Pueraria montana (Lour.) Merr.

Last updated: 3 August 2015

Scientific Name

Pueraria montana (Lour.) Merr.


Bujacia anonychia E. Mey., Dolichos montana Lour. [Spelling variant], Dolichos montanus Lour., Glycine javanica L., Glycine moniliforme Hochst. ex A. Rich., Pachyrhizus montanus (Lour.) DC., Pueraria lobata var. montana (Lour.) Maesen, Pueraria montana var. montana, Pueraria omeiensis T.Tang & Wang, Pueraria thunbergiana var. formosana Hosok., Pueraria tonkinensis Gagnep., Stizolobium montanum (Lour.) Spreng., Zeydora agrestis Gomes. [1]

Vernacular Name

English Kudzu, Japanese arrow­root [2], mountain kudzu [3]
China San ye ge [3]
Thailand Tamyakhrua, phakpeetpe [2]
Laos Chua tau kung, khauz pièd (Northern) [2]
Philippines Bitok, tobi (Madurese); tebi (Kangean) [2]
Vietnam S[aws]n d[aa]y, c[as]t c[aw]n [2]
France Koudzou [2]

Geographical Distributions

Pueraria mon­tana has a large area of distribution, ranging from eastern India, Burma (Myanmar), Indochina, China, Korea and Japan, through Thailand and the Malaysian region, to the Pacific islands and northern Australia. It was successfully introduced into South America and the Southern United States, but did not become established in Africa. The most common variety in the Malaysian region is Pueraria montana var. lobata (Willd.) v.d. Maesen & Almeida and has been reported in Peninsular Malaysia, the Philippines, the Lesser Sunda Islands, the Moluccas and Papua New Guinea. [2]

P. montana occurs in thickets, wrests, roadsides, pastures and hedges, and is common in the lowlands but is found up to 2000 m altitude. [2]

Botanical Description

P. mon­tana is comes from the family Leguminosae. It is a perennial, woody climber, with stems up to 30 m long and up to 10 cm in diame­tre. It has initially grey to brown hairy, later hairless, and with very large oblong tubers which are up to 2 m long and up to 45 cm in diametre. [2]

The leaves are arranged alternate and pinnately 3-foliolate. The petiole is 8-13(-21) cm long, and with rachis 1.5-7 cm long where both are grey to golden­ brown hairy. The stipules are peltate and measure up to 1.5(-2.5) cm long. The leaflets are ovate to orbicular and measuring 8-26 cm x 5-22 cm. The lateral leaflets are oblique and often somewhat smaller than the terminal leaflets. They are entire to 3-lobed, thinly appressed pubescent, with petiolules 4-10 mm, with linear to lance-shaped stipels and measure up to 2(-3) cm long. [2]

The in­florescence is usually an unbranched elongated pseudoraceme that measures up to 35 cm long. It is with 3 flowers per node. The bracts are up to 10 mm long and early caducous. The bracteoles are up to 5 mm long and fairly persistent. The flowers are bisexual and short-pedicelled. The sepal is bell-shaped with 5 unequal teeth, and with tube 3-5 mm long. The teeth are 4-9 mm long. The petal is papilionaceous and measures up to 2.5 cm long. It is purplish to blue or pink, and often with a yellow or green spot on the vexillum. The 10 stamens are monadelphous or with one free stamen. The ovary is superior, elongated and 1-celled. [2]

The fruit is a flattened ob­long pod, measuring 4-13 cm x 0.5-1.5 cm, straight to falcate, with golden-brown hairs and 5-15-seeded. [2]

The seeds are flat­tened ovoid, measuring 4-5 mm x 4 mm x 2 mm and they are red-brown with black mosaic. [2]

The seedling is with epigeal germina­tion where the first 2 leaves are simple and arranged opposite. [2]


P. montana grows on a wide range of soils, but does not grow well on poor sandy soils and poorly drained heavy clays. It is intolerant of waterlogging, and grows best on well-drained fertile loams. P. mon­tana is drought resistant because of its deep roots. [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 P. montana [2]


  1. The Plant List. Ver 1.1. Pueraria montana (Lour.) Merr. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013. [updated on 2010 Jul 14; cited 2015 Jul 31]. Available from: http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/ild-31247
  2. Praptiwi, 1999.  Pueraria montana (Lour.) Merr. In: de Padua, LS, Bunyapraphatsara N, Lemmens RHMJ, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 12(1): Medicinal and poisonous plants 1. Leiden, Netherlands: Backhuys Publisher, 1999; p. 417-420.
  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.778