Urceola brachysepala (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Urceola brachysepala Hook.f.

Protologue: Apocynaceae


Urceola imberbis (Elmer) Merr., U. maingayi Hook.f., U. philippinensis Merr.

Vernacular names

  • Indonesia: akar gerip putih (Malay), gembor (Sundanese), serapat hitam (West Kalimantan). Peninsular Malaysia: akar gerit jantan
  • Philippines: hinggiu-kalabau, dugtong-ahas (Tagalog).


Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia (Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan), Brunei, the Philippines.


The latex present in the bark of the stem makes a good kind of rubber. Formerly this latex was collected in Indonesia by making cuts in the bark. The latex was mixed with that of other species and made into rubber.


A big, woody, extremely variable climber containing white to yellowish latex; twigs glabrous to densely puberulent. Leaves opposite; petiole up to 3 cm long; blade ovate to elliptical, 2-22 cm × 1-13 cm, 1-3 times as long as wide, base cuneate to subcordate, apex acuminate. Inflorescence a terminal or axillary cymose panicle 1-12 cm long; flowers 5-merous, bisexual; corolla tubular, tube 1-2 mm long, lobes valvate in bud, urceolate and greenish-white when open, about 1 mm long and wide. Fruit a pair of follicles, each follicle linear to fusiform, 7-27 cm × 3-10 mm. Seed flattened ellipsoid, 8-15 mm × 1-3 mm, coma 2-5 cm long, pointing towards the end of the fruit. U. brachysepala occurs in widely differing habitats from cliffs to primary forest or swamp forest, up to 1000 m altitude. In an experimental plantation in Indonesia plants 8 years old produced about 25 g rubber when tapped like para rubber trees. Elsewhere in Indonesia, plants with stem diameter of about 10 cm were said to produce 300 g rubber by carving the stem; sometimes the whole stem is cut into sections about 30 cm long and the exuded coagulated latex at the ends is collected.

Selected sources

11, 23, 27, 33, 42.