Herbs & Plants

Debregeasia longifolia

Botanical Name: Debregeasia longifolia
Family: Urticaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales
Genus: Debregeasia
Species: D. longifolia

*Boehmeria angustata Hassk.
*Boehmeria dichotoma Hassk.
*Conocephalus niveus Wight
*Debregeasia angustifolia C.B.Rob.
*Debregeasia dichotoma (Blume) Wedd.
*Debregeasia libera J.J.Chien & C.J.Chen

Common Names: Orange Wild Rhea, Wild Rhea

Habitat:Debregeasia longifolia is native to E. Asia – China to the Himalayas.
It grow in shady, moist places by streams, forests in mountain valleys; 500-3200 m. W Hubei, SE Gangsu, W Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, S Shaanxi, Sichuan, S Xizang, Yunnan [E Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, N Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Sikkim, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam].

Debregeasia longifolia is an evergreen Shrub or small trees 3-6 m to 5m tall, dioecious or monoecious. Branchlets slender, reddish or purplish brown; branchlets and petiole densely spreading hirtellous. Stipules oblong-lanceolate, 6-10 mm, 2-cleft in distal 1/3; petiole 1-4 cm; leaf blade adaxially dark green, oblong- or obovate-lanceolate, sometimes linear or narrowly ovate, 7-18(-23) × 1.5-5(-6.5) cm, papery, sometimes thinly so, 3-veined, lateral ones straight, reaching to middle, secondary veins 5-8(-10) on each side from basal 1/3, anastomosing at margin, abaxial surface thinly greenish gray or gray-white tomentose, densely hirtellous on veins, adaxial surface sparsely appressed strigose, sometimes rugose, base rounded or subcordate, rarely broadly cuneate, margin finely serrulate or denticulate throughout, apex acuminate. Inflorescences borne on current and previous years’ branches, 2-4-dichotomously branched, 1-2.5 cm; peduncle 0.3-3 cm, spreading hirtellous; glomerules globose, 3-4 mm in diam.; bracts triangular-ovate, ca. 1 mm, membranous. Male flowers shortly pedicellate, obovoid in bud, 1.2-1.5 mm in diam.; perianth lobes 4, broadly ovate, puberulent abaxially, connate at middle, apex acute; rudimentary ovary sessile, obovoid, ca. 0.5 mm. Female flowers sessile, obovoid, ca. 0.8 mm; perianth tube membranous, 4-denticulate at apex. Achene reddish or orange, ca. 1-1.5 mm, enclosed by fleshy perianth and adnate to it.The fruit is up to 12mm in diameter.

It is in leaf all year, in flower from July to September, and the seeds ripen from October to February. The species is monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant).


Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers moist soil.
Prefers a fertile well-drained loam with some shelter at the hottest part of the day. Plants tolerate occasional lows to about -5°c. This species is probably not very hardy in Britain and will probably require greenhouse protection, though it might be possible to grow it outdoors in the mildest areas of the country, especially if it is given the protection of a warm wall. A very variable species. Dioecious, male and female plants must be grown if seed and fruit is required.

Through seed – sow late winter to mid-summer in a greenhouse and only just cover the seed. Germination usually takes place within 1 – 2 months at 20°c. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Softwood cuttings in early summer.

Edible Uses:
Fruits are edible, eaten – raw or cooked.

Medicinal Uses:
The juice of the leaves is applied to areas of the skin affected by scabies.

Other Uses:
A strong fibre is obtained from the stem bark. It is used for making twine and rope. Wood is used mainly for fuel.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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