Desmos chinensis (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Desmos chinensis Lour.

Protologue: Fl. cochinch.: 352 (1790).

Vernacular names

  • Malaysia: akar pisang-pisang, kenanga hutan, akar darah (Peninsular)
  • Philippines: ilang-ilang gubat (Tagalog)
  • Thailand: kluai khruea (Saraburi), khruea khao klaep (Loei), saao yut (central, peninsular)
  • Vietnam: hoo giẻ thơm, nối côi.


Nepal, eastern India, Burma (Myanmar), Indo-China, southern China, Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Java, Borneo and the Philippines.


In Peninsular Malaysia a decoction of the root has been given to treat dysentery and vertigo, and after childbirth. The roots are used in traditional medicine in China to treat malaria. A fragrant essential oil can be obtained from the flowers. D. chinensis is sometimes planted in gardens for its fragrant flowers.


A scandent shrub with straggling branches, up to 5 m tall; leaves oblong to lanceolate, 5.5-25 cm × 2.5-7.5 cm, membranous; flowers greenish-yellow, sepals ovate-lanceolate, 0.5-1 cm long, petals oblong-lanceolate, 4-13 cm long; ripe carpels with 1-7 segments, shining black. D. chinensis occurs in open locations and borders of lowland forest, but also in living fences and brushwood, up to 600 m altitude.

Selected sources

62, 121, 444, 759, 760, 860.

Main genus page


R.H.M.J. Lemmens