Shurma or Hophead barleria, Baleria lupulina

Shurma or Hophead barleria (Baleria lupulina, family: Acanthaceae) is a thorny shrub with numerous branches, attaining a height of 1-1.5 m. Stem is glabrous. Branches and young shoots are reddish and quadrangular. The hard and pointed thorns are originated from the leaf axil. It is found in gardens, medicinal gardens and botanical gardens in Bangladesh. It is also found in the countries of tropical Asia and tropical Africa.  

Other names: Kata bishollakoroni, Katabishala, Shonomukhi, Shorno jhinti.

Leaves are dark green, linear-lanceolate, 7-15 cm long and 2-4 cm wide, midrib reddish, short petioled.

Flowers are yellow having overlapping bracts, borne on terminal inflorescene; corolla is tubular, 3 cm long, lobes 5. Flower blooms in autumn. 

Fruit is a capsule, 2-seeded. Propagation of the plant is caused by seeds and cuttings.

It is used in cold, fever, weakness, pain and swelling. Leaves are used in dogbites and snakebites. These are also used in rheumatic pain also.

The quadrangular and reddish branch, the reddish midrib of leaves, the bright yellow petals, the presence of thorns, all these features have increased its importance as an ornamental plant.


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