Justicia diffusa Willd., Sp. Pl. 1: 87 87 1797. (syn: Rostellaria diffusa (Willd.) Nees);

Herbs. Leaves 4-5 x 3 cm, elliptic-ovate, apex subacute, base rounded; petiole to 1 cm. Spike axillary, to 6 cm; bracts and bracteoles to 2 cm, ovate, acute; calyx lobes to 4 mm, lanceolate, acute, subequal, margin ciliate; corolla ca 5 x 2 mm across; stamen 2; ovary 1 mm, style 3 mm, hairy. Capsule to 5 mm, hairy above; seeds ovate, papillose.

Flowering and fruiting: August-October
Evergreen forests
South and South East Asia
(From India Biodiversity Portal (Justicia diffusa var. diffusa)

Herbs 30-50 cm tall, muchbranched, fairly woody at base, branches subquadrangular.Leaves opposite, 2-5 x 1-2 cm, ovate-eeliptic or ovate- lanceolate, acute to acuminate, at base narrowed, glabrous; petiole 5-10 mm long. Flowers in axillary and terminal narrow, 2.5-10 cm long spikes,; bracts 2 mm long, ovate acuminate with scarious margins; bracteoles similar to bracts, slightly narrower. Calyx 3 mm long, 4-partite to the base, lobes lanceolate, unequal. Corolla 4 mm long, pale purple, minutely pubescent out side, Capsule 4-5 mm long, oblong, grooved along the back, glabrous; seeds 1 mm across, concentrically rugose.

Flowering and fruiting: October
Southern Western Ghats


30072013 BRS 491 : Attachments (3). 7 posts by 3 authors.
Pl. find the attached file contain photo for id. confirmation.
Date: 30.07.2013
Location Adyar, Chennai
Habitat: Urban
Habit: herb.

A species of Justicia?

I think it should be Justicia japonica

It looks like Justicia diffusa Syn. Rostelluria diffusa

it is Justicia diffusa

For Id 240809JM2 : Attachments (2). 7 posts by 2 authors.
On 17/8/08 in Talakona forest, AP. Is it some Hygrophila species?

it seems to be justicia procumbens

The flower is Justicia procumbens.

Thanks, … for ID.
This link gives Justicia simplex as Justicia procumbens var. simplex:

Rostellularia japonica (Thumb.) Ellis. Details as below:

In the description of Justicia japonica at Flora of Pakistan, the flower is described to be 2-lipped, with both the lips about 3 mm.
In your flower, the lower lip is much larger than the upper one. …

It appears to be Justicia diffusa as per keys available at:
Flora of Madhya Pradesh: Chhatarpur and Damoh By G. P. Roy, B. K. Shukla, Bhaskar Datt (Description & Keys- Justicia diffusa, simplex, quinqueangularis var. quinqueangularis, quinqueangularis var. peploides)
Pl. confirm.

Yes, it is Justicia diffusa, common in Eastern ghats.


Justicia diffusa Willd. SN Mar 35 :  Attachments (1). 1 post by 1 author. Justicia diffusa Willd, Fam Acanthaceae (= Rostellularia diffusa Nees), difffuse herb from coastal area to 1000m altitude.


Acanthaceae fortnight SN 09 : 1 post by 1 author. Attachments (1). Justicia diffusa Willd., spreading herb, in the foot hills from Kanchepuram dt, Tamilnadu


Acanthaceae fortnight SN 19 : 2 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (2). Justicia diffusa Willd from Hosur area of Krishnagiri dt. there are 3 varieties reported from Tamilnadu area.

¿ Justicia / Rostellularia ?
Only these two photos; the flower about 2 mm across.
at Ken Gharial Sanctuary on September 15, 2013

Thanks, … Doesn’t it look like Justicia procumbens again, you already posted though I may be wrong ?

Appears like Justicia diffusa Willd posted by … at link

I agree ,,. Thank you very much. Justicia diffusa looks very convincing.
Hopefully someone helps validate.

Please also take a note of efi thread

Sorry, I was wrong …, this is not Cardanthera uliginosa Ham., bracts are round ovate in that species.


Acanthaceae fortnight ANMAR15/36 Please identify this herb : 7 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (7)

Family: Acanthaceae
Date:August 2014
Place: Bangalore, Karnataka
Habit: Herb
Herb was tall with leaf length exceeding 6 cm.

Check for Rostellularia species.  

Rostellularia species so far in efi 

It looks like Justicia diffusa

…, I do not think it is J. diffusa. I have posted it during this fornight in this post.

… was right initially, I was wrong about the Justicia diffusa posted in this thread. Thank you ma’am.
This should be J. diffusa Willd. based on ovate bracts that are much shorter than the calyx and with scarious margin. Calyx 4 in number and capsule is glabrous.
Thank you once again.


I think this may be the same one as in this post.
They were clicked about 2 months apart in different forests outside Bangalore.
Family: Acanthaceae
Date: October, 2014
Place: Nandi Hills, Bangalore, Karnataka
Habit: Herb

Justicia– species in eFIoraofindia (with details/ keys from published papers/ regional floras/ FRLHT/ FOI/ efloras/ books etc., where ever available)

This species has to be Justicia diffusa Willd. on account of:
1) Woody herb
2) Branchlets striate
3) Calyx 4
4) Bracts much shorter than calyx
5) Bracts ovate with scarious margin
6) Oblong and glabrous capsule
These characters match the following description and herbarium.

Thanks …, learning a very complicated genus from your threads, specially thanks for explaining salient features.

Thank you sir.
I have brought this plant home from the forest to grow and examine with a hand lens and was hence able to carefully look at all the characters.
Unless I do this for all the other Justicia sp. I doubt if they can be identified due to the size of the plant and its parts!

I’m still doing without glasses, but time has come to have a pair!

Identification of Justicia species : Attachments (2). 4 posts by 3 authors.
This plant is photographed at Udayagiri, Nellore district, in rock crevices near water fall.
the plant is about 40 cm tall, glabrous, leaves thin, spikes slender up to 3cm long, flowers light lilac to purple.
Please help me in identification of the plant.

It may be Rostellularia diffusa var. diffusa.

efi page on Justicia diffusa (syn: Rostellaria diffusa (Willd.) Nees)


I too agree with you


This appears to be the third of the same species clicked from a third forest outside Bangalore.
Here are the first and second for reference.
Family: Acanthaceae
Date: December 2014
Place: Makalidurga, Karnataka

Habit: Herb
Habitat: Scrub forest



SK 2975 18 September 2021: 1 very high res. image.
Location: Dailekh, West Nepal
Altitude: 1326 m.
Date: 13 August 2021
Habit : Wild
Justicia diffusa Willd. ??

Yes, appears close as per images at Justicia diffusa


Rostellularia mollissima (Nees) Nees: 1 correct image as above.
synonyms: Justicia simplex D.Don; Justicia mollissima (Nees) Y.F.Deng & T.F.Daniel
location/date (both): Nandi Hills, Bangalore, Karnataka, July 1997 

I think these are two different plants.
1st image appears more closer to

Many thanks for this quality control work!  I will need to go back to the (old) field notes as there does seem to be an error here – while the flowers are similar, the leaf morphology is quite difference.




POWO  The Plant List  Flora of China  Flora of Pakistan  Annotated checklist of Flowering plants of Nepal  India Biodiversity Portal (Justicia diffusa var. diffusa) India Biodiversity Portal (Justicia diffusa var. hedyotidifolia) India Biodiversity Portal (Justicia diffusa Willd. var. orbiculata (Wall. ex T.And.) Clarke)  

Flora of Madhya Pradesh: Chhatarpur and Damoh By G. P. Roy, B. K. Shukla, Bhaskar Datt (Description & Keys- Justicia diffusa, simplex, quinqueangularis var. quinqueangularisquinqueangularis var. peploides)

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