Shui mei is a tropical shrub growing up to 3 meters tall. Bark is smooth and gray. Branchlets are thin, terete, often with many lateral and short branches, minutely puberulent. Petioles are 2 to 4 millimeters. Leaves are opposite, simple, elliptic, ovate or narrowly oblong, 2.5 to 7.5 centimeters long and 1.5 to 3 centimeters wide, pubescent along the midvein, with 5 to 7 paired lateral veins. Cymes are often on short, few-leaved branches, short peduncled, and 1- to 13-flowered. Flowers are fruity scented, pendant, borned along the twiggy branches. Sepals are ovate, about 1.5 millimeters. Corolla is white and glabrous; lobes ovate, about 7 millimeters, densely pubescent on both surfaces. Ovaries are free. Seeds are narrowly fusiform, about 8 millimeters.
- Ornamental cultivation.
- Native to Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.
- A common bonsai plant in Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Taiwan.
- A favorite bonsai tree because of its fast grow
- No reported folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.
- In India, bark infusion used twice daily as medicinal herb.
- Roots used to treat skin diseases.
• ß-Glucosidase Activity: Study of crude extracts from different stages of three scented flowers (W. religiosa, Ervatamia coronaira and Gardenia jasminoides) were evaluated for ß-glucosidase activity. The highest lebvel was found in Wrightia religiosa. Enzyme activity was increased significantly in open flowers. There is a good correlation between ß-glucosidase activity and scent emission from flowers and roots. (3)
• PAH-Degrading Bacteria in Plant Phyllosphere / Air Purifying Potential: Phyllosphere bacteria on ornamental plants were characterized based on its removal of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), the major air pollutants in urban areas. PAH-degrading bacteria were 1-10% of phyllosphere population consisting of diverse bacterial species--Acinetobacter, Pseudomonas, Mycobacterium, and uncultred bacteria. Phyllosphere bacteria on unsterilized leaves enhanced the removal of phenanthrene. In addition, there was also reduction of other PAHs suc as acenaphthylene, acenaphthene, and fluorine. Results suggest a role for the phyllosphere bacteria on ornamental plants in the natural attenuation of airborne PAHs in urban areas.(4)