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Tetracera scandens (Linn.) Merr.

Family Name: Dilleniaceae
Common Name: Stone Leaf, Akar mempelas putih, 毛果锡叶藤
Full Sun Moderate Water Native to Singapore 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 Southern China southward to Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Borneo, Java, Lesser Sunda Islands, Sulawesi and the Philippines. 
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Endangered (EN))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form A large evergreen woody climber with a twining growth habit, it can be grown as a shrub. The stems can reach up to 30m in length or 2m in height as a shrub.
Foliage The simple ovate leaves are arranged in opposite pairs along the stem, the new foliage being reddish-pink before turning green as it matures. The leaf is scabrid (rough to the touch) with an acute leaf apex, a serrated leaf margin and penninerved leaf venation. 
Flowers The small white flowers are borne on terminal panicles. 
Habitat It is found in thickets and secondary forest, especially on riverbanks and near the sea coast. 
Ethnobotanical Uses Medicinal ( In Indonesia, a poultice of finely crushed young shoots is used to treat snake bites, while in Malaysia, a decoction of the whole plant is used as a post-natal tonic. A study has shown that crude aqueous and methanol extracts of the leaves have an anti-diabetic efficacy, similar to the known oral synthetic hypoglycaemic drug, glibenclamide. )
[Others]: The rough leaves are used to polish small metal articles. Heated and twisted, the stems may be used as durable bindings for fish traps. 

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Foliage, Ornamental Form
Landscape Uses Parks & Gardens
Thematic Landscaping Naturalistic Garden

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Leathery, Rough
Prominent Young Flush Colour(s) Pink, Red
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Opposite
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Serrate / Toothed
Foliar Apex - Tip Acute

Image Repository



Master ID 31424
Species ID 5821
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 August 2022.