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Curculigo orchioides - Gaertn.

Common Name Star grass, Golden-eyed grass
Family Hypoxidaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Forests and open grassy slopes from near sea level to 1,600 metres in southern China[ 266 ].
Range E. Asia - S. China, Japan, Indian subcontinent, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, New Guinea, W.Pacific.
Edibility Rating    (1 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (4 of 5)
Tender Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Curculigo orchioides Star grass, Golden-eyed grass

Curculigo orchioides Star grass, Golden-eyed grass


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Golden Eye-Grass or Curculigo orchioides is a tropical flowering plant native to China, Japan, Indian Subcontinent, Papuasia, and Micronesia. It is a stem-less perennial herb with a cluster of leaves from the roots that forms into a clump. The leaves are large, sword shaped and folded like a fan. The flowers are star shaped, yellow in colour and small. The fruit is a berry that is pale green in colour. The plant is used in traditional medicine as a general tonic and restorative. In particular, it is used in the treatment of peptic ulcers, piles, gonorrhoea, leucorrhea, asthma, jaundice, diarrhoea, lumbago, and headache. The tubers are eaten when cooked. It is grown through seed sowing, division of rootstock, and offsets.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Curculigo orchioides is an evergreen Perennial growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10 and is frost tender.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.


Curculigo brevifolia Dryand. ex W.T.Aiton Curculigo firma Kotschy & Peyr. Curculigo malabarica Wight


Edible Uses

The tubers are cooked and eaten.

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.

The rhizome is used in traditional medicine throughout the plants range. It is especially valued in Chinese traditional medicine as a general tonic and restorative in the treatment of decline (especially of physical strength)[ 310 ]. A bitter tasting, mucilaginous herb, it is said to be adaptogenic, analeptic, androgenic, anticonvulsive, antiinflammatory, aphrodisiac, diuretic, emmenagogue, sedative, tonic and uterine tonic[ 310 ]. It also has a stimulating effect upon the immune system[ 310 ]. Pharmacological studies have shown the presence of several medically active compounds in the rhizome including saponins and glycosides. Curculigosaponins C and F can promote the proliferation of spleen lymphocytes very significantly[ 310 ]. Curculigosaponins F and G increase the weight of the thymus[ 310 ]. Curculigoside exerts immunological and protective effects[ 310 ]. In addition to its use as a general restorative, the rhizome is used internally in the treatment of a range of diseases including peptic ulcers, piles, gonorrhoea, leucorrhoea, asthma, jaundice, chronic nephritis, diarrhoea, lumbago and headache[ 310 ]. Externally, the rhizome is used to treat skin diseases[ 310 ]. The rhizomes are washed, freed from roots, and sliced; the slices are dried in the shade[ 310 ]. Usually the dried slices are powdered, and small amounts of powder are mixed in a glass of milk with sugar or used to prepare a decoction for drinking[ 310 ]. Swelling of the tongue has been reported as a side-effect after drinking a decoction from the rhizome; in China the recommended antidote is a decoction of Rheum tanguticum with sodium sulphate[ 310 ].

Other Uses

None known

Cultivation details

Succeeds in humid tropical and subtropical areas and can be cultivated outdoors in warm, essentially frost-free temperate areas[ 200 ]. Prefers a humus-rich, fertile, well-drained soil and a position in dappled shade[ 200 ]. The rhizomes may reach 30 cm x 11.5 cm. Only 3 - 5 leaves are found on the plant at a given time. The flowers and fruits are inconspicuous because they are close to the ground and partially covered by the bracts and leaves[ 310 ].


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Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe[ 200 ]. Division of the rootstock[ 200 ]. Offsets[ 200 ].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Golden Eye-Grass or Curculigo orchioides. Also known as: Star grass, golden eye-grass, xian mao, weevil-wort, black musli, Kali musli, or Kali Musali, Kuluthupokie, Mushali, Nelatati-gadde, Nelatatygadda, Nilappanai, Tala nuli, Toloangi, Wan prao.

Found In

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

Asia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indochina, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Marianas, Myanmar, Northeastern India, Pacific, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, PNG, Philippines, SE Asia, Thailand, Vietnam.

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


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A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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