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Smilax setosa Miq.

Family Name: Smilacaceae
Synonyms: Smilax barbata Wall. ex A. DC., Smilax bracteata (Wall. ex A. DC.) T. Koyama var. barbata
Common Name: Bearded Smilax, Akar Banar, Akar Keranting Jantan
Full Sun Semi Shade Little Water Moderate Water Bird-Attracting Plant Butterfly Host Plant Native to Singapore 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) (Monocotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Climber, Vine & Liana
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Irregular


Native Distribution Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, and Bangka Island
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Primary Rainforest, Secondary Rainforest, Coastal Forest, Freshwater Swamp Forest, Disturbed Area / Open Ground)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Least Concern (LC))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a woody and stout climber.
Foliage Its stalked leaves have very leathery leaf blades that are egg-shaped, narrowing to tips, dark green, white below, and 15–20 by 7.5–15 cm, with 5 pairs of veins that are very prominent below.
Flowers Its inflorescence consists of flowers that are green and 1.3–1.9 cm long.
Fruits Its fruits are dark red.
Habitat It grows in lowland forest margins. 
Associated Fauna Its flowers are insect-pollinated. Its fruits are eaten by birds. It is also the larval host plant of the Branded Imperial (Eooxylides tharis distanti), and Yamfly (Loxura atymnus fuconius).
Cultivation It can be propagated by seed and stem cutting.
Etymology Greek Smilax, a scraper, referring to the prickly stems; Latin setosa, covered with bristles or stiff hairs.

Landscaping Features

Landscape Uses Vertical Greenery / Green Wall, Trellis / Arbour / Pergola

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Bird Attracting (Fruits), Caterpillar Food Plant (Leaves)
Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna)
Seed or Spore Dispersal Biotic (Fauna)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade, Full Sun
Water Preference Little Water, Moderate Water
Propagation Method Seed, Stem Cutting


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Ovate)
Foliar Venation Parallel
Foliar Margin Entire

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) White, Cream / Off-White, Green
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Axillary
Flower Symmetry Radial

Fruit, Seed and Spore

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

Image Repository



Master ID 205
Species ID 1501
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: 19 August 2021.