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Derris elliptica (Wallich) Benth.


Derris elliptica (Wallich) Benth.





Vernacular Names

Malaysia Tuba, akar tuba.
English Derris, tuba root.
Indonesia Tuba, oyod tungkul (Javanese), tuwa leteng (Sundanese).
Brunei Tuba (Dusun, Malay).
Philippines Tubli, tugling-pula (Tagalog), upei (Bontok).
Burma (Myanmar) Hon.
Cambodia Ca bia, k'biehs.
Thailand Hang lai daeng, lai nam (Northern), kalamphoh (Phetchaburi).
Vietnam d[aa]y m[aaj]t, d[aa]y thu[oos]c c[as].
French Touba.

Geographical Distributions

Derris elliptica is distributed in Bangladesh, Burma (Myanmar), Indo-China, Thailand, the Nicobar Islands and Malesia (apparently not wild in Borneo, Sulawesi and the Moluccas). D. elliptica also  cultivated in Southeast Asia, India, tropical Africa and America.



D. elliptica is a liana which can grow up to measure 16 m long. The root is reddish-brown in colour, apical shoots are often leafless for several metre and rusty pubescent. The leaflets are 7-15 and mostly densely rusty hairy on both surfaces when young.

The inflorescence is axillary or fascicled on the older branches. The flowers are with rusty pubescent sepal and pinkish petal. The standard is with callosities basal and rusty silky hairs.

The fruit is oblong or oblong-elliptical in shape and with a narrow wing along both sides.


Ecology / Cultivation

D. elliptica is commonly found in forest edges, roadsides and along rivers, in Java up to 1500 m altitude.


Line Drawing / Photograph


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  1) Safety


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

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