From India to Polynesia and Australia. Locally, in various northern
sites. Erect herbs, up to 2.5 m tall, with spiny, often yellowish
stems; leaves like those of holly, leaf blade dark green, slightly
to deeply lobed with a spine at each lobe's tip especially in
exposed conditions, flat.
Flowers in neatly organised spikes at branch tips; petals large,
showy and light violet; capsules squarish and slightly flattened,
exploding when ripe to send its whitish, flat seeds flying up to 2 m
from the parent plant. Shaded to fully-exposed in the undergrowth
and on mud lobster mounds.
From Malay folklore, leaves are used as treatment for rheumatism,
neuralgia and wounds of poison arrows. Rare.