Pothos scandens L.

Pothos scandens L.




Pothos zollingerianus Schott, Pothos hermaphroditus (Blanco) Merr.

Vernacular Names

Malaysia Seginting, juloh-juloh (Peninsular).
Indonesia Klabangan (Javanese), tapanawa kecil (Ambon).
Philippines Apis (Tagalog), hipan, oro-ola (Bikol).
Burma (Myanmar) Wai mai (Shan).
Laos Cha-kep, ma nok hon.
Thailand Cha khep (Central), waai tamoi (Uttaradit), kho kiu (Surat Thani, Yala).
Vietnam R[as]y leo.

Geographical Distributions

P. scandens has an extremely large area of distribution: Madagascar, the Comores, the Seychelles, Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Burma (Myanmar), Indo-China, southern China (Yunnan), Thailand, and the whole Malaysian region except New Guinea.


It is a root-climbing liana up to 6 m long. The stem is weakly angled or terete, up to 1 cm in diametre.

Leaves are arranged distichously alternate, simple and entire, ovate to elliptical or lance-shaped, 3-14 cm x 2-10 cm, rounded to wedge-shaped at base, attenuate-mucronate at apex, entire, with 2 intramarginal veins per side and numerous parallel small veins. The petiole is 2-14 cm long, broadly winged, truncate and rounded or having auricles at apex. Stipules are absent.

Inflorescence is a solitary spadix in leaf axil and with spathe at base. The spherical to ovoid spadix is with stipe sharply bent at anthesis, 4-10 mm in diametre and yellowish-green to dirty white while the 4-8 mm long spathe is ovate. Margins are variously inrolled and greenish to maroon. Flowers are bisexual, 1-2 mm in diametre, with 6 tepals and 6 stamens. The 3-celled ovary is superior, with sessile stigma and punctiform.

Fruit is 1-1.5 cm long berry, 1-5 per ripened inflorescence, ripening to deep scarlet and 1-3-seeded.

Seeds are ellipsoid to compressed-spherical, 3-6 mm in diameter, with smooth testa and lacking albumen. 

Ecology / Cultivation

P. scandens grows on trees and rocks in primary and secondary, wet to dry forests in the lowland and mountains up to 2100 m altitude. Sometimes it is found in hedges, scrub vegetation and plantations, or on sea cliffs.

Line Drawing / Photograph



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