Dentella repens (L.) J.R. Forster & J.G. Forster

Dentella repens (L.) J.R. Forster & J.G. Forster




Oldenlandia repens L.

Vernacular Names

Malaysia Bunga karang (Peninsular).
Indonesia Kremah, krokot putih, mata yuyu (Java).
Philippines Dilang-butiki (Tagalog).

Geographical Distributions

D. repens occurs in tropical Asia, tropical Australia, Micronesia and Polynesia. It is common throughout Southeast Asia.


D. repens is a small creeping annual or perennial herb that can grow up to 30 cm tall. The prostrate stems are abundantly rooting, strongly branched and form large flat cushions.

The leaves are arranged opposite, simple and entire. They are elliptical-oblong to oblong-obovate with a size of 4-10 mm x 2-5 mm, sessile or with a short petiole. The stipules are interpetiolar and connate with a few hairs.

The flowers are solitary in leaf axils, bisexual, regular and 5-merous. The pedicel is very short. Sepal is tubular, deeply 5-fid and persistent. The petal is united, funnel-shaped, 5-15 mm long and much longer than the sepal. The corolla is a yellowish tube with hairy inside. Its lobes are acute, white and usually with a purple spot and hairy at base. The stamens are inserted near the base of the petal tube and with very short filaments. The ovary is inferior, 2-celled and style is deeply bifid.

Fruit is an indehiscent, nearly globular capsule with a size of 3-4 mm long, crowned by the sepal, usually densely hairy and many-seeded. Seeds are small, angular, reticulate and dark brown.

Seedling is with epigeal germination. Cotyledons are elliptical to ovate. The hypocotyl is 2-6 mm long while epicotyl is absent. 

Ecology / Cultivation

D. repens is a minor weed and occurs in fallow land, waste places, rice fields, sugar cane plantations and dry riverbeds, especially on heavy soils. It is locally abundant.

Line Drawing / Photograph



  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No.12(3): Medicinal and poisonous plants 3.