Family - Caryophyllaceae - Drymaria cordata (L.) Willd. - TROPICAL CHICKWEED - Chinese

Scientific names

Drymaria cordata (L.) Willd. ex Schult.
Drymaria cordata Blume
Holosteum cordatum L.
He lian dou cao (Chin.)

Common names

Bakalanga (Buk.)
Heartleaf drymary (Engl.)
Tropical chickweed (Engl.)
Whitesnow (Engl.)
Shuo qing cao (Chin.)

Other vernacular names

CHINESE: You me cai, Qing zhe zu, Chuan xian she.
FRENCH: Mourron blanc.
HAWAIIAN: Pilpili, Pipili.
INDIA: Laijabori.
SPANISH: Drimaria., Golondrina, Nervillo, Pajarera, Palitaria, Yerba de estrella.

Bakalanga is a creeping herb rooting with numerous glandular hairs, branching at the nodes, with a smooth stem, and simple, orbicular to reniform, and opposite leaves, 1 to 1.5 centimeters wide, short-stalked. Flowers are small, white, borne at the end of branches that a supported by a long stalk. Fruit is a dry capsule containing many rounded, compressed, roughly coated seeds.


– Common in moist areas, clearings, and grasslands.
– Competes wth annuals, forming a thick mat on regeneration.

– A hydroethanolic extract yielded triterpenes, diterpenes, steroids, and tannins.

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Drymaria cordata / Common names / PIER

(2) Studies on antitussive activity of Drymaria cordata Willd. (Caryophyllaceae) / Pulok K. Mukherjee, Kakali Saha, S. Bhattacharya, S.N. Giri, M. Pal, B.P. Saha / DOI:,

(3) Anxiolytic effect of hydroethanolic extract of Drymaria cordata L. Willd / Chandana C Barua et al / Indian Journ of Experimental Biology, Vol 47, Dec 2009, pp 969-973.

C C BARUA, A G BARUA, J D ROY, B BURAGOHAIN, P BORAH / Indian Journal of Animal Sciences, Vol 80, No 12 (2010)

(5) Analgesic and Antipyretic Activities of Drymaria cordata (Linn.) Willd (Caryophyllaceae) Extract / AJ Akindele, IF Ibe, OO Adeyemi / African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines

– Considered antidote, appetizer, depurative, emollient, febrifuge, laxative and stimulant.

Parts used

Whole plant.

– Leaves and young shoots are eaten.
– Mild flavored leaves are added to salads and other dishes.

– No reported folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.
– Pounded leaf applied to snake bites.
– In African traditional medicine, used for painful and febrile conditions.
– In India, plant is made into a paste and applied on the forehead to cure headaches. Paste of fresh leaves applied to itches and ringworm. In Assam, plant is roasted in banana leaves and used for gastrointestinal troubles.
– Used for toothaches, dysentery, burns, snake bites, cough fever, headaches, pneumonia, sinusitis.

Study Findings
– Antitussive: A methanol extract was studied for its effect on a cough model induced by sulfur dioxide gas in mice. Results showed significant dose-dependent antitussive activity, comparable to to codeine phosphate.
– Anxiolytic: A hydroethanolic extract showed anxiolytic effect in different models of anxiolytic activity: Hole Board, Open field, Elevated plus maze, and Light/dark exploration models. The presence of triterpenes and tannins might have contributed to the anxiolytic activity through interaction with natural endogenous mediators.
– Anti-Inflammatory: A methanolic extract of leaves was studied for anti-inflammatory effects using a carrageenan paw edema model in rats and mice and formalin-induced paw licking in mice. Results showed dose-dependent effect comparable to standard drug indomethacin. Activity was attributed to flavanoids, alkaloids, and steroids.
– Analgesic / Antipyretic: Study of an aqueous whole plant extract showed analgesic and antipyretic properties mediatied through peripheral and central mechaisms.