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  Sauropus androgynus Merr.
  Family Name : Euphorbiaceae

  Synonyms : Sauropus albicans

  Common Names : Cekur Manis, Chekur Manis, Cekuk Manis, Sayur Manis, Pucuk Manis, Star Gooseberry, Sweet Leaf Bush, Katuk

  Chinese Name : 守宫木, 马尼菜

Cekur Manis,Chekur Manis,Cekuk Manis,Sayur Manis,Pucuk Manis,Star Gooseberry,Sweet Leaf Bush,Katuk
  • Record Info
    • Featured in '1001 Garden Plants in Singapore' Book (2ed) :
  • Life Stage & Characteristics
    • Plant Division :
      Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
      Plant Growth Form :
      Shrub (Herbaceous)
      Lifespan (in Singapore) :
      Mode of Nutrition :
      Plant Shape :
      Maximum Height :
      1 m to 3 m
  • Biogeography
    • Native Distribution :
      Indian sub-continent, China, Indonchina, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea
      Native Habitat :
      Terrestrial (Secondary Rainforest; Monsoon Forest; Temperate Forest)
      Preferred Climate Zone :
      Tropical, Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal, Temperate
      Local Conservation Status :
      Native to Singapore (Common)
  • Description & Ethnobotany
    • Plant Morphology :
      Growth Form: Herbaceous shrub, up to 6m tall as wild understorey forest plant, but normally kept to around 2m under cultivation. Form is slender, with short lateral branching.
      Foliage: Leaves oval, 4-5cm long, grow in distinctly opposite pairs along stems, edible with slightly nutty or pea-like flavour.
      Stems: Stems vertical, somewhat woody.
      Flowers: Species is monoecious, with separate unisexual flowers on same plant. Flowers apetalous, small but prominently produced in leaf axils. Female flowers have 6 red sepals surrounding a single creamy-coloured pistil, male flowers have 6 creamy sepals enclosing 3 reddish stamens.
      Fruits: Fruits are white explosive capsules with persistent red calyxes and many black seeds, resembling small white mangosteens. Flowering typically occurs from April to July, while fruiting takes place from July to December.
      Habitat :
      It can be found in forests, and open habitats, up to 1,500 m altitude. This species is often cultivated. It can be found in Pulau Ubin.
      Cultivation :
      Commonly cultivated as edible hedge in vegetable and home gardens for leaves and ornamental fruits. Also found as escapee from abandoned farmland. Takes full sun to semi-shade. Adapted to acidic soils, tolerates occasional flooding. Prune or harvest every few months to keep plant tidy, and prevent lanky plants from falling over. Pruning also rejuvenates the plant, which otherwise tends to die out. Propagation is usually by stem cuttings which root easily. It can be propagated by seeds or stem cuttings.
      Etymology :
      Greek, Sauropus, lizard's foot; Latin, androgynus, hermaphrodite, referring to the plant having both female and male flowers in the same individual.
      Ethnobotanical Uses :
      Edible Plant Parts (Edible Fruits; Edible Flowers; Edible Stems; Edible Leaves)
      Food (Fruit & Vegetable: It is a traditional crop of Southeast Asia and a popular vegetable in Malay cuisine -- where leaves and young stems are eaten raw, steamed, boiled with beansprouts, cooked with eggs, or added to soups. It is recommended to crush and soak the leaves in water to wash away the sap before cooking. The plant (especially mature leaves) is rich in minerals and vitamins. A recent trend sees growers force-feeding plants with extra fertilizers and water, and using shade cloth to make them grow more rapidly, resulting in more tender shoot-tips that have few leaves and are asparagus-like in texture. Such plants are marketed as 'Sabah Vegetable' or 'Tropical Asparagus'. Leaves are also used as food colouring in Indonesia. Flowers and fruits can be eaten as well. The plant contains considerable amounts of papaverine, an alkaloid acting as smooth muscle relaxant. It is reported that excessive consumption of raw leaves may cause side effects such as breathing difficulty and other lung related sickness.; Herb & Spice)
      Edible Plant Parts (Edible Fruits; Edible Flowers; Edible Stems; Edible Leaves), Medicinal (Plants are used in folk medicine. Pounded leaves and roots are applied as poultice to treat fever and ulcers.)
  • Landscaping Features
    • Desirable Plant Features :
      Ornamental Flowers, Ornamental Fruits
      Plant & Rootzone Preference/Tolerance :
      Well-Drained Soils, Fertile Loamy Soils, Acidic (low pH) Soils, Easy to Grow
      Landscape Uses :
      Hedge / Screening, Flowerbed / Border
      Thematic Landscaping :
      Naturalistic Garden, Economic Garden
  • Fauna, Pollination & Dispersal
    • Seed / Spore Dispersal :
      Abiotic (Explosive Dehiscence)
  • Plant Care & Propagation
    • Light Preference :
      Full Sun
      Water Preference :
      Moderate Water
      Plant Growth Rate :
      Maintenance Requirements :
      Propagation Method :
      Seed, Stem Cutting
      Propagule Establishment Remarks :
      Stem cuttings root easily.
  • Foliar
    • Foliage Retention :
      Mature Foliage Colour(s) :
      Mature Foliage Texture(s) :
      Papery, Thin
      Foliar Type :
      Simple / Unifoliate
      Foliar Arrangement Along Stem :
      Foliar Attachment to Stem :
      Foliar Shape(s) :
      Non-Palm Foliage (Ovate; Lanceolate)
      Foliar Venation :
      Pinnate / Net
      Foliar Margin :
      Foliar Apex / Tip :
      Foliar Base :
      Typical Foliar Area :
      Notophyll ( 20.25cm2 - 45 cm2 )
      Leaf Area Index (LAI) * for Green Plot Ratio :
      4.5 (Shrub & Groundcover - Dicot)
  • Non-Foliar & Storage
    • Stem Type & Modification :
      Root Type :
      Underground (Fibrous Root)
  • Floral (Angiosperm)
    • Flower & Plant Sexuality :
      Unisexual Flowers (Monoecious)
      Flower Colour(s) :
      Flower Grouping :
      Cluster / Inflorescence
      Flower Location :
      Flower Symmetry :
      Flowering Habit :
  • Fruit, Seed & Spore
    • Mature Fruit Colour(s) [Angiosperms & Gymnosperms] :
      Purple, Red, White
      Fruit Classification :
      Simple Fruit
      Fruit Type :
      Dehiscent Dry Fruit (Capsule)
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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