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Family Hypoxidaceae
Giant palm grass
Curculigo capitulata (Lour.) Kuntze
Da ye xian mao

Scientific names Common names
Curculigo capitulata (Lour.) Kuntze Abang-abang (Tagalog)
Curculigo foliis-variegatis Pynaert Atukgan (Igorot)
Curculigo fuziwarae Yamam. Bangka-bangka (Tag.)
Curculigo glabra Merr. Langba-langba (Palawan)
Curculigo recurvata W.T.Aiton Tolabang (Ifugao)
Curculigo recurvata var. variegatea W.Bull Giant palm grass (Engl.)
Curculigo strobiliformis F.Fang & D.H.Qin Palm grass (Engl.)
Curculigo sumatrana Roxb. Weevil Lily (Engl.)
Leucojum capitulatum Lour. Whale back (Engl.)
Molineria capitulata (Lour.) Herb.  
Molineria hortensis Britton  
Molineria plicata Colla  
Molineria recurvata (W.T.Aiton) Herb.  
Molineria sulcata Kurz  
Molineria sumatrana (Roxb.) Herb.  
Tu[ostra esquirolii H.Lév & Vaniot  
Veratrum mairei H.Lév  
Molineria capitulata (Lour.) Herb. is a synonym of Curculigo capitulata (Lour) Kuntze.
Curculigo capitulata (Lour.) Kuntze. is an accepted species. KEW: Plants of the World Online
Abang-abang is a common name shared by Curculigo capitulata and Leea guinensis.

Other vernacular names
BHUTAN: Dhoti sara, Wurdo lago.
BRAZIL: Capim-palmeira, Curculigo, Falsa-palmera.
CHINESE: Da ye xian mao, Chuan zi cao.
GUATEMALA: Falso coco.
INDIA: Koritong, Kor, Phaiphek, Sage, Togojuni.
INDONESIA: Bedur, Congkok, Nyeyor-nyeyoran.
JAPAN: San ba sare u.
JAVA: Bedur.
MALAYSIA: Lumbah merah.
SPANISH: Palma crepe.
SRI LANKA: Wagapul.
SWEDEN: Snabellilja.
TAIWAN: Tsun a chhau.
THAILAND: Tong kaai.
VIETNAM: Chi sam cau.

Gen info
- Hypoxidaceae consists of about 9 genera and 200 species; a family of herbaceous perennial monocotyledons. Curculigo Gaertner is a small genus in the family, consisting of 17 species and four varieties, seven of which are in China.
The genus Molineria honors the Italian botanist Bernardo Molineri (1741-1818). The species epithet is derived from Latin 'capitulatus , a, um' meaning having a small head, referring to the globose and compact inflorescences.  (12)

Curculigo capitulata is an herb up to 1 m tall, stout. Rhizomes tuberous, thick, with creeping, slender stolons. Leaves often 4--7; petiole 30--80 cm; leaf blade oblong-lanceolate to suboblong, 40--90 × 5--14 cm, plicate, papery, sometimes pubescent, margin entire, apex acuminate. Flowering stems (10--)15--30 cm, brown villous. Racemes nodding, capitate to subovoid, 2.5--5 cm, densely many flowered; bracts ovate-lanceolate to lanceolate, 1.5--2.5 cm, hairy. Pedicel ca. 7 mm. Perianth yellow; segments ovate-oblong, ca. 8 × 3.5--4 mm, apex obtuse, outer segments adaxially hairy, inner ones adaxially hairy on midvein or at base of midvein. Stamens 5--6 mm; filament less than 1 mm; anther linear, ca. 5 mm. Ovary subglobose to oblong, hairy. Style longer than stamens, slender; stigma subcapitate. Berry white, subglobose, 4--5 mm in diam., beakless. Seeds black with irregular stripes. (Flora of China)

Molineria capitulata is a hairy palm-like herb that can reach up between 0.6 m to 1 m tall. This herb is stemless, leaf stalks are directly attached to the rhizome underground. Leaves are long, elliptic to lanceolate, ribbed longitudinally. Spare hairs can be found along the veins on the underside. Leaves have a smooth margin, pointed tip measuring at 60 - 150 cm long and 5 - 15 cm wide. Foliage is attached to a long petiole of similar length. Its flowers are borne on a head-like raceme inflorescence of 2 - 6 cm wide produced at the base of the plant. Flowers are yellow, deflexed, covered in wooly hairs, attached to a very short stalk (subsessile). (7)

- Native to the Philippines.
- Also native to Assam, Bangladesh, China, Hainan, Himalaya, Jawa, Laos, Lesser Sunda Is., Malaya, Malukuu, Myanmar, Nepal, New Guinea, Nicobar Is., Queensland, Solomon Is., Sulawesi, Sumatera, Taiwan, Thailand, Tibet, Vietnam.

- Study of roots (Li et al, 2019) identified three unprecedented 9-norlignans (capitulactones A-C, 46) featuring a unique 3,5-dihydrofuro[2,3-d]oxepin-7(2H)-one scaffold. (4)
- Study of ethanolic extract of rhizomes isolated three new norlignans, capituloside (1), a mixture of curculigenin (2) and isocurculigenin (3), along with four known compounds (47), a mixture of 1-O-methylcurculigine (4) and 1-O-methylisocurculigine (5) and a mixture of curculigine (6) and isocurculigine (7). (5)
- Study of BuOH-soluble fraction of rhizomes isolated two new norlignans, (+)-(1R,2S)- and (−)-(1S,2S)-1-O-butylnyasicosides (12), and the known nyasicoside (3). An alternative study devoid of n-BuOH yielded two additional novel norlignans, 3‘‘-dehydroxynyasicoside (4) and 1-O-methylnyasicoside (5). (see study below)  (6)
- The phytochemical screening of leaf extract of Molineria recurvata revealed the presence of alkaloids in high concentration followed by hydroxy-anthraquinone glycosides, phytosteroids, dextrin, flavonoid etc.  (10)
- Hydrodistillation of fresh fruit for essential oil identified 30 compounds representing about 98.98% of total oil with major constituents of α-pinene (30.48%), ß-phellandrene (20.88%), α-terpinene (3.95%) and α-humulene (4.68%). The essential oil were characterized by monoterpene (21) and sesquiterpene (9) fractions.  (see study below)  (11)

- Studies have suggest anti-arrhythmic, antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, thrombolytic, analgesic properties.

Parts used
Leaves, rhizomes, root juice.


- Fruits are edible.

- In traditional Chinese and Indian medicine, used for the treatment of consumptive cough, kidney asthenia, impotence, spermatorrhea, hemorrhoids, asthma, jaundice, diarrhea, colic, and gonorrhea. In traditional Dai medicine, used for urinary tract infection, acute renal nephritis, nephritis-edema, cystitis, nephrolithiasis, hypertension, and rheumatic arthritis.
- In India, used as remedy for irregular dilation of the pupils and ophthalmia. Overnight infusion of rootstock used to treat conjunctivitis and earache. Plant paste used as poultice, hemostatic, and antiseptic. (8)
- Tripuri practitioners in India use apply parts of fresh rhizome after removing the epidermis to stop the bleeding of cut area. Dried rhizome powder is applied on boils to facilitate healing.
- The Mara tribe in Saiha district of Mizoram, India use root of juice for stomach problems.
- Nagaland tribes in India use decoction of crushed rhizomes for treatment of jaundice.
- Crafts: The hill people of Camarines in Luzon, Philippines, used the leaf fibers for making false hair (wigs). Ifugao children use it for warp in toy looms. In Thailand, leaves are used like banana leaves, for wrapping. (1)

- Wound use: Leaves torn into strips used for stitching wounds of animals after castration and other surgical procedures. It is told that monkeys have been observed binding up their wounds with poultice of the plant. Men have reported dressing war wounds with the plant. (8)

Anti-Arrhythmic Norlignans:
Study of BuOH-soluble fraction of rhizomes isolated two new norlignans, (+)-(1R,2S)- and (−)-(1S,2S)-1-O-butylnyasicosides (12), and the known nyasicoside (3). An alternative study devoid of n-BuOH yielded two additional novel norlignans, 3‘‘-dehydroxynyasicoside (4) and 1-O-methylnyasicoside (5). Compounds 1 and 3 exhibited potent activity against ouabain-induced arrhythmia in heart preparations of guinea pig. (6)
Antimicrobial / Fruit Essential Oil: Study evaluated Molineria capitalata essential oil of fruits for antimicrobial activity against tetracycline resistance/multidrug resistance S. aureus, E. coli, S. typhi, P. aeruginosa, N. gonorrhea, Candida albicans, C. stellatoida, C. tropicalis, Fusarium exosporium. Myrcene was isolated from the dichloromethane extract of fruits essential oil. Results showed the essential oil and isolated compound, myrcene, possess strong antibacterial potential and fungal activity on a few fungi. It did not show activity against Candida albicans, C. stellatoida and C. tropicalis. (see constituents above) (11)
Antioxidant / Thrombolytic / Anti-Inflammatory / Analgesic / Leaves / Fruit: Study evaluated the methanolic extract of leaves for pharmacological activities using experimental and computational models. Qualitative analysis yielded total phenolic and flavonoid contents of 148.67 and 24 mg/g, respectively. Antioxidant activity by reducing power of MEMC showed strong reducing capacity with absorbance of 1.87 at 400 µg/mL. The extract showed significant protection against blood clotting and highest protein denaturation inhibition at 500 µg/mL. The extract showed significant potential pain inhibition in both acetic acid-induced writhing and formalin-induced paw-licking models in mice. In computational analysis, 4-hydroxybenzaldehyde, orcinol glucoside, curcapital, crassifogenin C, and 2,6-dimethoxy-benzoic acid displayed a strong predictive binding affinity against the respective receptors. (15)


February 2023

                                                 PHOTOS / ILLUSTRATIONS
IMAGE SOURCE: Photograph: Curculigo capitulata / Michael Lahanas / Non-commercial use / click on image to go to source page / ScientificLib
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Photo: Curculigo capitulata /  © Nature Products / non-commercial use / click on image to go to source page / Nature Products.Network
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Illutration: Curculigo capitulata / Public Domain / Wikipedia
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Photo: Molineria capitulata (NT Palm Grass) /  © CANBR / non-commercial use / click on image to go to source page / Territory NATIVE PLANTS

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Curculigo Gaertn. / PROSEA: Plant Resources of South-East Asia

Curculigo capitulata / KEW: Plants of the World Online
Medicinal plants of genus Curculigo: traditional uses and a phytochemical and ethnopharmacological review / Yan Nie, Xin Dong, Yongjing He, Tingting Yuan, Qioayan Zhang et al / J Ethnopharmacol, 2013; 147(3): pp 547-563 / DOI: 10.1016/j.jep.2013.03.066
Phytochemistry and Pharmacological Activity of Plants of Genus Curculigo: An Updated Review Since 2013 / Ying Wang, Junlong Li, Ning Li / Molecules, 2021; 26(11) / DOI: 10.3390/molecules26113396 / PMID: 34205154
Three new norlignans from Curculigo capitulata /  Ning-Li, Ji-Jun Chen, You-Xing Zhao, Jun Zhou / Journal of Asian Natural Products Research, 2005; 7(3): pp 189-195 /
DOI: 10.1080/1028602032000169578
Bioactive Norlignan Glucosides from Curculigo capitulata / Wen-Liang Chang, Ming-Jai Su, Shoei-Sheng Lee / J Nat Prod., 1997; 60(2): pp 76-80 / DOI: 10.1021/np9604902
Molineria capitulata / National Parks: FLORA & FAUNA WEB
Folk Medicinal Plants of the Nagas in India / Sapu Changkija / Asian Folklore Studies, 1999: Vol 58: pp 205-230
A study on ethnomedicinal usage of plants among the folklore herbalists and Tripuri medical practitioners: Part-II / Koushik Majumdar, B K Datta / Natural Product Radiance, 2007; 6(1): pp 66-73
Preliminary phytochemical studies of leaf extracts of Molineria recurvata / Prasanta Dey, Manidipa Mukherjee, Tejendra Bhakta, Ghosh T K / Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research 2012; 4(7): pp 3727-3730  / ISSN: 0975-7384 / Record Number: 20123324853
Phytochemical, Characterization and Antimicrobial Studies of Molineria capitulata Fruits Essential oil Against Multidrug Resistance Pathogens / Isaac John Umaru, Umaru Hauwa Aduwamai, Christopher Emeka Ahuchaogu, Maryam Usman Ahmed /  Solid State Technology, 2020; 63(1S): pp 90-107
Molineria capitulata / Pietro Puccio, Mario Betramini / Monaco Nature Encyclopedia: Discover the Biodiversity
Ethnomedicinal plants used by the Mara tribe in Saiha district of Mizoram, India / Ramachandra Laha, R Vanlalpeka et al / International Journal of Interdisciplinary Research and Innovatopms. 2018; 6(3): pp 365-368 / pISSN: 2348-1218 / eISSN: 2348-1226
Indigenous healing practices and ethnomedicinal plants used against Jaundice by some Naga tribes in Nagaland, India / N. Premkumar Singh, P. R. Gajurel, Robert Panmei, P. Rethy / Pleione, 2015; 9(1): pp 40-48 / ISSN: 0973-9467
Computational and Pharmacological Studies on the Antioxidant, Thrombolytic, Anti-Inflammatory, and Analgesic Activity of Molineria capitulata / Mohammad Ashiqur Rahman Bhuiyan Shovo, Marzia Rahman Tona, Jannatul Mouah, Jesus Simal-Gandara et al / Current Issues in Molecular Biology, 43(2) /
DOI: 10.3390/cimb43020035

DOI: It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page. (Citing and Using a (DOI) Digital Object Identifier)

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