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Chitraka

White Leadwort
Latin name: Plumbago zeylanica Linn. (Plumbaginaceae)
Sanskrit/Indian name: Chitraka

General information:
Plumbago zeylanica, commonly known as Ceylon Leadwort or Doctorbush, is a species of plumbago with a pantropical distribution. Carl Linnaeus described the paleotropical P. zeylanica and neotropical P. scandens as separate species, but they are currently considered synonymous. Ceylon Leadwort is a herbaceous plant with glabrous stems that are climbing, prostrate, or erect. The leaves are petiolate or sessile and have ovate, lance-elliptic, or spatulate to oblanceolate blades that measure 5-9 × 2.5–4 cm in length. Bases are attenuate while apexes are acute, acuminate, or obtuse. Inflorescences are 3–15 cm in length and have glandular, viscid rachises. Bracts are lanceolate and 3-7 × 1–2 mm long. The heterostylous flowers have white corollas 17–33 mm in diameter and tubes 12.5–28 mm in length. Capsules are 7.5–8 mm long and contain are reddish brown to dark brown seeds.

Plant extracts have shown potent mosquito larvicidal activity against the larvae of Aedes aegypti while showing no toxicity to fish. Hexane extracts of Plumbago zeylanica have shown activity against canine distemper virus. Hexane extract of plumbago zeylanicaPlumbagin shows Antimicrobial activity. Methanol extract of plumbago zeylanicaPositive inotropic activity. Enzymatic spectrum of herbal Plants Plumbago Linn. Bioactive spectra of Plumbagin. Methanol extract of plumbago zeylanica shows effect on root- knot nematode Meloidogyne spp.