Aerva lanata (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Aerva lanata (L.) A.L. Juss. ex Schultes

Protologue: Roemer & Schultes, Syst. veg. 5: 564 (1819).


Achyranthes lanata L. (1753), Illecebrum lanatum (L.) L. (1771), Achyranthes villosa Forssk. (1775).

Vernacular names

  • Indonesia: katumpangan uler, rumput upas-upasan
  • Philippines: tabang-ahas, apugapugan, pamaynap (Tagalog), karlatan (Iloko)
  • Vietnam: mao v[ix] lông.


Africa, Madagascar, the Seychelles and other islands in the Indian Ocean and southern Asia from Arabia to India, Sri Lanka, Indo-China and Malesia (Sumatra, Bangka, Java, the Philippines, Timor, the Aru Islands and southern and south-eastern New Guinea).


In the Philippines, a decoction is considered to be an efficacious diuretic and is used against catarrh of the bladder and gonorrhoea. Leaves steeped in hot water are applied to swellings in Indonesia. In India, the roots are additionally used to treat headache, as demulcent, to cure coughs and as a vermifuge.


A perennial erect herb up to 110 cm tall, main branches and upper part of the stem often unbranched for a considerable length, leafy and flowering almost throughout, internodes usually shorter than 2 cm; leaves alternate, ovate-elliptical to obovate, 0.5-5 cm × 0.3-3 cm; spikes up to 2.5 cm long, in the axil of normal leaves, never forming a loosely branched paniculate inflorescence; tepals 1-1.5 mm long, stigmas 2, spreading; fruiting spike easily breaking up. A. lanata is locally common along roadsides, in abandoned fields and waste places, in Java up to 100 m altitude.

Selected sources

57, 93, 96, 190, 332, 497, 580, 891, 1041, 1127, 1178, 1202, 1469, 1470, 1483,1641, 1642, 1643, 1644.


N. Bunyapraphatsara & R.H.M.J. Lemmens