Talinum fruticosum (L.) Juss.

Last updated: 19 Aug 2015

Scientific Name

Talinum fruticosum (L.) Juss.


Calandrinia andrewsii (Sweet) Sweet, Calandrinia lockhartii Sweet, Calandrinia pachypoda Diels, Claytonia triangularis (Jacq.) Kuntze, Portulaca crassicaule Jacq., Portulaca crassifolia Jacq., Portulaca fruticosa L., Portulaca racemosa L., Portulaca triangularis Jacq., Ruelingia triangularis (Jacq.) Ehrh., Talinum andrewsii Sweet, Talinum attenuatum Rose & Standl., Talinum confusum Rose & Standl., Talinum crassifolium (Jacq.) Willd., Talinum fruticosum Macfad. [Illegitimate], Talinum mucronatum Kunth, Talinum racemosum (L.) Rohrb., Talinum revolutum Kunth, Talinum triangulare (Jacq.) Willd. [1]

Vernacular Name

English Waterleaf, Surinam purslane, sweetheart [2], eyes plant, water leaf [3]
Indonesia Poslen (West Java); krokot belanda [2]
Thailand Som-kaoli, som-khon (Bangkok); som-chin (Northern) [2]
Philippines Talilong (Tagalog); galaghati (Subanon); biala (Marinduque) [2]
Vietnam Th[oor] nh[aa]n s[aa]m [2]
Papua New Guinea Kumu manus [2]
Nigeria Ikpibi [3]
Yoruba Ajigborere, alawere, gbure [3]
France Grassé [2].

Geographical Distributions

Talinum fruticosum is probably native to tropical America. Its complete native range, however, is difficult to ascertain because it is easily transported and easily naturalises. T. fruticosum has become a weed with pantropical distribution, still extending its range. It was introduced into Java in 1915 from Surinam by the Bogor Botanic Gardens. Elsewhere in Southeast Asia its introduction is also relatively recent. [2]

T. fruticosum occurs naturally on roadsides, waste places, and forest edges, from sea-level up to 1000 m. [2]

Botanical Description

T. fruticosum is a member of the family Portulacaceae. It is an erect perennial herb with swollen roots and obtuse-angular to terete, hairless and succulent stems where it can grow measure about 30-100 cm tall. The branches are with 2 lateral and basal buds. [2]

The leaves are arranged spirally to nearly opposite, often crowded at the top of the stem and indistinctly or shortly petioled. The leaf-blades are usually spoon-shaped, with a size of measure about 3-15 cm x 1-6 cm, entire and succulent, obtuse to rounded and occasionally notched at the apex. [2]

The inflorescence is a long peduncled, terminal, corymboid thyrsus, with a size of measure about 5-30 cm long, with a 2-5 erect, sharply triangular axes where each with 8-28-flowered. The flowers are bisexual and it is a measure about 0.5-2.5 cm in diametre. The pedicels elongate after anthesis. There are 2 sepals. They are free, green in colour and persistent. The 5 pink petals are obovate in shape and up to measuring 10 mm x 4 mm. The stamens are 20-40. The style is 2-3-fid while the ovary is superior. [2]

The yellow fruit is capsular, ellipsoid to globular in shape, with a size of measure 4-7 mm long, 2-3-valved and elastically dehiscent. [2]

The seeds are numerous, compressed spherical-kidney-shaped, with a size of measure about 0.8-1.2 mm long, granulate, smooth and black shining in colour. [2]


T. fruticosum has a C4-cycle photosynthetic pathway, resulting in a high level of dry matter production under hot tropical conditions. It possesses a remarkable degree of drought tolerance. For good production it needs a soil rich in humus or heavily manured, and adequate moisture. [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 T. fruticosum (accepted name for T. triangulare). [2]


  1. The Plant List.  Ver1.1. Talinum fruticosum (L.) Juss. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Apr 18; cited 2015 Aug 19]. Available from: http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/kew-2513546
  2. Talinum triangulare (Jacq.) Willd. In: Siemonsma JS, Piluek K, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No 8. Vegetables. Wageningen, Netherlands: Pudoc Scientific Publishers, 1993.
  3. Quattrocchi U. CRC world dictionary of medicinal and poisonous plants: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms, and etymology. Volume V R-Z. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press; 2012. p. 499.