Merremia tridentata (L.) Hallier f. subsp. hastata (Desr.) Ooststr.

Merremia tridentata (L.) Hallier f. subsp. hastata (Desr.) Ooststr.




Merremia hastata Hallier f.

Vernacular Names

Malaysia Akar keremak, karok relia, pungulang (Peninsular).
Indonesia Irit-iritan, rangitan (Javanese), jala ma tubu (Ternate).
Thailand Thao tot maa (South-western).
Philippines Maragta, talanuk (Tagalog), karadkad (Igorot).

Geographical Distributions

Merremia tridentata is distributed from tropical Africa to tropical Asia, India, and Sri Lanka, eastwards to China, and southwards throughout Malaysia, and northern Australia.


M. tridentata is an annual twiner, occasionally prostrate and measure 0.6-2 m long. The stems are slender, smooth with a stout root.

The leaves are linear-oblong to narrowly linear and measure 2.5-10 cm x 0.5-2 cm. It is more or less contracted above the base while the lobes are more or less stem-clasping. The basal lobes is dentate while the apex is attenuates, acute to obtuse and diminutive ending abruptly in a short stiff point. The margin is entire or slightly undulated with 1-3 mm long stalk.

The flowers are in 1-few-flowered cymes with 1-8 cm long peduncle and minute bracts. The flower buds are narrowly conical and acute while pedicel measures 6-8 mm long, club-shaped fruit and measuring up to 15 mm long. The tips of sepals are curved outwards, and nearly equal, measure 6-7 mm long, egg-shaped-lance-shaped, and acuminate, while the petal is funnel-shaped, measures 12-20 mm long, pale yellow or white, and purple or dark brown at centre. The filaments are sparsely hairy at the base. The capsule is spherical to ovoid, pericarp paper and smooth. The seeds measure 2.5-3 mm long, dull black and smooth.

Ecology / Cultivation

M. tridentata subsp. hastata occurs on rather light soil, in open grasslands, waste places, teak forests, and along roadsides, from sea-level up to 1200 m altitude.

Line Drawing / Photograph



  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No 12(2): Medicinal and poisonous plants 2.