Singapore Government Logo

A Singapore Government Agency Website

Sphagneticola trilobata (Variegated)


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Infraspecific Epithet

Classifications and Characteristics

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


Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Of Uncertain Origin

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form A herbaceous and creeping perennial shrub which forms dense mat over ground. 
Foliage Leaves are glossy green, variegated with yellow. Leaf blade has serrated margins. 
Flowers Flowers are borne on solitary or branched inflorescence, ray florets and disc florets are yellow. 
Cultivation The plant prefers full sun in order to flower, but can tolerate shady condition. Adaptable to wide range of soil types, including nutrient poor sand, saline soils, swampy or waterlogged areas and bare limestones. Tolerant of dry periods. Prune plant regularly as plants are fast grower, may smother nearby groundcovers. Easily propagated via stem cuttings and stolons. 
Etymology Genus Sphagneticola means sphagnum dweller, a possible reference to the plant being able to survive in waterlogged or flooded sites.  Specific epithet trilobata describes the 3-lobed leaves. 

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers, Ornamental Foliage
Landscape Uses General, Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens, Groundcover, Container Planting
Thematic Landscaping Golden Garden
Usage Hazard - Cons Toxic Upon Ingestion

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Butterfly Food Plant
Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun, Semi-Shade
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Fast
Rootzone Tolerance Dry Soils / Drought, Waterlogged Soils, Well-Drained Soils, Saline Soils / Salt Spray, Poor Infertile Soils, Fertile Loamy Soils, Acidic (low pH) Soils, Alkaline high pH Soils, Shallow Media (8 -10cm), Disease / Pest Resistant, Easy to Grow
Maintenance Requirements Moderate
Propagation Method Stem Cutting, Stolon / Runner


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green, Yellow / Golden
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Glossy / Shiny
Prominent Young Flush Colour(s) Green, Yellow / Golden
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Opposite
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Oval)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Serrate / Toothed, Pinnately Lobed / Pinnatifid
Foliar Apex - Tip Acute
Foliar Base Cuneate

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Yellow / Golden
Flower Texture(s) Smooth
Flower Symmetry Radial
Inflorescence Type Compound Head / Capitulum
Flowering Period Free-Flowering

Image Repository



Master ID 33596
Species ID 8010
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: 26 August 2021.