Waltheria indica

Waltheria indica L.

Common Names: Sleepy Morning

Family: Sterculiaceae

Habit: Waltheria indica grows as an herbaceous perennial to 2 meters in height. The leaves are arranged alternately, to 8 cm in length, ovate to oblong, with a serrate leaf margin and obtuse leaf apex.  The entire plant surface is covered with stellate tomentose hairs giving the leaves a grayish-green appearance.

The complete, perfect, actinomorphic flowers are arranged in dense axillary and terminal racemes with each flower subtended by a bract.  The calyx has 5 fused, green sepals.  The corolla has 5 unfused yellow petals.  There are 5 stamens fused at their base.  The ovary is superior with a single locule and numerous seeds.  The fruit is a follicle at maturity.

Habitat: Waltheria indica grows in Human Altered environments (fields, yards, roadsides) in a sand substrate.

Distribution: Waltheria indica occurs on all island groupings within the Lucayan Archipelago.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Waltheria indica is used medicinally in the Lucayan Archipelago to treat blood issues such as bruising and for postpartum blood clots and infections. It is used elsewhere in Caribbean for treating colds as well as a soothing drink.