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Urena lobata L.


Urena lobata L.





Vernacular Names

Pulut-pulut, pepulut, pulut lembu.
English Congo jute, aramina fibre.
Indonesia Pangpulutan (Sundanese), pulutan (Javanese), pulut (Sumatra).
Thailand Khamong dong (Northern), po seng (Peninsular), khee khrok (Central).
Philippines Dalupang (Tagalog, Panay Bisaya, Pampangan), kulotan (Tagalog, Bisaya), saligut (Bontok).
Vietnam B[as]I l[uw][ow]ng, k[es] hoa d[af]o.
Papua New Guinea Haritapiraba (Uaripi, Gulf Province), kotokoto (Pokama, Central Province), Bitobito (Oroi, Central Province).

Geographical Distributions

Urena lobata is widely distributed as a weed in the tropics and subtropics of both hemispheres including Southeast Asia.


U. lobata is an annual, variable, erect, ascendent under shrub and measuring up to 0.5-2.5 m tall. The stems are covered with minute star-like hairs, scattered simple hairs and are often tinged purple.

The leaves arrangement are alternate, simple, extremely variable in size and shape, partially flat with circular outline, oblong to lance-shaped that is measure 1-12 cm x 0.5-13 cm. The leaves have more or less 3-5-lobed which are heart-shaped to wedge-shaped at the base. The apex is acuminate while the margins are serrate to crenate with 3-9-veined. The surfaces are hairy with a modified epidermal cells that secrets nectar on base of midrib beneath. The petiole is measures 0.5-12 cm long. The stipules are lance-shaped to reverse egg-shaped. They measure at 2-4 mm long, acute and caduceus.

The inflorescence arises from the axils, solitary or in clusters of 2-3 cm. The bell-shaped flowers are 5-merous, 2-3 cm in diametre, pink with a purple centre, 7-8 mm long epicalyx which envelopes the sepal ,and have 5 segments that are lance-shaped and hairy. The sepal is tubular to bell-shaped measuring 5-6 mm x 1.5-2 mm. At 1/3 from the base of the ribs, it is thickened or with a modified epidermal secreting nectar. The petals are reverse egg-shaped and the apex is rounded. The male reproduction organ column measures 10-14 mm long, usually curved; the anthers are purple and pollen is white. The style arms are 10; each one is 1 mm long. The stigmas are dark purple.

The fruit is partially spherical schizocarp and composed of 5 parts of 4-5 mm long fruits. Barbed bristles cover them. The 2.5-3.5 mm long seed is kidney-shaped, minutely hairy to hairless and brown. The seedling is with above the ground germination.

Ecology / Cultivation

U. lobata is common on roadsides, in waste places, fallow fields, plantations, secondary growths, teak forests, from sea level up to 2000 m altitude, in many locations naturalised as a noxious weed.

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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