Cayratia japonica

Cayratia japonica




Vitis japonica Thunb., Cissus japonica Willd., Cissus obovata Lawson

Vernacular Names

Malaysia Lakum, charek merah, pokok riang hutan.
English Sorrel vine.
Indonesia Dudugan (Siberut).
Vietnam V[as]c nh[aaj]t.

Geographical Distributions

From Japan and southern China to Indo-China, Malesia and Australia; common in Peninsular Malaysia. Recently occurring as an adventive in Texas (United States).


It is a rather small, usually evergreen climber, 2-4 m long stem ridged, often reddish when young, hairy mainly at nodes, tendrils 2-3-fid, usually smooth, small or absent tuber and large root system .

The leaves are pedate, usually 5-foliolate with 4-8 cm long stalk, central leaflet is broadly lance-shaped to egg-shaped, 6-10 cm x 3-5.5 cm while lateral leaflets are egg-shaped, 3-7(-11) cm x 2-3.5 cm. The margins are serrate and both surfaces are hairy.

The inflorescence is arising at the axil, cymose corymbiform, primary branches 3, 6-12 cm x 3-4 cm and peduncle is 4-8 cm long. The flowers are small greenish-white to yellowish color.

The berry is subglobose, up to 1 cm in diametre, purplish-blue to black, sometimes white and 2-4-seeded.

Ecology / Cultivation

C. japonica occurs usually along rainforest margins, brushwood and village margins, from sea-level up to 1500 m altitude.

Line Drawing / Photograph



  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No 12(2). 1998, Unesco.