Spermacoce ocymoides Burm.f.

Etymology Genus Seed point; referring to the capsular fruits sitting on pointy calyxes
Species Leaves resembles Basil (genus Ocimum)
Family Rubiaceae
Synonyms Bigelovia gracilis Spreng., Borreria ocymoides (Burm.f.) DC., Spermacoce domingensis C.Wright
Common Names Basil-like Button Weed
Status Exotic: Naturalised
Form Herb
Native Distribution Tropical Africa, Mauritius, India, Myanmar, Java, Peninsular Malaysia, Philippines


Spermacoce ocymoides is an erect herb and like most Spermacoce species, the leaves are oppositely arranged and flower clusters between them. It should be relatively easy to differentiate from other species with its broadly elliptic (sometimes lanceolate) leaves which have depressed venation, as well as the numerous small white flowers clustering at each point.

Interesting Facts:

The sap from leaves are used to treat ringworm infection and eczema in Nigeria (Ebana, 1991).

Erect form of the Basil-like Button Weed.

Leaf shape and venation.

Inflorescences consists of numerous white flowers on pointy calyxes

The stem is convered with fine white hairs.


Ebana RU, BE Madunagu, ED Ekpe & IN Otung. (1991) Microbiological exploitation of cardiac glycosides and alkaloids from Garcinia kola, Borreria ocymoides, Kola nitida and Citrus aurantifolia. The Journal of Applied Bacteriology, 71: 398-401.

Author: Jake
Posted: 2013-03-17 / Modified: 2017-12-25