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Useful Temperate Plants

Onosma hispida

Wall. ex G.Don

Boraginaceae


This species has often been wrongly described as Onosma echioides in the literature. Although rather similar, Onosma echioided is native to southern Europe and is not found as a native plant in India.

+ Synonyms

Onosma kashmirica I.M.Johnst.

Common Name:

No Image.

General Information

Onosma hispida is a herbaceous perennial plant growing from a prominent taproot; it produces a cluster of mostly unbranched stems, growing up to 70cm tall[
2025
Title
Ethnobotany of the Himalayas
Publication
 
Author
Kunwar R.M., Sher H. & Bussmann R.W. (Eds)
Website
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-57408-6
Publisher
Springer Nature; Switzerland
Year
2021
ISBN
978-3-030-57407-9
Description
 
].
The plant is a commonly used medicinal herb in India, where it is gathered in quantity from the wild for local use and for trade[
2020
Title
Trade in Indian Medicinal Plants
Publication
Ethnobotany of India Vol 5., 321-345, 2018
Author
D.K.Ved, S.Noorunnisa Begum, & K.Ravi Kumar
Publisher
Apple Academic Press; Oakville, Canada
Year
2018
ISBN
978-1-77188-600-0
Description
 
]. It is also harvested from the wild for local use as a food and a colouring.

Known Hazards

There are no reports of toxicity for this species, but the following report for Onosma echioides should be borne in mind[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].
The bristly stems and leaves can cause a good deal of irritation to the skin[
219
Title
Gardening on Walls
Publication
 
Author
Grey-Wilson. C. & Matthews. V.
Publisher
Collins
Year
1983
ISBN
0-00-219220-0
Description
A nice little book about plants for growing against walls and a small section on plants that can grow in walls.
].

Botanical References

51
Title
Flowers of the Himalayas.
Publication
 
Author
Polunin. O. and Stainton. A.
Publisher
Oxford Universtiy Press
Year
1984
ISBN
-
Description
A very readable and good pocket guide (if you have a very large pocket!) to many of the wild plants in the Himalayas. Gives many examples of plant uses.

Range

E. Asia - western Himalayas of Afghanistan, Pakistan and northwest India.

Habitat

Dry, rocky and savannah slopes, 1,700 - 2,000 metres in Kashmir[
145
Title
Forest Flora of Srinagar.
Publication
 
Author
Singh. Dr. G. and Kachroo. Prof. Dr. P.
Publisher
Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh
Year
1976
ISBN
-
Description
A good flora of the western Himalayas but poorly illustrated. Some information on plant uses.
]. Found at elevations up to 4,000 metres[
51
Title
Flowers of the Himalayas.
Publication
 
Author
Polunin. O. and Stainton. A.
Publisher
Oxford Universtiy Press
Year
1984
ISBN
-
Description
A very readable and good pocket guide (if you have a very large pocket!) to many of the wild plants in the Himalayas. Gives many examples of plant uses.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitPerennial
Height0.40 m
PollinatorsInsects
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details


Species in this genus generally require a sunny position in a well-drained soil[
1
Title
RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Publication
 
Author
F. Chittendon.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1951
ISBN
-
Description
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaced in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
,
187
Title
Perennials. Volumes 1 and 2.
Publication
 
Author
Phillips. R. & Rix. M.
Publisher
Pan Books
Year
1991
ISBN
0-330-30936-9
Description
Photographs of over 3,000 species and cultivars of ornamental plants together with brief cultivation notes, details of habitat etc.
]. Prefers a deep rather rich sandy loam[
1
Title
RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Publication
 
Author
F. Chittendon.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1951
ISBN
-
Description
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaced in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
]. Tolerates hot dry conditions and also drought once it is established, but dislikes moist climates at any time of the year[
190
Title
The Dry Garden.
Publication
 
Author
Chatto. B.
Publisher
Dent
Year
1982
ISBN
0460045512
Description
A good list of drought resistant plants with details on how to grow them.
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Species in this genus tend to grow well in crevices in a rock garden or on a wall[
1
Title
RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Publication
 
Author
F. Chittendon.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1951
ISBN
-
Description
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaced in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
,
187
Title
Perennials. Volumes 1 and 2.
Publication
 
Author
Phillips. R. & Rix. M.
Publisher
Pan Books
Year
1991
ISBN
0-330-30936-9
Description
Photographs of over 3,000 species and cultivars of ornamental plants together with brief cultivation notes, details of habitat etc.
].

Edible Uses

Root[
145
Title
Forest Flora of Srinagar.
Publication
 
Author
Singh. Dr. G. and Kachroo. Prof. Dr. P.
Publisher
Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh
Year
1976
ISBN
-
Description
A good flora of the western Himalayas but poorly illustrated. Some information on plant uses.
]. The roots are used in soups and as a sweet[
2023
Title
Ethnic Food Plants and Ethnic Food Preparation in Western and Central Himalayas
Publication
Ethnobotany of India Vol. 4 39-113, 2018
Author
Ballabh B. & Pullaiah T.
Publisher
Apple Academic Press; Oakville, Canada
Year
2018
ISBN
978-1-77188-550-
Description
 
].

Medicinal

Species in the genus Onosma L. generally have been shown to contain several medically-active compounds including alkannin and shikonin, flavonoids, ferulic and vanillic acids. A study has shown that these phytochemicals have significant anti-inflammatory and anti-pain activity and that they are also ikely to be responsible for the wound healing and antibacterial actions[
2026
Title
Onosma L.: A review of phytochemistry and ethnopharmacology
Publication
Pharmacognosy Reviews, July-December 2013, Vol 7, Issue 14, pp140-151
Author
Kumar N,. Kumar R. & Kishore K.
Website
http://10.4103/0973-7847.120513
Publisher
 
Year
2013
ISBN
 
Description
 
].

Onosma hispida is commonly used as a medicinal herb in India, where the plant is seen as astringent and styptic. It is used to treat conditions such as throat infections, fevers, infectious diseases, menstrual problems, stomach problems, general pain in the body and asthma[
2022
Title
Indian Medicinal Plants; An Illustrated Dictionary
Publication
 
Author
Khare C.P. (Ed.)
Publisher
Springer-Verlag Berlin/Heidelberg
Year
2007
ISBN
978-0-387-70637-5
Description
 
,
2025
Title
Ethnobotany of the Himalayas
Publication
 
Author
Kunwar R.M., Sher H. & Bussmann R.W. (Eds)
Website
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-57408-6
Publisher
Springer Nature; Switzerland
Year
2021
ISBN
978-3-030-57407-9
Description
 
,
2026
Title
Onosma L.: A review of phytochemistry and ethnopharmacology
Publication
Pharmacognosy Reviews, July-December 2013, Vol 7, Issue 14, pp140-151
Author
Kumar N,. Kumar R. & Kishore K.
Website
http://10.4103/0973-7847.120513
Publisher
 
Year
2013
ISBN
 
Description
 
].
The powdered whole plant is taken with a glass of milk for quick recovery after giving birth[
2025
Title
Ethnobotany of the Himalayas
Publication
 
Author
Kunwar R.M., Sher H. & Bussmann R.W. (Eds)
Website
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-57408-6
Publisher
Springer Nature; Switzerland
Year
2021
ISBN
978-3-030-57407-9
Description
 
]. It is also used to treat conditions such as jaundice, constipation, lung disorders, asthma and heart problems[
2025
Title
Ethnobotany of the Himalayas
Publication
 
Author
Kunwar R.M., Sher H. & Bussmann R.W. (Eds)
Website
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-57408-6
Publisher
Springer Nature; Switzerland
Year
2021
ISBN
978-3-030-57407-9
Description
 
].
In Kashmir it is seen as antiallergic, cardiac, stimulant and tonic. It is used to treat abdominal ulcers, bladder stones, kidney stones, rheumatism, ulcers, heart problems etc[
2025
Title
Ethnobotany of the Himalayas
Publication
 
Author
Kunwar R.M., Sher H. & Bussmann R.W. (Eds)
Website
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-57408-6
Publisher
Springer Nature; Switzerland
Year
2021
ISBN
978-3-030-57407-9
Description
 
]

The flowers are used as a cardiac tonic and stimulant[
2022
Title
Indian Medicinal Plants; An Illustrated Dictionary
Publication
 
Author
Khare C.P. (Ed.)
Publisher
Springer-Verlag Berlin/Heidelberg
Year
2007
ISBN
978-0-387-70637-5
Description
 
,
2026
Title
Onosma L.: A review of phytochemistry and ethnopharmacology
Publication
Pharmacognosy Reviews, July-December 2013, Vol 7, Issue 14, pp140-151
Author
Kumar N,. Kumar R. & Kishore K.
Website
http://10.4103/0973-7847.120513
Publisher
 
Year
2013
ISBN
 
Description
 
].

The root is bruised and used as application to cutaneous eruptions. It is an ingredient of ointments for ulcers, scrofula, burns[
2022
Title
Indian Medicinal Plants; An Illustrated Dictionary
Publication
 
Author
Khare C.P. (Ed.)
Publisher
Springer-Verlag Berlin/Heidelberg
Year
2007
ISBN
978-0-387-70637-5
Description
 
,
2026
Title
Onosma L.: A review of phytochemistry and ethnopharmacology
Publication
Pharmacognosy Reviews, July-December 2013, Vol 7, Issue 14, pp140-151
Author
Kumar N,. Kumar R. & Kishore K.
Website
http://10.4103/0973-7847.120513
Publisher
 
Year
2013
ISBN
 
Description
 
].

Other Uses

A red dyestuff is obtained from the roots[
2022
Title
Indian Medicinal Plants; An Illustrated Dictionary
Publication
 
Author
Khare C.P. (Ed.)
Publisher
Springer-Verlag Berlin/Heidelberg
Year
2007
ISBN
978-0-387-70637-5
Description
 
]. It is used as a hair and face colouring, and as a lipstick[
2025
Title
Ethnobotany of the Himalayas
Publication
 
Author
Kunwar R.M., Sher H. & Bussmann R.W. (Eds)
Website
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-57408-6
Publisher
Springer Nature; Switzerland
Year
2021
ISBN
978-3-030-57407-9
Description
 
].

Onosma hispidum Wall. has been reported to be a source of Ratanjot, a red dye obtained from the root and commonly used for colouring food stuffs, oils and medicinal preparations. Owing to its colour, it has also been used as an adulterant in spices like chilli powder and food preparations[
2026
Title
Onosma L.: A review of phytochemistry and ethnopharmacology
Publication
Pharmacognosy Reviews, July-December 2013, Vol 7, Issue 14, pp140-151
Author
Kumar N,. Kumar R. & Kishore K.
Website
http://10.4103/0973-7847.120513
Publisher
 
Year
2013
ISBN
 
Description
 
].

Propagation

Seed - we have no information on this species but suggest sowing the seed in a greenhouse in early spring. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out in early summer.
Cuttings in a frame in the summer. Shade them for the first 10 - 12 days[
1
Title
RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Publication
 
Author
F. Chittendon.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1951
ISBN
-
Description
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaced in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
].
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2023-01-29. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Onosma+hispida>

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