Andrographis paniculata is easily grown and considered an annual or biennial bush. It will grow in sun or partial shade to a height of 18 inches to over 4 feet. An erect shrub, Andrographis is green with sparse lanceolate leaves up to 5 inches long on green stems. The leaves are scentless. The shrub’s small flowers are tubular-shaped and white with pale violet streaks. The seeds are known to drop quickly if not harvested. The whole plant has a bitter taste due to the pungent diterpenoid lactones, hence the name “king of bitters” in some places.
It is found in a variety of habitats, such as plains, hillsides and coastlines. It is also found in disturbed and cultivated areas such as roadsides, farms and wastelands.