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Record Number


PROSEA Handbook Number

12(2): Medicinal and poisonous plants 2


Acalypha siamensis Oliv. ex Gage

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


Rec. Bot. Surv. India 9: 238 (1922).


Acalypha evrardii Gagnep. (1923), Acalypha sphenophylla Pax & K. Hoffm. (1924).

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] c[oj]c r[af]o, tai t[uw][owj]ng xi[ee]m, ch[ef] m[ax]n h[ar]o.


Native in Peninsular Malaysia, Burma (Myanmar), Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam and currently cultivated in Thailand, peninsular Malaysia and Indonesia.


In Indo-China an infusion of the leaves and flowers is taken as a diuretic. A hot infusion of dried leaves is drunk as a substitute for tea and considered beneficial for intestinal complaints by the Thais and Malays. The leaves are considered a remedy for worms, an emetic and expectorant. A poultice of the leaves is applied as a febrifuge. The plant is often cultivated as a hedge plant.


A shrub or small scrambling tree up to 4 m tall; leaves rhombic-lanceolate, 2—10 cm x 1—5 cm, margin serrate, glabrous, petiole less than 1 cm long; inflorescence axillary, racemose-spicate, bisexual, up to 5 cm long, upper part male with 2—3 female flowers at the base, enclosed in a large herbaceous bract; fruit 2.5 mm long, covered with long protuberances. Acalypha siamensis is locally common in dry evergreen or mixed forest or scrub vegetation, often on sandy soils, sometimes on limestone up to 400 m altitude.

Selected Sources

[31] Airy Shaw, H.K., 1972. The Euphorbiaceae of Siam. Kew Bulletin 26: 191—363.
[135] 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.
[331] Gagnepain, F. (Editor), 1907—1950. Flore générale de l'Indo-Chine [General flora of Indo-China]. 7 volumes + suppl. Masson & Cie, Paris, France.
[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.
[788] 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.
[841] 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.


Arbayah H. Siregar

Correct Citation of this Article

Siregar, A.H., 2001. Acalypha siamensis Oliv. ex Gage. 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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