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Matang-kuwaw, Alibagta, Clerodendum intermedium

Matang-kuwaw, Alibagta, Clerodendum intermedium
Matang-kuwaw, Alibagta, Clerodendum intermedium
Photo by Oscar Esmenda/BICOLSTANDARD.COM
This flowering plant, which grows wild in the Bicol region, is known by its scientific name Clerodendum intermedium. It is part of the family Lamiaceae.

Its common names in Bicol are matang-kuwaw (literally, "eye of an owl"), alibagta, and dasmagang-aswang ("place where the aswang trips").

The Tagalogs call it laruan-anito, kasopangil, and kalalauan, while the Bisaya know it as asuangai, kolokolog, pakapis, and bantana. 

In English, it is called bleeding heart, dragonboat flower, pagoda flower, bagflower, and glorybower. In Chinese, it is named Bao da lung chuan hua or Ken ding ku lin pan.

Apart from the Philippines, the plant grows in Indonesia and Taiwan. It also thrives in other tropical and warm temperate regions.

Matang-kuwaw, Alibagta, Clerodendum intermedium
Matang-kuwaw, Alibagta, Clerodendum intermedium
Photo by Oscar Esmenda/BICOLSTANDARD.COM 
A shrubby plant, the Clerodendum intermedium grows from one to two meters tall, with 4-angled branches, and ovate leaf blades measuring around 8 to 20 centimeters. Its flowers are bright red while its fruit is blue and rounded.

The Clerodendum intermedium has a number of traditional medicinal uses. In Bicol, its leaves are steamed on top of rice, and are believed to cure the common cold and cough. In other parts of the world, its leaves and roots are said to cure rheumatism, colic, mumps, and abdominal pains.—by Prof. L.O. Basmayor, BICOLSTANDARD.COM

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