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Cissus repens Lam.

Family Name: Vitaceae
Synonyms: Vitis repens W. & Arn.
Common Name: Malayan Wild Vine, Carik Merah, Lakum, Pokok Riang Hutan, 白粉藤, 白薯藤
Full Sun Semi Shade Moderate Water Bird-Attracting Plant Native to Singapore Fruit or Vegetable Coastal Plant Ornamental Leaves Climber, Vine and Liana


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Climber, Vine & Liana
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic


Native Distribution India, Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, through Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Brunei to Papua New Guinea and Australia.
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Primary Rainforest, Secondary Rainforest, Coastal Forest, Freshwater Swamp Forest)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical, Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Vulnerable (VU))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form A woody climber. 
Foliage Its spirally arranged, stalked leaves have papery to leathery leaf blades that are simple, broad egg-shaped, cordate base, hairless, 3.5–8.5 by 2.5–8 cm, and with toothed margins.
Flowers The flowers are borne on umbelliform inflorescences which are leaf opposed. Each flower is small insize and have four yellow petals, four stamens attached outside the disk and 1 stigma. 
Fruits Its fruits are round berries, up to 6 by 5 mm, and with 1 seed each. The seed is up to 4 mm across.
Habitat It grows on the fringes of lowland dipterocarp and swamp forests. It occurs locally in Pulau Ubin.
Associated Fauna Its flowers are pollinated by bees, and its fruits and seeds may be eaten and dispersed by birds.
Cultivation It can be propagated by root cuttings, and sometimes roots spontaneously on intact stems pieces of which can then be removed for cultivation.
Etymology Latin Cissus, ivy; Latin repens, unexpected or sudden, the reference to which is unknown
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts (Edible Leaves)
Food (Fruit & Vegetable : The edible leaves are used in place of sorrel.)
Medicinal ( The leaves can be used as a poultice for swelling and fever.)
[Others]: The leaves are used for stupefying fish. The stem is used as a cordage.

Landscaping Features

Landscaping It is suitable for growing in parks on trellises and pergolas.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Foliage
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils, Fertile Loamy Soils, Easy to Grow
Landscape Uses Parks & Gardens, Coastal, Trellis / Arbour / Pergola

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Bird Attracting
Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna)
Seed or Spore Dispersal Biotic (Fauna)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade, Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Fast
Propagation Method Seed, Stem Cutting


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Papery, Leathery
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate, Spiral
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Serrate / Toothed
Foliar Apex - Tip Acute
Foliar Base Cordate

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Green - Light Green, White, Yellow / Golden
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Axillary
Flower Symmetry Radial
Inflorescence Type Corymb

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Purple
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type 1 Fleshy Fruit
Fruit Type 2 Non-Accessory Fruit

Image Repository



Master ID 72
Species ID 1368
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 20 August 2022.