Acalypha grandis (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Acalypha grandis Benth.

Protologue: in Hook., Lond. Journ. Bot. 2: 232 (1843).


Acalypha consimilis Müll. Arg. (1866).

Vernacular names

  • Indonesia: saboboku (Halmahera), lofiti roriha (Ternate), ekor kuching utan (Malay)
  • Papua New Guinea: atepulopulo (Wagawaga, Milne Bay)
  • Vietnam: tai tượng lớn.


From the Philippines southward to the Moluccas and eastward to New Guinea, Admiralty Islands and Bismarck Archipelago. Cultivated in Thailand and Vietnam.


In the Moluccas, the sap of the pounded inner bark is employed as a mouthwash against thrush. The sap of heated leaves in combination with Citrus sap is given as a remedy for thrush in children. Finely crushed leaves and flowers are added to food as an antidiarrhoeal. A poultice of the leaves is an effective remedy for boils and other skin affections. In Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea, leaf sap is drunk with water, to treat diarrhoea and dysentery.


A spreading shrub or small tree up to 10 m tall, young parts fulvous puberulous; leaves broadly ovate, 25 cm × 20 cm, base variably cordate, apex shortly caudate acuminate, margin variably crenate-serrate, petiole up to 17 cm long, stipules lanceolate, up to 1 cm long; male inflorescence up to 20 cm long; female inflorescence up to 17 cm long, lax-flowered, bract very variable, up to 10 cm diameter, toothed, accrescent. A. grandis is found in primary or secondary forest, on stream banks, or in regrowth along lava flows up to 150 m altitude.

Selected sources

  • 31. Airy Shaw, H.K., 1972. The Euphorbiaceae of Siam. Kew Bulletin 26: 191-363.33, 35, 320, 407
  • Holdsworth, D.K., 1977. Medicinal plants of Papua New Guinea. Technical Paper No 175. South Pacific Commission, Noumea, New Caledonia. 123 pp., 786.


Arbayah H. Siregar