Habitat: Shady and wet places. It can be found at stream borders.
Description: A sprawling forest understory plant that is native to tropical western Africa. Deeply lobed, ovate to lanceolate, spiny, dark green leaves (to 12" long) with acuminate tips and silvering are both showy and ornamental. Two-lipped, snapdragon-like, pink to rose flowers bloom in summer on upright flower spikes (to 10" long) which rise from the branch ends. Plants grow to 4-6' tall when in flower.3
Uses: This plant is used for ornamental and medicinal purposes. Leaves are used to maturate abscesses. Used as cough-medicine for women and children (infusion or leaf vegetable), chest-complaints, purgative (decoction of leafy twigs), given to children as an emetic (leaf macerate). It has been used against rheumatism and some diuretic action is also mentioned. The plant is also used to protect against the devils, in purification and exorcism (Burkill 1985).2