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Record Number


PROSEA Handbook Number

12(3): Medicinal and poisonous plants 3


Acriopsis javanica Reinw. ex Blume


Bijdr. fl. Ned. Ind.: 377 (1825).



Chromosome Numbers

2n = 40

Vernacular Names

Brunei: kambang sa-tahun. Indonesia: ki plengpeng (Sundanese), tongkil-tongkil (Batak), bosur-bosur hau (Sumatra). Malaysia: anggerek darat, sakat bawang, sakat ubat kepialu (Peninsular). Papua New Guinea: gaere (Musa), sakko (Amele), sandaru (Orokaiva). Thailand: ruuhinee (Nakhon Si Thammarat). Vietnam: t[oor] y[ees]n.

Origin and Geographic Distribution

Acriopsis javanica occurs from Burma (Myanmar), Indo-China and Thailand, throughout Malesia, to the Solomon Islands and Australia (Cape York Peninsula); possibly also in India (Sikkim).


There are records from Malaysia of a decoction of Acriopsis javanica roots and leaves used internally to treat fever.


Traces of alkaloids have been identified in Acriopsis javanica.


An epiphytic herb up to 115 cm tall, with creeping, branched rhizome; main roots fleshy, with many thin catch roots; pseudobulbs crowded, ovoid, 1.5—6 cm x 1—3 cm, each pseudobulb with (2—)3—4 leaves. Leaves linear, 5—32 cm x 0.5—2 cm. Inflorescence a many-flowered panicle, erect or drooping, peduncle up to 60 cm long. Flowers 8—14 mm in diameter, greenish-white to cream-coloured with purple markings, with 2 boat-shaped sepals, 2 spreading petals and a 3-lobed lip placed before the lower sepal (together giving a cross-shaped outline to the flower); column straight, hood covering the anther which has 4 pollinia in 2 pairs attached to a slender stipe. Fruit globular, ellipsoid or obovoid, 1—2.5 cm x 1 cm, opening with 3 valves. Seeds very small, fusiform, situated between long hairs.
Acriopsis javanica can be found flowering and fruiting throughout the year.
Acriopsis is a genus of 6 species, of which Acriopsis javanica is the most widely distributed. Three varieties are distinguished, based on the shape of the lip.


Acriopsis javanica is a common epiphyte on trees in primary and secondary rain forests, freshwater and coastal swamp forests, up to 1600 m altitude.

Genetic Resources

Acriopsis javanica is widely distributed and common and does not seem to be threatened. However, var. floribunda (Ames) Minderhoud & de Vogel is only known from 2 collections in the Philippines.


It is not possible to determine the potential of Acriopsis javanica as a medicinal plant because no information exists on the phytochemistry and pharmacological properties.


[121]Burkill, I.H., 1966. A dictionary of the economic products of the Malay Peninsula. Revised reprint. 2 volumes. Ministry of Agriculture and Co- operatives, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Vol. 1 (A—H) pp. 1—1240, Vol. 2 (I— Z) pp. 1241—2444.
[628]Minderhoud, M.E. & de Vogel, E.F., 1986. A taxonomic revision of the genus Acriopsis Reinwardt ex Blume (Acriopsidinae, Orchidaceae). Orchid Monographs. Vol. 1. E.J. Brill/Rijksherbarium, Leiden. pp. 1—16.

Other Selected Sources

[331]Hegnauer, R., 1962—1997. Chemotaxonomie der Pflanzen [Chemotaxonomy of plants]. 11 volumes. Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel, Switzerland.
[334]Heyne, K., 1950. De nuttige planten van Indonesië [The useful plants of Indonesia]. 3rd Edition. 2 volumes. W. van Hoeve, 's-Gravenhage, the Netherlands/Bandung, Indonesia. 1660 + CCXLI pp.


Diah Sulistiarini

Correct Citation of this Article

Sulistiarini, D., 2003. Acriopsis javanica Reinw. ex Blume. In: Lemmens, R.H.M.J. and Bunyapraphatsara, N. (Editors): Plant Resources of South-East Asia No 12(3): Medicinal and poisonous plants 3. PROSEA Foundation, Bogor, Indonesia. Database record:

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