Ipomoea pes-caprae (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
Introduction
List of species


Ipomoea pes-caprae (L.) R.Br.


Protologue: Tuckey, Narr. Exped. Zaire: 477 (1818).

Synonyms

Convolvulus pes-caprae L. (1753), Ipomoea biloba Forssk. (1775), Ipomoea maritima (Desr.) R.Br. (1810).


Vernacular names

  • Beach morning glory, horse’s footprint, goat’s foot creeper (En). Bay-hops (Am). Liseron pied de chèvre (Fr)
  • Indonesia: batata pantai (Manado), daun katang (Moluccas), katang-katang (Balinese)
  • Malaysia: batata pantai, tapak kuda
  • Papua New Guinea: m’buwch (Manus Island), kokolauna (Hula, Central Province), oopurauna (Hisiu, Central Province)
  • Philippines: bagasua (Tagalog, Bisaya), balim-balim (Tagalog), kamkamote (Iloko). Burma (Myanmar): pinlaikazum
  • Cambodia: trakuon kantek, pak bung tale
  • Thailand: phak bung thale (central), la-buu-lao (peninsular)
  • Vietnam: rau muống biển, bìm chân dê.

Distribution

Common along all tropical beaches, including South-East Asia.

Uses

The plant is mucilaginous and is considered astringent, tonic, alterative, diuretic and laxative, useful in skin affections. In Indonesia, a decoction of the root is considered emollient and diminishes the irritation caused by bladder infections. A paste of the leaves is spread on ulcers and boils, to ripen them. The seed is chewed and swallowed as a remedy for cramp and stomach-ache. In the Philippines, Australia, India and Middle America, a decoction is considered anodynal in rheumatism. Leaf sap is applied to jellyfish stings in Peninsular Malaysia and Thailand. The seeds are taken for stomach-ache in the Philippines, Malaysia, Indo-China and India.

I. pes-caprae is a colonizer of sand dunes and an excellent sand binder.

Observations

A perennial, glabrous vine, stems prostrate, sometimes twining, 5-30 m long, containing a milky juice, often rooting at the nodes, taproot thick; leaves often pointing to one side, variable, ovate, elliptical, circular, reniform, 3.5-10 cm × 3-10 cm, base broadly cuneate to truncate, apex emarginate or deeply 2-lobed, 2 abaxial glands at the base of midrib, blade thick, petiole up to 17 cm long; flowers in a 1-few-flowered cyme, peduncle stout, 3-16 cm long; pedicel 1-7 cm long, sepals unequal, somewhat leathery, corolla funnel-shaped, 3-6.5 cm long, purple to reddish-purple, centre with darker inside, filaments hairy at base; capsule globular, 1-1.7 cm in diameter, glabrous, leathery; seeds 4, trigonous-globose, 6-10 mm long, black, densely brownish tomentose. I. pes-caprae occurs just behind the flood-line on beaches often colonizing these completely. It also occurs inland, along roadsides and ditches, up to 800 m altitude. Two subspecies are distinguished, subsp. pes-caprae with deeply 2-lobed leaves, lobes rounded, corolla about 6.5 cm long, and subsp. brasiliensis (L.) Ooststr. with emarginate to truncate leaves, and corolla 3-5 cm long. This later one is most common in South-East Asia.

Selected sources

74, 134,

  • Burkill, I.H., 1966. A dictionary of the economic products of the Malay Peninsula. Revised reprint. 2 volumes. Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Vol. 1 (A-H) pp. 1-1240, Vol. 2 (I-Z) pp. 1241-2444.

215, 297, 407

  • Holdsworth, D.K., 1977. Medicinal plants of Papua New Guinea. Technical Paper No 175. South Pacific Commission, Noumea, New Caledonia. 123 pp., 506, 647, 696, 786, 799, 800, 867, 1026, 1071.

Authors

Anna L.H. Dibiyantoro & G.H. Schmelzer