Aristolochia tagala (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Aristolochia tagala Cham.

Protologue: Linnaea 7: 207, t. 5, f. 3 (1832).


Aristolochia roxburghiana Klotzsch (1859), Aristolochia megalophylla K. Schumann (1889), Aristolochia mindanaensis Warb. (1905).

Vernacular names

  • Indonesia: kalayar (Sundanese), puyan (Javanese), kunit (Sulawesi)
  • Malaysia: akar ketola hutan, akar petola hutan (Peninsular)
  • Philippines: timbangan (Tagalog), goan-goan (Bisaya), nagerus (Iloko)
  • Thailand: krachao pheemot, krachao mot (central)
  • Vietnam: phòng k[yr], dây khố rách.


From India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, through Burma (Myanmar), Indo-China (Cambodia, Vietnam), China and Thailand, to the whole of Malesia, the Solomon Islands and Australia (Queensland).


Powdered roots are used as a tonic, carminative and emmenagogue, and to treat infantile tympanites in the Philippines. In Malaysia, pounded leaves are applied to the head to treat fever. In Papua New Guinea, leaves are rubbed over a patient's head and subsequently mixed with water and given to the patient to drink. In the Moluccas, leaves ground with Curcuma are warmed and applied externally to treat swollen limbs, colics and skin diseases.


A climber up to 20 m long, with terete, slightly furrowed branches up to 5 mm in diameter; leaves usually ovate to ovate-oblong, 6-20(-27) cm × 4-10(-16) cm, cordate at base with rounded auricles, sparsely short-haired to subglabrous beneath, with 2 pairs of basal veins, 3-5 pairs of secondary veins and loosely reticulate or crossbar-like tertiary veins; flowers in a racemose or paniculate inflorescence, perianth 1-lipped, with faint venation, pale yellowish or greenish to purplish or dark reddish-brown; fruit subglobose, slightly pyriform or oblong, up to 4 cm long; seeds winged. A. tagala occurs in forest and thickets, usually up to 800 m altitude, but in Thailand up to 1050 m and in New Guinea up to 1350 m.

Selected sources

202, 288, 359, 364, 580, 597, 1126, 1137, 1178.


R. Kiew