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Common Name : Two Flowered Leucas     -       Scientific Name : Leucas biflora (Lamiaceae/ Labiatae)       -       Other Name : Wilandavenna, Geta Thumba (S)
Kanjuran to Kaali Villu
12/08/2013
Kumutu Wila
12/31/2014
Kumutu Wila
12/31/2014

This is an indigenous species, which is also found in South India.

The conservation status of this species is regarded as “Least Concerned” (National Red List 2012).

The Two Flowered Leucas has a wide distribution in the country and is recorded from the districts of Anuradapura, Kandy, Nuwaraeliya, Galle, Hambantota, Badulla, Monaragala and Ampara. It is a common species and grows on road embankments, waste places, Patnas and in forested areas. Locally the species is referred to as “Wilandavenna” as its white flowers resemble popped rice, which is called “Wilanda” in Sinhala. The Ayurveda physicians use a decoction made with the leaves of this species as an eye drop to treat conjunctivitis.

Tender stems and leaves of this species are also consumed as a vegetable commonly referred as “mallung” in Sinhala. The leaves and stems are cut in to small pieces, mixed with half the quantity of craped coconut, turmeric powder, lime juice and mixed while adding sea salt to taste.  This mixture is heated in a pan until cooked. This green leafy vegetable dish can be consumed with rice and curry. This preparation is widely used in Sri Lanka with variety of species of native herbs and leaves.

I have observed the flowers of this interesting species during the month of December. But they are seldom seen in the park unlike the flowers of its cousin Leucas zeylanica that is very common and seen throughout the year.

References

  • A review on medicinal and culinary uses of Lindernia pusilla (willd) (plant 1 Wilandavenna) and Leuca biflora (Vahl) (plant 2 Wilandavenna) – Gunatilaka HDP, Ediriweera ERHSS, Karunaratne HM.