Ancistrocladus tectorius (Lour.) Merr.

Ancistrocladus tectorius (Lour.) Merr.




Ancistrocladus extensus Wallich ex Planchon, Ancistrocladus pinangiansus Wallich ex Planchon.

Vernacular Names



Akar julong hitam, jenjulong akar, lidah sapi (Peninsular).


Akar bebulus, belulus (Bangka), trung bulus (Belitung).


Kra-maa (Khmer, Saraburi), khon maa (Central), li-daa saa-pee (Malay, peninsular).


Trung qu[aa]n.

Geographical Distributions

Ancistrocladus tectorius is distributed in Burma (Myanmar), Indo-China, southern China, Hainan, the Andaman Islands, Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, the Riau and Lingga Archipelago, Bangka, Belitung, southern Sumatra and western Borneo.


Ancistrocladus tectorius is a liana or climbing shrub with tendril-like shoots provided with curved, ultimately woody hooks that are mostly arranged unilaterally.

The leaves are arranged alternate, usually crowded above some older hooks, simple and entire, mostly elliptical-obovate, measuring 9-30 cm x 3-10 cm, hairless, minutely pitted, with reticulate venation and sessile. The stipules are absent.

The inflorescence is usually between the crowded leaves, dichotomously branched with divergent branches up to 15 cm long. Flowers are often crowded at the tips of the inflorescence branches, bisexual, regular, 5-merous, small and with articulate pedicel. The sepal is with short tube and 5 unequal enlarged lobes and wing-like in fruit; some or all lobes are with prominent glands. The petals are united at base, obliquely ovate, and measure 3-3.5 mm long. There are 10 stamens which are alternately unequal and the filaments are broadened at base. The ovary is inferior, 1-celled, protruding into a nipple-shaped elongation and bearing 3 articulated styles.

The fruit is a nut crowned by the much enlarged unequal sepal lobes, and measuring up to 5 cm x 2 cm. The seed is obconical with flat apex, and measures about 5 mm long. Endosperm is ruminate. Seedling is with epigeal germination. The cotyledons are thin and leaf-like. The hook-like structures are modified peduncles. The hooks sometimes have enlarged tips, which are flowers with smaller perianth and reduced stamens and ovary. The leafy branches arise from the axil of hooks. 

Ecology / Cultivation

Ancistrocladus tectorius occurs in mixed forests and scrub vegetation in the lowland, often near the sea, sometimes close to the beach, and mostly on siliceous soils.

Line Drawing / Photograph



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