Family • Sterculiaceae - Pentapetes phoenicea Linn. - NOON FLOWER - Wu shi hua

Scientific names

Pentapetes phoenicea Linn.
Pentapetes coccinea Blanco
Pentapetes cebuana Blanco

Common names

Yamyampaka (Sub.)
Flor de a las doce (Span.)
Limang-dahon (Tag.)
Copper cups (Engl.)
Noon flower (Engl.)
Midday flower (Engl.)
Scarlet mallow (Engl.)
Scarlet pentapetes (Engl.)
Wu shi hua (Chin.)

Other vernacular names

BENGALI: Kat-lata bandhuli, Bandhuka.
CHINESE: Ye luo jin qian.
GUJARATI: Saubhagyasundari.
HINDI: Bandhuka, Behsaram, Dopahariya, Tambridupari.
MALAYALAM: Uchchamalari.
SANSKRIT: Madhyadina, Bandhuka.
TAMIL: Nagappu.
TELUGU: Makinaccettu.

Limang-dahon is an erect, half-woody plant, 0.5 to 1 meter high. Branches are long and spreading. Leaves are alternate, linear, 6 to 10 centimeters long, toothed at the margins, usually having a broad, pointed base, tapering to a pointed tip. Flowers are borne in axils of the leaves, with 5 large, deep rose, and showy petals. Fruit is five-valved, rounded, with a hairy capsule 1 centimeter in diameter. Seeds, which are not winged, occur 8 to 12 in two series in each cell.


– In Cagayan, La Union, Quezon, Bataan, Pampanga and Laguna Provinces in Luzon, and in Samar, Negros, and Mindanao.
– In open and damp grasslands.
– Sometimes, cultivated.
– Probably introduced, now thoroughly naturalized.
– Also reported from India to Indo-China and Malaya.

– Phytochemical analysis of stem, leaf, and root extracts yielded alkaloids, flavonoids, saponins, steroids, phenolics, coumarins, and triterpenoids.


Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Plants used by the ethnic people of Krishna district, Andhra Pradesh / K N Reddy, G Trimurthulu and C Sudhakar Reddy / Indian Jour of Traditional Knowledge, Vol 9 (2), April 2010, pp 313-317

(2) Midday flower / Common names / Flowers of India

(3) Brine Shrimp bioassay of Pentapetes phoenicea Linn. and Ipomoea carnea jacq. leaves / Nisha Sharma*, Prakash Chandra Gupta, Anju Singh and ChandanaVenkateshwara Rao / Der Pharmacia Lettre, 2013, 5 (1):162-167

(4) Medicinal Plants Used by the Mandais – A Little Known Tribe of Bangladesh / Ishita Malek, Tabibul Islam, and Mohammed Rahmatullah / African Journal of Traditional, Complementary, and Alternative Medicines

(5) Ethnomedicinal Plant Resources of Mizoram, India: Implication of Traditional Knowledge in Health Care System / Prabhat Kumar Rai and H. Lalramnghinglova / Ethnobotanical Leaflets 14: 274-305, 2010.

(6) Preliminary Phytochemical Analysis of Pentapetes phoenicea L. / Yawalikar N., Bhowal M., Rudra J. / Journal of Pharmacy and Biological Sciences, Vol 9, Issue 6, Ver III, Nov-Dec 2014, pp 36-39

(7) Therapeutic Hypoglycemic Potential of Pentapetes phoenicea L. in Experimentally Induced Hyperglycemic Rats / Nisha Sharma, Prakash Chandra Gupta and Chandana Venkateshwar Rao / Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences, 17: 709-714.

(8) In-vitro antiradical and inhibitory potential of Pentapetes phoenicea Linn. leaves against digestive enzymes related to diabetes / Sharma, Nisha; Gupta, Prakash Chandra; Rao, Ch. V. / Journal of Pharmacy Research; 2013, Vol. 6/7 Issue 5, p56

(9) Traditional Chinese medicine for treating exfoliative dermatitis type drug eruption / CN 103520390 A / Patents

(10) FOLKLORE MEDICINAL PLANTS OF DUMKA (BIHAR) / K.CHANDRA, B.N. PANEY and V.K.LAL / Ancient Science of Life, Vol. IV, No.3 January 1985, Page 181-185

(11) Herbal Healing: An Old Practice for Healthy Living among Khumi, Marma and Tripura Communities of Thanchi Upazila, Bangladesh / Mohammad Abdul Motaleb, M. M. Abdullah-Al-Mamun*, M. K. Hossain, M. Khairul Alam and Marufa Sultana / European Journal of Medicinal Plants 5(1): 23-52, 2015

– Fruit is mucilaginous.
– Root considered astringent, antibilious, antiphlegmonous.
– Plant is considered aphrodisiac, astringent, carminative, demulcent, detoxicant, emollient, mucilaginous, purgative, cathartic, thermogenic.

Parts used
Fruit, roots.

– In Celebes, leaves used as tea substitute.

– Decoction of fruit used as emollient.
– Root used to alleviate wind and fever.
– Santals use the plant as astringent, antibilious, antiphlegmonous and to alleviate fever.
– Plant is demulcent and used for snake bites.
– In Annam used for its emollient property.
– Used for coryza.
– India’s ethnic people of Andhra Pradesh use root decoction, twice daily, for burning micturition. Local healers used the milky juice for skin diseases, leucoderma.
– In Mizoram, India, decoction of leaves drunk for inflammatory glands. Juice also applied to inflammatory glands.
– In Bangladesh, garland of flowers worn around the neck as treatment for fever. Juice from macerated flowers of P. pheonicea combined with oil obtained from the leech, Hirudo medicinalis, used for treatment of sexual disorders—massaged onto the penis or vaginal area at night for 7 days. Women from the Khumi, Marma and Tripura tribal communities use the root juice, extracted through rubbing in stone, twice daily for a week, for irregular menstruation.
– In Dumka (Bihar), flowers are pounded together with kamal and kumudini and given to females with general weakness after menstrual cycle.

– Traditional Chinese Medicine: P. phoenicea is a component of a multiherbal traditional Chinese medicine used for treating exfoliative dermatitis type of drug reaction.

Study Findings
• Brine Shrimp Lethality Assay / Safety: Studies on various fractions of leaves of P. phoenicea showed none of the extracts to be toxic up to a dose level of 600 µg/ml. Results suggest P. Phoenicea can be used safely for its traditional claims.
• Hypoglycemic Potential: Studies evaluated the hypoglycemic effect of 70% alcoholic extract of Pentapetes phoenicea in experimentally induced diabetic rats. Results showed significant dose dependent lowering of blood glucose in STZ induced hyperglycemic rats. Effect may be related to tannins, terpenoids, sterols and flavonoid contents.
• Hypoglycemic Activity / Antioxidant / Leaves: Studies evaluated the in-vitro antiradical property using DPPH test and in-vitro α-amylase inhibitory activity to establish in-vitro hypoglycemic potential of various fractions of leaves. Results showed promising antiradical property. Aqueous and ethyl acetate fractions showed α-amylase inhibitory activity attributed to flavonoids, tannins, and saponins in the fractions.