Wal-Kolondu/Mugwort(Artemisia dubia) – Neglected medicinal plant


This indigenous plant is known for the anti-malaria properties in traditional Sinhala Medicine in Sri Lanka.In 1986,Chinese scientists isolated an active ingredient called Artimisin form another member of this genus which is still used as a cure for malaria.It is possible that this species contain the same curative compound as it also cures malaria. .
It has many lobed leaves which have hairy surfaces and the flowers,borne in long inflorescence, are very small and have a chestnut-red color.
The whole plant has a pleasant aroma and has been used as an insect-repellent for this reason.This plant is the larval feeding plant of the butterfly known as the Painted Lady.
It is seen in higher elevations(above 1000 meters) but is not cultivated,nor given any attention.
This clump was seen by the Main Hotton- Nuwara Eliya Road recently and is one of the few remainig patches of this species along this road.
It was seen that this patch is encroached up on by the aggressively growing and spreading Invasive Alien Sikkim Knotweed (polygonum molle).

Jagath Gunawardana Attorney-at-law

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