Derris microphylla (Miq.) Backer

Last updated: 13 May 2015

Scientific Name

Derris microphylla (Miq.) Backer


Brachypterum microphyllum Miq., Bradypterum microphyllum Miq., Deguelia dalbergioides (Baker) Taub., Deguelia microphylla (Miq.) Valeton, Derris dalbergioides Baker, Derris microphylla Hassk., Pterocarpus dalbergioides (Baker) Kuntze [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Daun berayai, batai, betek (Peninsular) [2]; daun beratai, berak atai, petai belalang, munggai hutan, asam hutan, pokok batai [3]
English Vetch tree [2]
Indonesia Kayu retak (Palembang) [2]
Thailand Khangten (South-eastern); di-ngu, fantae (Peninsular) [2]; kang ten [3]

Geographical Distributions

Derris mi­crophylla occurs naturally in Sumatra, Peninsular Malaysia, Thailand, Burma (Myanmar) and possi­bly in Indo-China. Its natural occurrence in Java, where it is often planted, is uncertain. In Java and Peninsular Malaysia, Derris mi­crophylla occurs from 200-1200 m altitude. [2]

Botanical Description

D. mi­crophylla comes from the family of Leguminosae. It is a tree with several ascending branches, with an umbrella-shaped, feathery crown and can reach up to 5-20 m tall. Its bark is light-grey to brown and slightly fissured. The branchlets, petioles and buds are golden-brown silky and nearly hairless. [2]

The leaves are imparipinnate. The petiole and rachis are 9-20 cm long while the petiolule is 1-2 mm long. There are 19-43 leaflets, which are elliptical-oblong, measuring 1.5-3.2 cm x 0.8­1.2 cm, rounded-emarginate at both ends where both surfaces are thinly appressed brown hairy and glaucous below. [2]

The inflorescence is an axillary raceme, and measures 2-13 cm long. [2]

The flowers are 7-8 mm long. The pedicel is 0.5-1.5 cm long. The sepal is bell-shaped while the petal is dark ­red to violet. The upper part of petal measures 9 mm x 7 mm that bears 2 glands at the base. There are 10 stamens which are monadelphous, where 1 sta­men is free at the top and the bottom but adnate to stamen tube in the centre. [2]

The pod is flat, elliptical to lin­ear-Iance-shaped in outline, measuring 2.5-7 cm x 1.2-1.7 cm, 1-2(-5)­seeded, indehiscent, narrowed at both ends and smooth to hairy. [2]

The brown-green seed measures 6 mm x 3 mm. [2]


D. mi­crophylla is tolerant of strong winds. To provide shade in plan­tations, it is mostly planted in soils too poor for Leucaena leucocephala (Lamk) de Wit or Paraserianthes falcataria (L.) Nielsen. [2]

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 D. microphylla (Miq.) Backer [2]


  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1. Derris microphylla (Miq.) Backer [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Apr 18; cited 2015 May 07]. Available from:
  2. Thothathri K, Rugayah. Derris microphylla (Miquel) B.D. Jackson. In: Faridah Hanum I, Van der Maesen LJG, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 11: Auxiliary plants. Leiden, Netherlands: Backhuys Publisher, 1997; p. 115-117.
  3. Herbal Medicine Research Centre, Institute Medical Research. Compendium of medicinal plants used in Malaysia. Volume 1. Kuala Lumpur: HMRC IMR; 2002. p. 260.