Record display

Record Number


PROSEA Handbook Number

16: Stimulants


Acalypha siamensis Oliv. ex Gage




Acalypha evrardii Gagnep., Acalypha sphenophylla Pax & K. Hoffm.

Vernacular Names

Wild tea (En). Indonesia: pokok teh (Sumatra), teh-tehan (Javanese). Malaysia: teh hutan, teh kampung, tumput. Cambodia: taè préi. Thailand: cha-khoi (northern), cha-ruesei (central), phakduk (south-western). Vietnam: tr[af] r[uwf]ng, tr[af] h[af]ng r[af]o.


Native in Peninsular Malaysia, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand and currently cultivated in Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia and Indonesia.


A hot infusion of dried leaves is drunk as a tea by the Thais and Malays. The leaves are also used in traditional medicine to treat fever, bowel complaints and kidney diseases; they are said to have antipyretic properties. The plant is often cultivated as a hedge plant.


A shrub or small scrambling tree to 4 m tall. Leaves rhombic, 2—10 cm x 1—5 cm, glabrous, coriaceous, narrowed into a blunt base, with characteristic serrate blunt tips and 5 slender vein pairs with 1 pair from the leaf base; petiole less than 1 cm long. Inflorescence a slender, puberulous raceme, about 5 cm long, upper part male, with 2 or 3 female flowers at the base; male flowers minute, in small tufts; sepals ovate, acute, ciliate; stamens about 10, filaments hairy, scale-like, lanceolate acuminate; female flowers enclosed in a large herbaceous bract. Fruit a capsule, 2.5 mm long, covered with long protuberances. Acalypha siamensis is locally common in dry, evergreen or mixed forest or scrub vegetation, up to about 400 m altitude; often on sandy soils, sometimes on limestone. It can be propagated by seed or stem cuttings. The potential use of Acalypha siamensis as a raw material in the herbal and pharmaceutical industry is worth exploring.

Selected Sources

[1] Airy Shaw, H.K., 1972. The Euphorbiaceae of Siam. Kew Bulletin 26: 191—363.
[15] Burkill, I.H., 1966. A dictionary of the economic products of the Malay Peninsula. Slightly revised reprint of the 1935 edition. 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.
[50] Pételot, A., 1952—1954. Les plantes médicinales du Cambodge, du Laos et du Vietnam [The medicinal plants of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam]. 4 volumes. Centre National de Recherches Scientifiques et Techniques, Saigon, Vietnam.
[55] Ridley, H.N., 1922—1925. The flora of the Malay Peninsula. 5 volumes. Government of the Straits Settlements and Federated Malay States. L. Reeve & Co., London, United Kingdom.
[59] Smitinand, T., 1980. Thai plant names. Royal Forest Department, Bangkok, Thailand. 379 pp.
[69] Uji, T., 1987. Acalypha siamensis in Java (in Indonesian). Floribunda 1(1): 3—4.
[75] Whitmore, T.C. & Ng, F.S.P. (Editors), 1972—1989. Tree flora of Malaya. A manual for foresters. 4 volumes. Malayan Forest Records No 26. Longman Malaysia Sdn. Berhad, Kuala Lumpur & Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.


Lean Teik Ng & B. Na Songkhla

Correct Citation of this Article

Ng, L.T. and Na Songkhla, B., 2000. Acalypha siamensis Oliv. ex Gage. In: van der Vossen, H.A.M. and Wessel, M. (Editors): Plant Resources of South-East Asia No 16: Stimulants. PROSEA Foundation, Bogor, Indonesia. Database record:

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