Donax canniformis (G.Forst.) K.Schum.

Last updated: 20 May 2015

Scientific Name

Donax canniformis (G.Forst.) K.Schum.


Actoplanes canniformis (G.Forst.) K.Schum., Actoplanes grandis (Miq.) K.Schum., Actoplanes ridleyi K.Schum., Arundastrum benthamianum Kuntze, Arundastrum canniforme (G.Forst.) Kuntze, Arundastrum grande (Miq.) Kuntze, Clinogyne canniformis (G.Forst.) K.Schum., Clinogyne grandis (Miq.) Benth. ex Baker, Donax arundastrum Lour., Donax gracilis K.Schum. [Spelling variant], Donax grandis (Miq.) Ridl., Donax parviflora Ridl., Ilythuria canniformis (G.Forst.) Raf., Maranta arundastrum (Lour.) M.R.Almeida, Maranta arundinacea Blanco [Illegitimate], Maranta grandis Miq., Maranta tonchat Blume, Phrynium canniforme (G.Forst.) Körn., Phrynium canniforme (G.Forst.) Schrank, Thalia canniformis G.Forst. [1]

Vernacular Name


Bemban, bemban ayer, buluh leck (Ke­labit) [2]; bemban gajah, bamban raya, bemban ular bukit, amin gul, talah gul, tongat setan [3], wuwu [4]


Common donax [4]


Zhu ye jiao [4]


Bamban (Malay; Javanese; Sun­danese); bangban (Sundanese); moa (Moluccas) [2][4]


Klah, blah, klum (Cen­tral; Surat Thani; Trat) [2][4]


Bamban, bamban batu [2] [4]


Bamban, banban (Tagalog; Ilokano; Bisaya; Manobo; Sulu; Bukidnon) [2]


Daem run [2][4]


Dong s[aaj]y [2][4].

Geographical Distributions

Donax can­niformis is distributed from India throughout Southeast Asia to Southern China, Taiwan and Polynesia. In general, this plant grows in wet locations, such as swamps and periodically flooded areas. In Southeast Asia, D. can­niform occurs up to about 1000 m altitude in secondary forests, teak forests and bamboo forests, but also in coconut plantations and near paddy fields. [2]

Botanical Description

D. can­niformis falls under the Marantaceae family. It is a perennial, stout, tufted rhi­zomatous, erect and shrub-like herb. It is 2-5 m tall, with true, slender and sympodially branching stems. [2]

The leaves are all cauline, sheathed and thin-coriaceous. The sheath is up to 20 cm long. The ligule is very short. The petiole is 1-2.5 cm long, and thickened into a cylindrical and pulvinus pilose. The blade is broadly ovate to elliptical, measuring 10-45 cm x 4-25 cm, with rounded base, acuminate at apex and appressed-pilose along the midrib. The lateral veins are numerous and parallel. [2]

The inflorescence is terminal on a leafy branch, slender paniculate, measures up to 20 cm long and branched at the base. Some partial inflo­rescences are condensed cymose (spike-like) in the ax­ils of primary bracts. There are 9-11 bracts which are distichous, obo­vate to lance-shaped, measure 2.5-3.5 cm long and caducous. The pedicel is up to 5 mm long and thickened in fruit. [2]

The flow­ers are in pairs. The bracteoles are two per flower pair and they are glandu­lar. There are 3 free sepals, triangular-ovate, measure 3-5 mm long, white and hairless. The petal is tubular and 3-lobed, with tube 8-10 mm long, and linear lobes measuring 1-1.5 cm x 2-3 mm. The staminodes and stamen form a tube 3-4 mm long. There are 2 outer staminodes which are petaloid, subequal, obo­vate, measuring 12-14 mm x 5-6 mm and white, while the 2 inner stamin­odes are unequal and yellowish, where one is the fleshy (cal­lose) staminode, petaloid and measures about 1.5 cm long. In­side at the base of the callose staminode is with a hairy thickened part and emarginated at apex. The other one is a hooded (cucul­late) staminode. It is about 1 cm long, encloses the style and stigma in the hood and bears a broad lateral lobe. There is 1 fertile stamen which measures about 8 mm long with a narrow triangular appendage. The pistil is with a sericeous and 3-celled ovary. The style and stigma are held erect first by the hooded staminode and when re­leased, the upper part springs downwards to form an inverted U while the stigma rests on the cal­lus of the fleshy staminode. [2]

The fruit is spherical to ellip­soid, measures 1-1.5 cm in diametre, dry, indehiscent, nearly smooth, whitish-cream and crowned by the with­ered flower. It is 1-2-seeded. [2]

The brown seed is spherical to ellipsoid, measures 7-8 mm in diametre, grooved and warty. [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 D. canniformis (G.Forst.) K.Schum. [2]


  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1. Donax canniformis (G.Forst.) K.Schum.[homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Mar 23; cited 2015 May 19]. Available from:
  2. Donax canniformis (G.Forster) K.SchumannIn: Brink M, Escobin RP, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 17: Fibre Plants. Leiden, Netherlands: Backhuys Publishers; 2003.
  3. Herbal Medicine Research Centre, Institute for Medical Research. Compendium of medicinal plants used in Malaysia. Volume 1. Kuala Lumpur: HMRC IMR; 2002. p. 281.
  4. Philippine Medicinal Plants. Bamban. Donax cannaeformis (Forst. f.) K. Schum. [homepage on the Internet]. c2014 [updated 2013 Apr; cited 2015 May 20] Available from: