Uncaria acida (Hunt.) Roxb.

Uncaria acida (Hunt.) Roxb.




Nauclea acida Hunt., Uncaria ovalifolia Roxb., Uncaria acida var. papuana Valeton.

Vernacular Names

Malaysia Kait-kait, gambir-gambir.
Vietnam Vu[oos]t chua.

Geographical Distributions

Uncaria acida is distributed from Burma (Myanmar) to Thailand, southern Vietnam, Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Java, Lesser Sunda Islands, Borneo, the Philippines and New Guinea.


U. acida is a rather slender climber measuring 4-6 m tall. The hooks measure 2-3 cm long.

The leaves are egg-shaped to elliptical and measure 5-9 cm x 2.5-5 cm. They are papery to partial covered by a leathery texture, hairless, ultimate fine veins, frequently domatia underneath, stomata present on upper surface, stalk measures 10-12 mm long and the 4-7 mm long stipules are deeply bifid.

The flowering head is measuring up to 2 cm in diametre and over 5 cm in fruit. The peduncle measures 1.5-2 cm long. The flowers are subsessile and white. Its sepal tube measures 2 mm long and lobe elliptical to partially flat with circular outline. It measures 1 mm long. Its petal tube measures 5 mm long and hairy outside. The, lobes measure 1.5 mm long and hairy at both sides. The 13 mm x 2-2.5 mm capsule is oblong and pointed at both ends. It is sparsely hairy. The pedicel measures 5-6 mm long and slender. The seed measures 5 mm x 0.5 mm, long wings, white, slender and long acuminate.

Ecology / Cultivation

U. acida is locally abundant in humid primary and secondary forest, also along rivers, on swampy localities at low altitudes.

Line Drawing / Photograph



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