Urceola elastica (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Urceola elastica Roxb.

Protologue: Apocynaceae


Tabernaemontana elastica (Roxb.) Spreng., Urceola brachysepala Hook.f. var. pilosa Boerl.

Vernacular names

  • Indonesia: akar gerip tembaga (Malay), tahoi tabu (Sumatra, Lampung)
  • Malaysia: akar gegerit jantan (Peninsular).


Malaysia, Indonesia (Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan), Brunei.


Before the introduction of the para rubber tree this liana was the oldest known rubber producer from Asia. It produced a good quality rubber and would certainly have been cultivated on a large scale had not all latex producing plants been overshadowed by Hevea brasiliensis (Willd. ex Juss.) Müll.Arg.


Robust liana, up to 180 m long and 50 cm stem diameter at base, with densely brown puberulent branchlets, containg latex. Leaves opposite; petiole up to 3 cm long; blade elliptical to obovate, 3-20 cm × 1.5-9 cm, about 2 times as long as wide, base weakly cordate to obtuse, margins often slightly inrolled, apex acuminate, puberulent beneath. Inflorescence an axillary or terminal cymose panicle up to 20 cm long; flowers 5-merous; corolla tubular, greenish-white, lobes valvate in bud, urceolate when open, tube 1-2 mm long, lobes about 1 mm × 0.5 mm. Fruit a pair of divergent follicles, follicle linear to fusiform, up to 26 cm × 1.5 cm. Seed flattened ellipsoidal, up to 20 mm × 4 mm bearing a coma up to 6 cm long. U. elastica occurs in primary, secondary or disturbed forest, up to 800 m altitude.

Selected sources

11, 23, 27, 33, 42.