Phyllodium pulchellum (L.) Desv.

Last updated: 29 Jul 2015

Scientific Name

Phyllodium pulchellum (L.) Desv.  


Desmodium pulchellu (L.) Benth. [Spelling variant], Desmodium pulchellum (L.) Benth., Dicerma pulchellum (L.) DC., Hedysarum pulchellum L., Meibomia pulchella (L.) Kuntze, Zornia pulchella (L.) Pers. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Serengan kechil (Peninsular) [2][3]
China Pai qian shu [3]
India Chipoto, dhekna, hampilla, jatasalaparni, kaduhuralite, kondontinta, nipithu, sarivi, seegate gida, survi, thigari, tiga velaga, ummah, ursi, vellalothi [3]
Indonesia Apa-apa, apa­apa sapi, ketipes (Javanese) [2]
Thailand Klet plaa chon, yaa song plong (Central); yaa klet lin (Northern, Peninsular) [2]
Laos Kéd linz no:yz (Vientiane) [2]
Philippines Gaan-gaan (Sulu); kalaikai (Cebu); payang-payang (Tagalog) [2]
Cambodia âng-prôm, praè kraôy [2]
Vietnam Chu[oox]i ti[eef]n, d[oof]ng ti[eef]n [2]
Japan Uchiwa-tsunagi [3].

Geographical Distributions

Phyllodium pulchellum is distributed from India, Sri Lanka, Southern China, Taiwan and the Ryukyu Islands throughout Southeast Asia, Northern Australia and the Solomon Islands. [2]

P. pulchellum is found in teak forests, thickets, dry grassy fields, and sometimes along watercourses up to 900(-1600) m altitude. [2]

Botanical Description

P. pulchellum is a member of the Leguminosae family. It is a shrub that can grow up to 2.5 m tall. Its branches are slender, cylindrical and pubescent. [2]

The leaves are 3-foliolate, with petiole 6-10 mm long, narrowly triangular stipules, measuring 6-8 mm x 2-3 mm, with rachis 10-20 mm long, with ovate ter­minal leaflet, elliptical or obovate and measures (2.5-)6-9 (-17) cm x (1.5-)3-5(-7) cm. The leaf base is obtuse or rounded, emarginate to acuminate at apex and with shallowly undulate margin. The lateral leaflets are similar, measure (1-)3-5(-8) cm x (1-)2-3(-5) cm and asymmetrical at base. [2]

The raceme is 7-55 cm long, and composed of 5-6-flowered fascicles. The lateral leaflets of bracts are orbicular. They measure 8-15 mm x 7-13 mm. The petal is white or pale yellow, standard obovate, measures 5-6 mm x 3-4 mm and with 6-7 mm long pistil. [2]

The pods are oblong, measure 7-8(-12) mm x 3-5 mm, sparsely hairy, reticulate-veined and (1-)2(-3)-arti­cled. The articles are 3-4 mm long, suborbicular or quadrangular. [2]

The seed is transversely elliptical or suborbicular, and measures 2 mm x 2.2-2.8 mm. [2]


No documentation.

Chemical Constituent

No documentation.

Plant Part Used

No documentation.

Traditional Use

No documentation.

Preclinical Data

No documentation.

Clinical Data

No documentation.

Poisonous Management

No documentation.

Line drawing


Figure 1: The line drawing of P. pulchellum [2]


  1. The Plant List. Ver 1.1. Phyllodium pulchellum (L.) Desv. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2010 Jul 14; cited 2015 Jul 28]. Available from:
  2. Chuakul W, Soonthornchareonnon N, Ruangsomboon O. Phyllodium pulchellum (L.) Desv. In: van Valkenburg JLCH, Bunyapraphatsara N, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 12(2): Medicinal and poisonous plants 2. Leiden, Netherlands: Backhuys Publisher, 2001; p. 422.
  3. Quattrocchi U. CRC world dictionary of medicinal and poisonous plants: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms, and etymology. Volume IV M-Q. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press; 2012. p.549-550.