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 found in the forest.

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 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.


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 shape 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 can cure diarrhea and gonorrhea.
  • The leaves of Mukkutti can heal wounds very fast.
  • The whole plant crushed and mixed with honey can cure coughing.

Name 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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