Octopus bush

Heliotropium cf. foetherianum (Boraginaceae)

Characteristics

Shrub or small tree, up to 3 m tall with a spread of about 5 m. typically growing in littoral zones. Senescent leaves contain rosmarinic acid and derivates, which are known for its antiviral, antibacterial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It may remove ciguatoxins produced by microscopic Gambierdiscus algae (dinoflagellat), which cause ciguatera fish poisoning.

Distribution

Native to tropical Asia, Madagascar, Northern Australia and the Pacific Islands.

Natural Medical Properties

No known.

Did you know?

Historically in the Maldives, the leaves were often used as famine food. In the Pacific Islands, the wood was commonly used to make handicrafts, tools and frames for swim goggles.

Further reading:

Literature

World Flora Online
WorldChecklist of Selected Plant Families
A working list of all plant species