Gunnera macrophylla Blume

Gunnera macrophylla Blume





Vernacular Names

Indonesia Hariyang gede, tarate gunung (Sundanese), sukmadiluwih (Javanese

Balai, baloi, debit (Igorot, Bontok).

Geographical Distributions

G. macrophylla occurs in mountainous areas of Sumatra, Java, Borneo (Sabah), the Philippines, Sulawesi, New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.


G. macrophylla is a perennial, soft, hairy herb and often with numerous stolons. The stem is very short.

The leaves are in a rosette, kidney-shaped to cordate, angular, rarely irregularly (2-) 3-lobed, measuring 2.5-70 cm x 2.5-70 cm, irregularly dentate and bullate. The petiole is up to 70 cm long, provided with 3 warts at base. The stipules are absent.

The inflorescence is a subterminal panicle with numerous lateral spikes, shortly stalked or sessile and up to 60 cm long in fruit. The lower spikes are with female flowers while the upper ones are with male flowers, but sometimes intermixed with bisexual flowers. The flowers are unisexual but sometimes bisexual, small and with 2(-3) sepals. The male flowers are with 2 spoon-shaped petals and 2 stamens. The female flowers are without petals, with inferior, 1-celled ovary and sessile stigma.

The fruit is a spherical drupe about 2 mm in diametre, smooth, juicy and 1-seeded. The nutlet is flattened-globular and about 1 mm in diametre.

Ecology / Cultivation

G. macrophylla is found in wet or damp locations in the mountains, often gregarious, mostly on open or lightly-shaded sites in disturbed habitats, pioneering on bare lands, along paths and in openings in secondary forests at (750-)1250-3000 m altitude.

Line Drawing / Photograph



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