Rhythm Of Nature

Mukkutti – Little Tree Plant

Mukkutti is a small medicinal plant with yellow flowers found commonly in the rural and hilly areas of Kerala. There are two varieties of this plant. However, Biophytum sensitivum found in rural regions is generally considered as Mukkutti. The other one is Biophytum candolleanum which grows taller and is usually found in the forests.

Mukkutti - medicinal plant in Kerala - Biophytum sensitivum
Mukkutti / Little Tree Plant – Photos from Kottayam, Kerala – By: Abhinav R

The common name in English is Little Tree Plant probably because it resembles a small tree when looked at from the sides. It belongs to the family Oxalidaceae.

It is an effective ayurvedic medicine for treating diarrhea. Also, this plant has excellent abilities to heal wounds [ref1].


This annual herb grows very well under the shade and prefers moist soil. It is usually erect and reaches 10 to 20 centimeters in height.

Its leaves grow around the stem much like a coconut tree. These are parallel to the ground and forms a circular cover at the top of the plant. Each of these leaves has up to 15 leaflets distributed opposite in direction. They can move in response to touch and light stimuli, thereby folding or opening the leaf.

Mukkutti / Small Tree Plant
A medicinal herb growing up to ~20 cm

The small yellow flowers are the highlights of Little Tree Plant. They appear at the top. Each of them has five petals.

Flowers of Mukkutti - Biophytum sensitivum
Yellow Flowers of Mukkutti

Medicinal Uses of Mukkutti

The whole plant is suitable for preparing medicines.

  • It may cure diarrhea and gonorrhea.
  • The seeds of Mukkutti may be used to heal wounds.
  • The whole plant crushed and mixed with honey may cure cough [ref1].

Disclaimer: This is only general information, which should not be considered a medical advice.

Common names in different languages

English: Little Tree Plant
Hindi: Laakshana
Sanskrit: Samanga, Peethapushpa, Kruthanjali
Bengali: Jhalai
Malayalam: Mukkutti, Nilamthengu

Family: Oxalidaceae
Scientific name: Biophytum sensitivum

Habitat / Distribution

Little Tree Plant grows in regions up to 600 meters in altitude and prefers tropical climate. It is native in India (mainly in the south), Nepal, and many parts of southeast Asia. In India, it is common in Kerala, Karnataka, different parts of Deccan, and Bengal.

More Photos of Mukkutti

Little Tree Plant - Biophytum sensitivum
Growing along stone walls
Flowers of Biophytum sensitivum
Flowers rise above the plant
Flowers of Biophytum sensitivum
Flowers have 5 petals each
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