier based in Britain that sends their herbs worldwide. Their name is Incense Magic and their web address is http://www.incensemagic.co.uk/. They supply the herb under its synonym of Hedyotis diffusa.

Tham   Fri Jun 22 2007

Here is one supplier : http://www.kalyx.com/store/proddetail.cfm/ItemID/289021.0/CategoryID/13000.0/SubCatID/2855.0/file.htm

Leen   Fri Sep 12 2008

yes Dave www.kalyx.com is where our Chinese doctor orders it from. My husband is taking that too.

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