Family • Amaryllidaceae / Hypoxidaceae - Hypoxis aurea Lour. - GOLDEN STAR GRASS - Xiao jin mei cao

Scientific names

Hypoxis aurea Lour.
Hypoxis fraquevillei Miq.
Hypoxis flava Merr.
Hypoxis minor D. Don.
Curculigo graminifolia Nimmo

Common names

Kitkitli (Ig.)
Golden star grass (Engl.)
Yellow star grass (Engl.)

Other vernacular names

CHINESE: Hsien-mao, P’o-lo men sheu, Xiao jin mei cao.
HINDI: Bhui khajur, Golkya.
JAPANESE: Ko-kinbai-zasa.
MARATHI: Sontara.
NEPALESE: Ban siru.
SANSKRIT: Ho-lun-lei-t’o.
VIETNAMESE: H[aj] tr[aa]m.


Kitkitli is a small hairy tuberous plant. Rootstock is rounded or cylindrical, erect, 2.5 centimeters long or more, and crowned with the fibrous remains of old leaves. Leave are slender and grasslike, narrowly linear, 10 to 30 centimeters long and 2 to 3 millimeters wide. Flowers are solitary or paired, golden-yellow. Scape is 2.5 to 10 centimeters long, slender, filiform, and hairy. Perianth-lobes are elliptic-lanceolate, 8 to 12 millimeters long, yellow, and green on the back. Capsules are 6 to 12 millimeters long, clavate, at length 3-valved, crowned with the erect perianth-lobes. Seeds are black, and tuberculate.

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Hypoxis aurea / Common names / Flowers of India

(2) Chemical Constituents from Hypoxis aurea Lour / Cheng Zhong-Quan; Yang Dan; Ma Qing-Yun; Liu Yu-Qing; Zhou Jun; Zhao You-Xing/ Natural Product Research and Development, Volume 23, Issue 06, 2011

(3) Hypoxis aurea / Chinese Medicinal Herbs: A Modern Edition of a Classic Sixteenth-century Manual /
edited by Shih-chen Li, F. Porter Smith, George Arthur Stuart

(4) Diversity, indigenous uses and conservation status of medicinal plants in Manali wildlife sanctuary, North western Himalaya / Rana Man S & Samant*SS / Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge Vol. 10 (3), July 2011, pp. 439-459

(5) In Vitro Anti-melanogenesis and Collagen Biosynthesis Stimulating Activities of Star Grass (Hypoxis aurea Lour.) Extracts / Korawinwich Boonpisuttinant, Usa Sodamook, Warintorn Ruksiriwanich, Supanida Winitchai / ASIAN JOURNAL OF APPLIED SCIENCES, Vol 2, No 4, 2014


– In open grasslands at medium and higher altitudes, ascending to 2,300 meters in Bontoc, Benquet, and Nueva Ecija Provinces in Luzon, and in Lanao and Bukidnon Provinces in Mindanao.
– Also occurs in India, Pakistan, China, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and New Guinea.

– Ethanol extract yielded twelve compounds: quercetin-3-O-β-D-glucoside,kaemferol-3-O-β-D-glucoside, apigenin-5-O-β-D- glucopyranoside, α-spinasterol, 2,6-dimethoxy-benzoic acid, 1H-indole-3-carboxylic acid, (2S,3R,4E,8E) -1 – (β-D-glucopyranosyloxy) -3 -hydroxy-2 [ ( R ) -2′ -hydroxyeicosanoly ) amino ] -9-methy-4,8-octadecadiene, n-dotriacontanol,14,15-eicosenicacid, lignoceric acid, β-sitoster-ol, daucosterol.
– Study of rhizomes yielded two new phenolic compounds, aureaside A and B, together with seven known compounds.

– Properties similar to ginseng.
– Rootstock swell in water and is mucilaginous.
– It has small starch grains and bundles of raphides.
– Considered reconstructive, rejuvenating, aphrodisiac and tonic.


– Similar to ginseng, used as reconstructive, rejuvenating, aphrodisiac and tonic.
– Used in wasting diseases, dyspepsia, lassitude, impotence, wounds, and diseases of the eyes and ears.
– In China, used to treat hernias, and to warm the kidney.
– In northwestern Himalaya, roots used as aphrodisiac.
– In China and Malaysia, used as tonic and aphrodisiac.

Study Findings
• Phenolic Glycosides: Study of rhizomes isolated two new phenolic glycosides, aureaside A and B, together with seven known compounds, curculigoside I,5 orcinol glucoside ,6 curcapital,7 cimifugin prim-O-β- D-glucopyranoside, 8 2-O-β-D-apiofuranosyl (1→6)-O-β- D-glucopyranoside, 9 (2R,5S)-bornane-2,5-diol-2-O-β-D- glucopyranoside, 9 and bornyl 7-O-β-D-apio-D-furanosyl (1→6)-O-β-D-glucopyranoside.
• Radical Scavenging Activity / Tyrosinase Inhibitory Activity: Study showed a tuberous extract of H. aurea extracted by distilled water at room temperature gave high free radical scavenging activity and tyrosinase inhibition activity which was comparable to vitamin C as antioxidant and tyrosinase inhibitor agent. Results suggest potential for development of whitening cosmetic products.
• Anti-Melanogenesis / Collagen Biosynthesis Stimulating Activity Scavenging Activity: Study of H. aurea extracts for anti-melanogenesis and collagen biosynthesis stimulating activity. Results showed the leaves from H. aurea extracted by 95% ethanol can be applied as whitening and anti-aging agents for cosmetic pharmaceuticals.

– Wild-crafted.
– Powders, extracts in the cybermarket.