Cnestis palala (Lour.) Merr.

Last updated: 06 May 2015

Scientific Name

Cnestis palala (Lour.) Merr.


Cnestis annamensis Gagnep., Cnestis diffusa Blanco, Cnestis flaminea Griff., Cnestis flammea Kurz, Cnestis foliosa Planch. ex Kurz, Cnestis ignea Planch. ex Kurz, Cnestis platantha Griff., Cnestis ramiflora Griff., Connarus foliosus Jack [Invalid], Thysanus palala Lour. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Garing-garing, sembelit merah, sembelit kecil (Peninsular) [2]; gasing-gasing merah, karang-karang, hempedal ayam, pedal ayam, sembelit padang, sembelit papan, akar padang, akar perjep, rumput kacap, ribu hutan betina, daun susuh telipah, kulau [3]
Indonesia Andor balimbing, baih patuh senggulin, jukut abang (Sumatra) [2]
Thailand Kra phaak laak (Trat); ngonkai (Central); maadaeng (Peninsular) [2]; ngawn kai [3]
Laos 'hon kai, 'sã mãt, bén bit [2]
Philippines Kalakalamyasan (Tagalog); salsaladoi (Iloko); palo santo (Sp) [2]
Vietnam Tr[uw][owf]ngkh[ees], d[aa]y v[aws]p c[aaf]y [2]

Geographical Distributions

Cnestis palala occurs in the Andaman Islands, southern Burma (Myanmar), southern Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Borneo, northern part of the Philippines and Sulawesi. [2]

This plant often occurs in primary and secondary rainforests up to 500 m altitude, also in riverine and marsh forests, sometimes in dry forests and thickets. [2]

Botanical Description

C. palala comes from the family of Connaraceae. This is a small to large liana, which can reach up to 25 m long, or a shrub. It is often with climbing branches and rarely a small tree up to 10 m tall. The branchlets are densely brown-hairy, but becoming hairless with age. [2]

The leaves are imparipinnate with 6- to 21-jugate. The petiole is 1-7 cm long while stipules are absent. The lateral leaflets are narrowly ovate or narrowly oblong to ovate or oblong, measuring (1-) 1.5-8 cm x 0.7-2.5 cm, while the terminal leaflet is narrowly elliptical or narrowly obovate to elliptical or obovate, measuring 3-8 cm x 1-3 cm. The leaflets are densely hairy below. The petiolules are 0.5-1.5 mm long. [2]

The inflorescence is an axillary raceme or panicle, on older branches, it is densely yellowish-brown hairy and up to 35-flowered. The flowers are bisexual, regular, 5-merous and obscurely heterostylous/ distylous. The pedicel is articulated. The 2-5 mm long sepals are narrowly ovate to narrowly oblong, while petals are ovate or elliptical to narrowly oblong, measuring (0.5-)2-4(-5) mm long and white to creamy. The 10 stamens are slightly differing in length in the 2 whorls. There are 5 carpels, free and superior. [2]

The fruit consists of 1-3 follicles, ellipsoid to pear-shaped, 2.5-6 cm long, densely reddish-hairy outside and with long yellowish hairs inside. Each follicle is 1-seeded. [2]

The seed is ovoid, 1.5-3 cm long, black and with an arilloid at base. The cotyledons are thin and veined while the endosperm is abundant. [2]


No documentation

Chemical Constituent

No documentation

Plant Part Used

No documentation

Traditional Use

No documentation

Preclinical Data

No documentation

Clinical Data

No documentation


No documentation

Poisonous Management

No documentation

Line drawing


Figure 1: The line drawing of C. palala (Lour.) Merr. [2]


  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1. Cnestis palala (Lour.) Merr.[homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Apr 18; cited 2015 May 06]. Available from:
  2. Cnestis palala (Lour.) Merr.In: Lemmens RHMJ, Bunyapraphatsara N, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia 12 (3): Medicinal and Poisonous Plants 3. Leiden, Netherlands: Backhuys Publication; 2003.
  3. Herbal Medicine Research Centre, Institute Medical Research. Compendium of Medicinal Plants Used in Malaysia. Volume 1. Kuala Lumpur: HMRC IMR; 2002. p. 204.