Toddalia asiatica (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Toddalia asiatica (L.) Lamk

Family: Rutaceae


  • Paullinia asiatica L.,
  • Toddalia aculeata (Smith) Persoon.

Vernacular names

  • Lopez root (En)
  • Indonesia: areuy beleketebek (Sundanese), duri kengkeng (Javanese), rabet kingking (Madurese)
  • Malaysia: akar kucing
  • Philippines: dauag (Tagalog), subit (Igorot), kaboat (Bisaya)
  • Laos: ngu: haux, pè:m pa:x
  • Vietnam: xít xa, cam núi


From India, southern China and Taiwan throughout South-East Asia. Also in Mauritius and Madagascar.


All parts of the plant are used to flavour food, as a tonic for the stomach and to prevent fever. An infusion of the leaves is used against asthma. The leaves contain a valuable low-grade perfume oil (0.08%).


  • Woody liana, 2-20 m long; stem scrambling by the sharp, recurved prickles.
  • Leaves alternate or spiralled, trifoliolate; petiole up to 2 cm long; leaflets sessile, ovate to oblong-lanceolate, 3-10 cm × 1-2.5 cm, margins shallowly crenulate.
  • Inflorescence paniculate, up to 7.5 cm long.
  • Pedicel 3-6 mm long; flowers 3-5 mm long, 5-merous, unisexual, creamy-white, usually 3-10 together in cymes or lax umbels on the lateral rachises; male flower with 5 stamens; female flower with a short gynophore and a capitate stigma.
  • Fruit a subglobose drupe, 5-7 mm in diameter, 3-5-grooved, glandular, orange.
  • Seeds up to 7, somewhat compressed.

T. asiatica occurs in humid forest, from sea-level up to 2300 m altitude.

Selected sources

  • Backer, C.A. & Bakhuizen van den Brink Jr, R.C., 1963-1968. Flora of Java. 3 volumes. Wolters‑Noordhoff, Groningen, the Netherlands. Vol. 1 (1963), 647 pp., Vol. 2 (1965), 641 pp., Vol. 3 (1968), 761 pp.
  • Brown, W.H., 1941-1943. Useful plants of the Philippines. 3 volumes. Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Technical Bulletin 10. Bureau of Printing, Manila, the Philippines. 1610 pp. (reprint, 1951-1957).
  • Heyne, K., 1927. De nuttige planten van Nederlandsch Indië [The useful plants of the Dutch East Indies]. 2nd edition, 3 volumes. Departement van Landbouw, Nijverheid en Handel in Nederlandsch Indië. 1953 pp. (3rd edition, 1950. van Hoeve, 's‑Gravenhage/Bandung, the Netherlands/Indonesia. 1660 pp.).
  • Lawrence, B.M., 1996. Progress in essential oils. Perfumer and Flavorist 21(4): 57-67.


P.C.M. Jansen