Merremia hederacea (Burm.f.) Hallier f.

Merremia hederacea (Burm.f.) Hallier f.




Evolvulus hederaceus Burm.f.

Vernacular Names

Malaysia Ulan pelandok.
Indonesia Lawatan (Javanese), tatapajan (Sundanese), kelemibiet  (West Kalimantan).
Thailand cha uek, ma uek (eastern), thao sa uek (central).
Vietnam b[if]m hoa v[af]ng.

Geographical Distributions

Merremia hederacea is distributed from tropical Africa, Mascarene Islands, tropical Asia, from the Himalayas southwards to Sri Lanka, and eastwards to Burma (Myanmar), southern China, Indo-China and Thailand, and southwards throughout Malesia to northern Australia.


M. hederacea is an annual, twining or prostrate, slender herb, with a size of measuring 1-2 m long and it is smooth to sparsely hirsute.

The leaves are ovate in outline, with a size of measure about  1.5-5 cm x 1.2-4 cm, broadly cordate base, obtuse apex and mucronulate in shape. The leaves margin is an entire or crenate to shallowly or deeply 3-lobed while the petiole is measure about  0.5-6 cm long.

The flowers are few to several. The first ramification is dichasial while the subsequent ones are often monochasial. The peduncle is measuring about 1-10 cm long, with a size of measure 3 mm long of the narrow-obovate bracts and caduceus. The flower-buds are oblong in shape, a size of measure about 2-4 mm long pedicel, concave sepals, broadly obovate to spoon-shaped, with a size of measuring 4-5 mm long, broadly notched at the apex and mucronulate. The measuring  6-10(-12) mm long petal is bell-shaped. It is hairless outside and with long hairs inside. It is a yellow in colour while the base of filaments is hairy.

The capsule is broadly conical to depressed-globular in shape, with a measuring about 5-6 mm high and wrinkled. The seed is measure about 2.5 mm long and it is pubescent or nearly smooth.


Ecology / Cultivation

M. hederacea occurs in thickets, open grasslands, and on sandbanks, from sea-level up to 250 m altitude. Two forms can be distinguished: f. pubescens Ooststr., with shortly pubescent seeds, and f. barbata Ooststr., with seeds having reddish-brown long hairs on the hilum and margins when ripe.


Line Drawing / Photograph



    1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 12 (2): Medicinal and poisonous plants.