Smilax megacarpa (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Smilax megacarpa A. DC.

Protologue: Monogr. phan. 1: 186 (1878).
Family: Smilacaceae

Vernacular names

  • Malaysia: akar kelona, akar banar, akar rebanar, akar lampu bukit (Peninsular)
  • Laos: kh'u:a hmu: 'wa:k, kê:ng hmu: (Louang Prabang), khua:ng th'ô:n (Vientiane)
  • Vietnam: cam ích (Quang Nam Da Nang), kim cang (Sông Bé), dây man ết (Quang Nam Da Nang), kim cang trái to, cậm cang qủa to


India, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Hainan, Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore; possibly also Java, Borneo and the Moluccas.


The red rhizomes are eaten in Peninsular Malaysia. Fruits may also be edible. In Laos the plant is used against coughs and used as a medicine for women after childbirth.


  • Climbing rhizomatous shrub, 2-6 m long, with terete stems, armed with prickles.
  • Leaves very variable, ovate to broadly elliptic, 6-27 cm × 2-15 cm, subcoriaceous, petiole up to 5 cm long, wings of petiolar sheaths rather weakly developed, tendrils up to 25 cm long.
  • Inflorescence with 2-3 umbels.
  • Fruit a juicy berry, 1.5-2 cm in diameter, dark red or purple at maturity.

S. megacarpa occurs locally frequent in evergreen forest up to 1200 m altitude, in Malesia also in bushes in open country.

Selected sources

20, 27, 33, 49, 84. Vegetables

202, 779, 780, 1227, 1356. Medicinals


  • Stephen P. Teo