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Family Verbenaceae
Callicarpa formosana Rolfe

Zi zhu

Scientific names Common names
Callicarpa aspera Hand.-Mazz. Anadhiu (Ig.)
Callicarpa bicolor Fern.-Vill. [Illegitimate] Anoyop (Ilk., Ibn.)
Callicarpa blancoi Rolfe Anoyot (Ilk.)
Callicarpa formosana Rolfe Atolba (If.)
Callicarpa ningpoensis Maatsuda Palis (Tag.)
Callicarpa ovata C. B. Rob. Tambalabasi (Tag.)
  Tiagau (Tag.)
  Tigau (Tag., Bik., Bis.)
  Tigau-tigau (C. Bis.)
  Tigbabasi (Bik.)
  Timbabasi (Tag.)
  Tubang-dalag (Tag.)
  Tubaybasi (Tag.)
  Formosan beauty berry (Engl.)
  Sour bush (Engl.)
  Taiwan beauty berry (Engl.)
Palis, in Dr. E. Quisumbing's compilation, is a local name shared by (1) Callicarpa cana Linn. (2) Callicarpa formosana Rolfe (3) Callicarpa erioclona (4) Abutilon indicum, malbas, palis (Bis).
Tubang-dala is a local name shared by (1) Tigau, Callicarpa cana (2) Callicarpa erioclona (3) Callicarpa formosana
Quisumbing's compilation lists Callicarpa formosana and C. americana as synonyms. The Plant List lists them as separate species.
Callicarpa formosana Rolfe is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
CHINESE: Zi zhu, Du huong hua.
FRENCH: Callicarpe de Formose.
VIETNAMESE: Nang nang Dai Loan, Tu chau Dai Loan.

- Genus name Callicarpa derives from the Greek word 'kalli' meaning beautiful and "karpos" meaning fruit. (15)

Palis is a shrub growing 1 to 3 meters high. Younger plant parts are thinly or densely covered with short, stellately arranged, brownish or pale hairs. Leaves are ovate-lanceolate to oblong-lanceolate, 5 to 15 centimeters long, 2.5 to 6 centimeters wide, with a long slender, pointed tip and pointed to blunt base. Lowers surfaces of the leaves are densely covered with stellate hairs, and with numerous, small, waxy, yellow glands. Cymes are axillary, short-stalked, and 2 to 4 centimeters long. Flowers are pale purplish or lavender, and about 3 millimeters long. Fruit is a berry, fleshy, rounded, pale lavender, and 4 to 5 millimeters in diameter.

- Throughout the Philippines in thickets and secondary forests at low and medium altitudes.
- Sometimes cultivated as an ornamental.
- Also in China, Taiwan, and Japan.

- Ethanol extract yielded four new iridoid glycosides, 6-O -benzoylphlorigidoside B, 6-O-trans-cinna- moylphlorigidoside B, 6-O-trans-p-coumaroylshanzhiside methyl ester, and 4'- O-trans-p-coumaroylmussaenoside together with known constituents, 6b-hydroxyipolamiide and phlorigidoside B, in addition to five known clerodane diterpenoids, hardwickiic acid, monomethyl kolavate, echinophyllin C, clerodermic acid methyl ester, and 15,16-dihydro-15-methoxy-16-oxo- hardwickiic acid. (
- Study of fresh leaves yielded two new naturally occurring flavonoids, 3,4',5,7-tetramethoxyflavone and 3,3',4',5,7-pentamethoxyflavone, along with known compounds, 5-hydroxy-3,4',7-trimethoxyflavone, 5-hydroxy-3,3',4,7tetramethoxyflavone, ursolic acid, 2α,3α-dihydroxyurs-12-en-28-oic acid, phytosterols, and phytosteryl glucosides. (4)
- Study of essential oil from the leaves of C. formosana yielded 48 constituents. Main components were (-) spathulenol (20.3%), ß-caryophyllene (17.22%), germacrene D (8.06%), ß-eudesmene (5.52%).
(see study below) (2)
- Phytoconstituent studies of leaves yielded flavonoids (5-hydroxy-3,7,3',4'-tetramethoxyflavone, 5-hydroxy-3,7,4'-trimethoxyflavone, 5,7,3',4'-tetramethoxyflavone, 3,5,7,3',4'-pentamethoxyflavone) and phytosterols (ß-sitosterol, ß-sitosterol-d-glucoside, stigmasterol, stigmasterol-D-glucoside), triterpenoids (2a,3a-dihhydroxyurs-12-en-28-oic acid, ursolic acid). (10)
- Study of fresh leaves yielded two new naturally occurring flavonoids, 3,4′,5,7-tetramethoxyflavone and 3,3′,4′,5,7-pentamethoxyflavone, along with known compounds, 5-hydroxy-3,4′,7-trimethoxyflavone, 5-hydroxy-3,3′,4,7-tetramethoxyflavone, ursolic acid, 2α,3α-dihydroxyurs-12-en-28-oic acid, phytosterols, and phytosteryl glucosides. (11)
- Study of ethanol extracts of twigs and leaves isolated four new iridoid glycosides i.e., 6-O-benzoyl- phlorigidoside B (1), 6-O-trans-cinnamoylphlorigidoside B (2), 6-O-trans-p-coumaroylshanzhiside methyl ester (3), and 4'-O-trans-p-coumaroylmussaenoside (4). (12)

- Insecticidal, repellent, antioxidant.
- Studies have shown repellent, antioxidant, antibacterial, analgesic properties.

Parts used


- Leaves are smoked like stramonium to combat dyspnea.
- In Agusan del Sur, used for cough. (14)
- Used as insecticide.
- In Taiwanese folk medicine, used to treat rheumatism and disorders of the digestive tract (oral infections and various stomach and intestinal complaints).
- In Taiwan, entire plant used for treatment of hepatitis. Leaves used as insecticidal.(10)
- Fish poison: Fresh and crushed leaves used to stupefy fish.
- Insecticidal:
Leaves used as insect feeding deterrent. (10)

Essential Oils / Antioxidant:
Study of essential oil from the leaves of C. formosana yielded 48 constituents. Main components were (-) spathulenol (20.3%), ß-caryophyllene (17.22%), germacrene D (8.06%), ß-eudesmene (5.52%). The tested oils at three concentrations displayed scavenging ability of radical DPPH in a concentration-effect relationship. (2)
New Iridoid Glycosides: Ethanol extract yielded four new iridoid glycosides. (See Constituents) (3)
Repellent: Study of Callicarpa americana yielded three repellent chemicals: callicarpenal, intermedeol, and spathulenol. The chemicals exhibited repellent activities against mosquitoes known to transmit yellow fever and malaria. (5) (6)
Callicarpenal and Intermedeol / Repellant: Studies have shown callicarpenal and intermedeol to have significant bite-deterring activity against Aedes aegypti and Anopheles stephensi. Study evaluated the compounds for repellent activity against host-seeking nymphs of the black-legged tick, Ixodes scapularis (a vector for Lyme disease) and Amblyomma cajennense (Rocky Mountain spotted fever), and A. americanum (vector for erlichiosis). Results showed both compounds showed more effective repellent activity than DEET against both mosquito species. (7)
Analgesic: Study evaluated the analgesic effect of C. formosana extract by hot-board method and writhing assay in mice. Results showed significantly improved inhibition rate of body twist and increment percentage of pain threshold in ethyl acetate and butanol extracts. (9)
• Antibacterial / Antioxidant: In a study of 15 medicinal plants, three extracts i.e., Melastoma candidum, Callicarpa formosana and Scutellaria barbata showed antibacterial activities. C. formosana showed good antibacterial activity only towards Gram-positive bacteria. On DPPH assay, Callicarpa formasana showed good radical scavenging activity and also yielded high total flavonoid content. (13)


Updated October 2018 / August 2016

IMAGE SOURCE: Photo / File:Callicarpa americana 2.jpg / Species from Southeastern North America / Common name: American Beautyberry / Eric Hunt / 16 Sept 2012 / Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license / Image cropped / click on image to go to source page / Wikimedia Commons
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Illustration / Plate: Callicarpa americana Blanco / Callicarpa bicolor / File:Callicarpa formosana Blanco2.427b-cropped.jpg / Flora de Filipinas / 1880 - 1883 / Francisco Manuel Blanco (O.S.A) / Modifications by Carol Spears / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
LAMIACEAE Callicarpa / Plants For Use
Chemical Constituents and Antioxidant Activity of the Essential Oils from the Leaves of Callicarpa formosana Rolfe / Lin Chao-Zhan, Zhu Chen-chen et al / / CNKI:SUN:RYZB.0.2009-04-016
New iridoid glycosides from the twigs and leaves of Callicarpa formosana var. formosana / Yu-Mei Wang , Huai Xiao, Ji-Kai Liu & Fei Wang / Journal of Asian Natural Products Research, 12:3, 220-226
Studies on the constituents of callicarpa formosana rolfe
/ Rong-shiow Chen, Jeng-Shiow Lai, Tian-Shung Wu / Journal of the Chinese Chemical Society 33(4) : p.329-334 (1986), 2011-10-24T06:19:42Z
/ William P Jones and A Douglas Kinghorn / Curr Bioact Compd. 2008 June 1; 4(1): 15–32. / doi: 10.2174/157340708784533393
Scientists Confirm Folk Remedy Repels Mosquitoes / University Of Mississippi (2006, July 3) / ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 19, 2014, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2006/07/060703091932.htm
Callicarpenal and Intermedeol: Two Natural Arthropod Feeding Deterrent and Repellent Compounds Identified from the Southern Folk Remedy Plant, Callicarpa americana / Charles L. Cantrell* and Jerome A. Klun / © 2011 American Chemical Society / In Recent Developments in Invertebrate Repellents; Paluch, G., et al.; ACS Symposium Series; American Chemical Society: Washington, DC, 2011.
Callicarpa formosana / Synonyms / The Plant List
Study on Analgesic Effect of Callicarpa Formosana Extracts / Song Chun / China Pharmaceuticals , 2012-22
BIOLOGICALLY ACTIVE NATURAL PRODUCTS OF THE GENUS CALLICARPA / William P Jones and A Douglas Kinghorn / Curr Bioact Compd., 2008 Jun 1; 4(1): pp 15–32 / doi: 10.2174/157340708784533393
Studies on the Constituents of Callicarpa Formosana Rolfe / Rong-Shiow Chen, Jeng-Shiow Lai, Tian-shung Wu / DOI: 10.1002/jccs.198600047
New iridoid glycosides from the twigs and leaves of Callicarpa formosana var. formosana / Huai Xiao,Ji-Kai Liu, Fei Wang / Journal of Asian Natural Products Research, 2010 / DOI | 10.1080/10286020903569434
Ethnobotanical study of indigenous plants used by local people of Agusan del Sur, Philippines
/ Rose D. Arquion, Cesario C. Galanida, Brenda Villamor, Henry T. Aguilar / Jan 2015 / Philippine Normal University, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur
Etymology: Callicarpa formosana / NParks Flora & Fauna Web
Sorting Callicarpa names / /Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / Copyright © 1995 - 2020 / A Work in Progress. School of Agriculture and Food Systems. Faculty of Land & Food Resources. The Univers ity of Melbourne. Australia.



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.

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