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Gynura procumbens


Gynura procumbens

Family Name: Asteraceae (Compositae)
Common Name: Longevity Spinach, Scrambling Gynura, Sambung Nyawa, Cholesterol Spinach, 平卧菊三七, 尖凤尾, 南非叶


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

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Herbaceous Plant
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic


Native Distribution Malaysia
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Critically Endangered (CR))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a small perennial herb with a growth of about 1 - 3 m in height. It has a scandent (climbing) growth habit.
Foliage Smooth, fleshy leaves are round to ovate and lanceolate with shallow teeth along the leaf margin. Leaf blades measure up to 8 cm long and 3.5 cm wide; purplish on the underside while greenish on the upper surface; glabrous (smooth), base rounded or attenuate, apex acute to acuminate.
Stems The stems are fleshy, and has purple or have purple spots. 
Flowers An orange, dense and clustered inflorescence (capitula) in corymb, on terminal or axillary stem, with long and slender peduncles. 
Habitat Naturally found by the streams in the forests, and sandy slope areas. 
Cultivation It can be propagated via stem cutting. Grow in a well-drained soil. 
Etymology The genus Gynura means female-tail which refers to the elongated stigma.  The specific epithet procumbens means lying flat on the ground, or creeping forwards, in reference to the growth habit. 
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts (Edible Leaves)
Food (Fruit & Vegetable : In Java and Malaysia, the leaves are consumed raw as a vegetable.)
Medicinal (

Scientific Evidence of Medicinal Properties

In pre-clinical trials, Longevity Spinach showed pain-relieving (Akter et al., 2019), anti-cancer (Ghofur et al., 2015), anti-diabetic (Zhang et al., 2000), anti-inflammation (Wong et al., 2015), antioxidant (Nazri et al., 2019), cholesterol-lowering properties (Nazri et al., 2019) and anti-malarial properties (Wong et al., 2015) in animals.

Traditional Medicinal Uses

Research supports the traditional use of Longevity Spinach to treat diabetes. Other traditional uses include using it to treat fever, kidney ailments and dysentery. In Singapore, some Chinese use the leaves to lower blood pressure.

It is important to note that some therapeutic effects from traditional medicinal uses of plants are not currently supported or verified by scientific research. 

[Others]: The leaves are used in cooking in Thailand.

Landscaping Features

Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Well-Drained Soils
Landscape Uses Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens, Container Planting

Plant Care and Propagation

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


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Smooth
Prominent Young Flush Colour(s) Green
Young Flush Texture(s) Smooth
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Ovate, Oval, Lanceolate)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Serrate / Toothed
Foliar Apex - Tip Acute, Acuminate
Foliar Base Cuneate, Rounded / Obtuse

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower Colour(s) Orange
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Axillary, Terminal
Inflorescence Type Corymb
Flowering Period Free-Flowering



Akter, L., Sultana, S. & Hossain, M.L. (2019). Assessment of analgesic and neuropharmacological activity of ethanol leaves extract of Gynura procumbens (Family: Asteraceae) Journal of Medicinal Plants Studies 7(5): 52–56.

Ghofur, A., Hamid, I.S. & Listyorini, D. (2015). Anti-carcinogenic activity of Gynura procumbens extract through cytochrome P450 and glutathione s-transferase. International Journal of PharmTech Research 8(1): 24–29.

Nazri, K.A.A., Fauzi, N.M., Buang, F., Saad, Q.H.M., Husain, K., Jantan, I. & Jubri, Z. (2019). Gynura procumbens standardised extract reduces cholesterol levels and modulates oxidative status in postmenopausal rats fed with cholesterol diet enriched with repeatedly heated palm oil. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine Article ID 7246756.

Wong, S.K., Jann, M.L.S., Sudi, S., Hassan, W.R.B.M., Chin, L.P., Embi, N. & Sidek, H.M. (2015). Anti-malarial and anti-inflammatory effects of Gynura procumbens are mediated by kaempferol via inhibition of glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK3β). Sains Malaysiana 44(10): 1489–1500.

Zhang, X.F. & Tan, B.K.H. (2000). Effects of an ethanolic extract of Gynura procumbens on serum glucose, cholesterol and triglyceride levels in normal and streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Singapore Medical Journal 41(1): 9–13.

Image Repository



Master ID 29936
Species ID 4245
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: 10 November 2022.