Spiny Molucca balm

Spiny Molucca balm / Moluccella spinosa / ذنبية شوكية

Picture Resource: By Cillas - Own work, GFDLLink

Status: Common

Spiny Molucca is annual plant belongs to the Lamiaceae family. The stem reaches height  of 30-100 cm.The leaves are opposite each other, entire, ovate to orbicular-ovate, serrate or dentate. The flowers are white and pink, spiny parts are in the flowers, the flowers are hermaphrodite, and flowering period from April to August. The fruits are nutlets.

Ecology: This plant grows in batha and phrygana habitat, the plant is glycophyte in terms of salt resistance, it is not succulent and belongs to Mediterranean area.

Distribution: Upper Jordan valley, Jerusalem Mountains, Central Highlands Mountains, Mediterranean Woodlands and Shrublands.

Medical uses: Spiny Molucca contains several oils and components such as α-pinene, caryophyllene oxide, and β-caryophyllene.They are used as antibacterial and antifungal activities against some microorganisms.

IUCN red list status: not evaluated

Local status: least concern