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  Epipremnum pinnatum (L.) Engl.
  Family Name : Araceae

  Synonyms : Monstera pinnata, Rhaphidophora pinnata, Scindapsus pinnatus, Pothos pinnatus

  Common Names : Dragon-Tail Plant, Taro Vine, Silver Vine

  Chinese Name : 龙尾草, 麒麟叶, 麒麟尾, 龟背竹, 拎树藤, 上树龙, 狮尾草, 狮子尾

Dragon-Tail Plant,Taro Vine,Silver Vine
  • Record Info
    • Featured in '1001 Garden Plants in Singapore' Book (2ed) :
  • Life Stage & Characteristics
    • Plant Division :
      Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Monocotyledon)
      Plant Growth Form :
      Climber, Vine & Liana, Shrub (Creeper; Trailing), Epiphyte
      Lifespan (in Singapore) :
      Mode of Nutrition :
      Maximum Height :
      15 m to 20 m
  • Biogeography
    • Native Distribution :
      India, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indochina, Malesia (including Singapore), Tropical Australia, Pacific Islands
      Native Habitat :
      Terrestrial (Primary Rainforest; Secondary Rainforest; Monsoon Forest)
      Preferred Climate Zone :
      Tropical, Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal
      Local Conservation Status :
      Native to Singapore (Critically Endangered (CR))
  • Description & Ethnobotany
    • Plant Morphology :
      Growth Form: Large epiphytic aroid root-climber, scrambling up trees and rock surfaces with network of aerial clasping roots.
      Foliage: Leaf morphology varies with physiological age of plant. Juvenile plants are terrestrial creepers. Plant produces mature leaves only when there is sufficient climbing height. Young leaves elliptical to arrow-shaped with entire margins. Mature leaves up to 30 - 50cm long, thick and leathery, ovate and pinnatifid (deeply incised along margins), often with white spots and pin-holes along mid-rib, and with fenestrations (windows) in leaf-blade -- superficially resembling Monstera species.
      Flowers: Small (3-7mm across) on spathe-spadix inflorescences. Spathe (modified leaf) canoe-shaped, 10cm long, greenish on outside, creamy-white on inside; Monoecious species, spadix holds male and female flowers separately, white when fresh, maturing to creamy grey-green and then dark yellowish-green during anthesis, before air-drying to dark brown or almost black after anthesis. No noticeable scent upon anthesis. Blooming infrequently observed in Singapore.
      Fruits: Aggregate berries clustered on medium-green spadix, red when ripe, containing small brownish seeds embedded in sticky orange-red pulp.
      [Others]: Conservation Status: Native, critically endangered in the wild.
      Habitat :
      Found naturally in dense rainforests. In urbanized Singapore, typically spotted using Samanea saman (Rain Tree) as physical support.
      Cultivation :
      Low-maintenance. Plant in friable rich soil at base of support tree, wall or fence, and allow it to climb. Tolerates some amount of waterlogging and salinity. Grows faster when located in sunnier spot. Propagate by stem cuttings and seeds (if available).
      Etymology :
      Genus epithet 'Epipremnum' derived from the Greek terms 'epi' (upon) and 'premna' (tree stump), a reference to the epiphytic growth habit of plants from this genus. Species epithet 'pinnatum' refers to pinnately-lobed shape of mature leaves.
      Ethnobotanical Uses :
      Edible Plant Parts (Edible Leaves)
      Food (Herb & Spice)
      Edible Plant Parts (Edible Leaves), Medicinal
      [Others]: Medicinal: Leaves and stems traditionally used as poultice to treat rheumatism, fractures and skin diseases. Also used as remedy for dysentery. Extracts of plant have reported to be a strong inhibitor against human breast cancer and leukemia cells. Used as traditional anti-cancer remedy -- fresh leaves are slowly boiled until they disintegrate into a wheatgrass-like broth, which can be mixed with rock sugar and drunk. Food: Leaves can also be boiled with red beans and red dates to make a sweet dessert with cooling and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Landscaping Features
    • Desirable Plant Features :
      Ornamental Foliage
      Plant & Rootzone Preference/Tolerance :
      Waterlogged Soils (Drains Site), Well-Drained Soils, Saline Soils / Salt Spray, Fertile Loamy Soils
      Landscape Uses :
      General, Coastal, Vertical Greenery / Green Wall
      Thematic Landscaping :
      Naturalistic Garden
      Usage Hazards / Cons :
      Toxic Upon Ingestion, [Remarks] (All parts of plant contains oxalic crystals which can irritate throat if ingested.)
  • Plant Care & Propagation
    • Light Preference :
      Water Preference :
      Lots of Water, Moderate Water
      Plant Growth Rate :
      Maintenance Requirements :
      Propagation Method :
      Stem Cutting, Stolon / Runner
  • Foliar
    • Foliage Retention :
      Mature Foliage Colour(s) :
      Mature Foliage Texture(s) :
      Smooth, Glossy / Shiny, Leathery, Thick
      Foliar Type :
      Simple / Unifoliate
      Foliar Arrangement Along Stem :
      Foliar Shape(s) :
      Non-Palm Foliage (Obovate; Elliptical; Oblong)
      Foliar Venation :
      Pinnate / Net
      Foliar Margin :
      Entire, Entire - Wavy / Undulate, Pinnately Lobed / Pinnatifid, Irregularly Incised
      Foliar Apex / Tip :
      Acute, Acuminate
      Foliar Base :
      Rounded / Obtuse, Cordate
      Typical Foliar Area :
      Macrophyll ( 182.25cm2 - 1640.25 cm2 )
  • Non-Foliar & Storage
    • Stem Type & Modification :
      Herbaceous, Cane
      Root Type :
      Underground (Fibrous Root), Aboveground (Aerial Root)
  • Floral (Angiosperm)
    • Flower & Plant Sexuality :
      Unisexual Flowers (Monoecious)
      Flower Colour(s) :
      Cream / Off-White
      Flower Size :
      Remarks (3 - 7 mm across)
      Inflorescence Type :
      Spathe & Spadix
      Inflorescence Size :
      Remarks (White when young, turning to creamy grey-green and then dark yellowish-green at anthesis, before air-drying to dark brown to almost black.)
      Flowering Period :
      [Remarks] (Plant blooms occasionally.)
      Flowering Habit :
  • Fruit, Seed & Spore
    • Mature Fruit Colour(s) [Angiosperms & Gymnosperms] :
      Fruit Classification :
      Aggregate Fruit (Syncarp)
      Fruit Type :
      Fleshy Fruit (Non-Accessory Fruit: Berry)
The information given on this website has been compiled from reference works on medicinal plants and/or pron only. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Reliance on this information is strictly at your own risk. You should always consult your physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.

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