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Stemona tuberose Lour.

Stemona tuberose Lour.




Roxburghia gloriosoides Roxb., Roxburghia gloriosa Pers., Stemona moluccana (Blume) C.H. Wight.

Vernacular Names


Kanyalut (Moluc­cas), ngabalo (North Halmahera), isoratu (Ter­nate).


Non taai yaak.


B[as]ch b[ooj], c[ur] ba m[uw][ow]i, d[aa]y d[ej]t [as]c.

Geographical Distributions

Stemona tu­berosa is found from continental Southeast Asia, Hainan and Taiwan throughout Malaysia, from the Philippines southwards to the Lesser Sunda Islands, the Moluccas and Papua.


Stemona tuberosa is a hairless, perennial, herbaceous twiner which can grow up to 4(-10) m long. Its roots form a fascicle of many thick, fleshy, yellow or black tuberous roots, up to 15-20 cm long.

The leaves are arranged opposite. Those at the lower part of shoots are often alternate, ovate or broadly ovate, measure 9-20 cm x 3-14 cm, cordate at base, acuminate at apex and with 9-13 veins.

The petiole is 1.5-7 cm long and not sheathing. The stipules are absent. The in­florescence is axillary, raceme-like and (1-)2-6- flowered. The peduncle is 2-8 cm long, free or fused with the peti­ole. The bracts are 0.5-1.5 cm long. The flowers are 4-­merous, with 0.5-3 cm long pedicel, tepals in 2 rows of 2 tepals, free, valvate, persistent, measure 2.5-4 cm x 0.4-1 cm, green or yellowish outside with dark green or purple stripes and brown or brown-red inside with red stripes. There are 4 stamens, which are 2.5-4 cm long, with short filaments, and anthers 0.8-1.5 cm long. The appendix of anthers is 5-12 mm long, with fused tips and purple.

The ovary is superior and style is absent. The fruit is a pendulous capsule, and measures 4-7 cm x 1.5-2 cm. It opens with 2 valves and is 10-20-seeded. The seed is 1-1.7 cm long, with anacumen about 4 mm long, basally inserted and dangles on a funicle 8 mm long while the base is surrounded by a vesicular aril.

Ecology / Cultivation

Stemona tuberosa is found in beach vegeta­tions, coastal forests, undergrowths in thick scrub, primary forests along rivers and fields at low alti­tudes not far from the coast, on loamy soils and sandy tuff.

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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