Lasia spinosa (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Lasia spinosa (L.) Thwaites

Family: Araceae

Vernacular names

  • Indonesia: ngambing, sambeng (Java), sampi (West Java), gali-gali (Sumatra)
  • Malaysia: geli-geli
  • Laos: pak norm
  • Thailand: phaknam
  • Vietnam: rau mớp, mớp ráy gai.


Tropical Asia, from India to New Guinea, including South-East Asia, occasionally cultivated.


After removing the prickles, young leaves and petioles are eaten cooked or fermented. In Indonesia a decoction of the roots is given to women after childbirth whereas in Thailand it is used for bathing the newborn baby.


  • Large clump-forming, often stoloniferous, prickly herb, erect to decumbent, 0.5-2 m tall.
  • Leaves long-petioled and very variable in shape, sagittate to hastate, large ones 35-65 cm × 5-30 cm, entire to deeply lobed, membranous to coriaceous, usually with prickles beneath.

In open swampy localities below 600 m altitude. Sometimes cultivated along fish ponds, and sold in local markets.

Selected sources

7, 38, 44, 49, 66.