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PROSEA Handbook Number

12(2): Medicinal and poisonous plants 2


Acalypha grandis Benth.

This article should be read together with the article on the genus: Acalypha in the Handbook volume indicated above in this database.


in Hook., Lond. Journ. Bot. 2: 232 (1843).


Acalypha consimilis Müll. Arg. (1866).

Vernacular Names

Indonesia: saboboku (Halmahera), lofiti roriha (Ternate), ekor kuching utan (Malay). Papua New Guinea: atepulopulo (Wagawaga, Milne Bay). Vietnam: tai t[uw][owj]ng l[ows]n.


From the Philippines southward to the Moluccas and eastward to New Guinea, Admiralty Islands and Bismarck Archipelago. Cultivated in Thailand and Vietnam.


In the Moluccas, the sap of the pounded inner bark is employed as a mouthwash against thrush. The sap of heated leaves in combination with Citrus sap is given as a remedy for thrush in children. Finely crushed leaves and flowers are added to food as an antidiarrhoeal. A poultice of the leaves is an effective remedy for boils and other skin affections. In Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea, leaf sap is drunk with water, to treat diarrhoea and dysentery.


A spreading shrub or small tree up to 10 m tall, young parts fulvous puberulous; leaves broadly ovate, 25 cm x 20 cm, base variably cordate, apex shortly caudate acuminate, margin variably crenate-serrate, petiole up to 17 cm long, stipules lanceolate, up to 1 cm long; male inflorescence up to 20 cm long; female inflorescence up to 17 cm long, lax-flowered, bract very variable, up to 10 cm diameter, toothed, accrescent. Acalypha grandis is found in primary or secondary forest, on stream banks, or in regrowth along lava flows up to 150 m altitude.

Selected Sources

[31] Airy Shaw, H.K., 1972. The Euphorbiaceae of Siam. Kew Bulletin 26: 191—363.
[33] Airy Shaw, H.K., 1980. The Euphorbiaceae of New Guinea. Kew Bulletin Additional Series VIII. Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, United Kingdom. 243 pp.
[35] Airy Shaw, H.K., 1982. The Euphorbiaceae of Central Malesia (Celebes, Moluccas, Lesser Sunda Is.). Kew Bulletin 37: 1—40.
[320] Fosberg, F.R. & Sachet, M.H., 1980. Systematic studies of Micronesian plants. Smithsonian Contributions to Botany 45: 1—40.
[407] 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.
[418] Holdsworth, D.K., 1977. Medicinal plants of Papua New Guinea. Technical Paper No 175. South Pacific Commission, Noumea, New Caledonia. 123 pp.
[786] Perry, L.M., 1980. Medicinal plants of East and Southeast Asia. Attributed properties and uses. MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States & London, United Kingdom. 620 pp.


Arbayah H. Siregar

Correct Citation of this Article

Siregar, A.H., 2001. Acalypha grandis Benth.. In: van Valkenburg, J.L.C.H. and Bunyapraphatsara, N. (Editors): Plant Resources of South-East Asia No 12(2): Medicinal and poisonous plants 2. PROSEA Foundation, Bogor, Indonesia. Database record:

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