Urena lobata L.

Last updated: 09 Mar 2017

Scientific Name

Urena lobata L.


Urena americana L., Urena americana L. f., Urena diversifolia Schumach., Urena grandiflora DC., Urena lobata var. americana (L.) Gürke, Urena lobata subsp. lobata, Urena lobata var. lobata, Urena lobata var. tomentosa (Blume) Walp., Urena lobata var. tribolata (Vell.) Gürke, Urena monopetala Lour., Urena reticulata Cav., Urena tomentosa Blume, Urena tribolata Vell. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Kelulut, pepulut, pulut, pulut lembu [2], pulut pulut, pepulut, pulutan [3]
English Burweed, Congo jute, cousin mahoe [2], Caesar weed, aramina, hibiscus burr, dadangsi apaka, pink Chinese burr, urena burr, bur mallow [3]
India Advai benda, agra, antursa, athamagua, bachata, bala-bhed, ban okhra, ban okra, banokhra, barsum-baralua, bekkina hejje gida, ben-ochra, bherekuro, bhidijanelet, bhidi janetet, bilokapasiva, bon vendi, bonokra, chikana, chutungniary, dodda bende, gamthai, hamsapaadi, hon-bonolua, jongolo joto, ka-sin-rioh, kaadu thutthi, kasinrah, kasinrih, katshinin, kunjia, kurinji, kurunthoti, lapetua, lataunga, lirga, lotloti, mota-behedi-janelet, naikkal, poondu, nalla benda, naunthe-araung, ottatti, otte, ottututti, pedda benda, peddabenda, piliyamankena, pithia, rantupkada, sampakpi, samtha-kkhari, samthakkhari, soh-byrthil, sombarial, tapkote, thuthippovu, tupkato, udiram, unga, uram, uran, vagadau bhindo, valta epala, van bhendi, vana benda, vanabendha, vanabhenda, vatkai, vatto, wagdau, wagdau bhendi, wanbhendi [2], bachita, ban-ochra, vana-bhenda [4]
Nepal Nalu kuro [2]
Borneo Kejumpang, keyumpang [2]
Indonesia Bunga mawar, bunga peletut, legetan, udu njau lupang [2], pulutan [3]
Philippines Anonongkot, baranggot, barangot, dalupang, kollokollot, kulit, kulokullot, kulotan, kulukulut, kulut, kulut-kulutan, malppolo, mangkit, palisin, puriket, saligut, supang [2]
Japan Ôba-bonten-ka (bon-ten = Buddha’s heaven) [2]
Nigeria Bolo-bolo, ebe izeili, ka-fi-rama, okeriri, ramaniya, uwar-mangani [2]
France Jute africain [3]
Yoruba Ake iri, ake riri, akeri, bolobolo, ilasa, agborin, ilasa omode, ilasa oyibo [2]
Tonga Mo’osipo [2]

Geographical Distributions

Urena lobata is widely distributed as a weed in the tropics and subtropics of both hemispheres including Southeast Asia. [5]

Botanical Description

U. lobata is a member of Malvaceae family. It is an annual, variable, erect, ascendant under shrub and measuring up to 0.5-2.5 m tall. [5]

The stems are covered with minute star-like hairs, scattered simple hairs and are often tinged purple. [5]

The leaves arrangement are alternate, simple, extremely variable in size and shape, partially flat with circular outline, oblong to lance-shaped that is measure 1-12 cm x 0.5-13 cm. The leaves have more or less 3-5-lobed which are heart-shaped to wedge-shaped at the base. The apex is acuminate while the margins are serrate to crenate with 3-9-veined. The surfaces are hairy with a modified epidermal cells that secrets nectar on base of midrib beneath. The petiole is measures 0.5-12 cm long. The stipules are lance-shaped to reverse egg-shaped. They measure at 2-4 mm long, acute and caduceus. [5]

The inflorescence arises from the axils, solitary or in clusters of 2-3 cm. The bell-shaped flowers are 5-merous, 2-3 cm in diameter, pink with a purple centre, 7-8 mm long epicalyx which envelopes the sepal, and have 5 segments that are lance-shaped and hairy. The sepal is tubular to bell-shaped measuring 5-6 mm x 1.5-2 mm. At 1/3 from the base of the ribs, it is thickened or with a modified epidermal secreting nectar. The petals are reversed egg-shaped and the apex is rounded. The male reproduction organ column measures 10-14 mm long usually curved; the anthers are purple and pollen is white. The style arms are 10; each one is 1 mm long. The stigmas are dark purple. [5]

The fruit is partially spherical schizocarp and composed of 5 parts of 4-5 mm long fruits. Barbed bristles cover them. [5]

The 2.5-3.5 mm long seed is kidney-shaped, minutely hairy to hairless and brown. The seedling is with above the ground germination. [5]


U. lobata is common on roadsides, in waste places, fallow fields, plantations, secondary growths, teak forests, from sea level up to 2000 m altitude, in many locations naturalised as a noxious weed. [5]

Chemical Constituent

No documentation.

Plant Part Used

Whole plant. [6]

Traditional Use

The root of U. lobata is a remedy for dysentery, diarrhoea, and gastric pains. The decoction of the roots is given in a dose of half glass twice a day. In Nepals to treat these conditions a compound medicine is prepared with the roots forming an essential part of the ingredient. They made use of the seeds in the form of a decoction to treat cases of intestinal parasitism. [6][7]

The Brazilians made use of the roots and barks to treat windy colics. [8][9] The leaves of U. lobata are a good expectorant. The Indonesian traditional practitioners recommend chewing on the leaves and swallowing the juice to help loosen thick phlegm. A decoction of the roots is their remedy for influenza. The Nepalese and Brazillians on the other hand made used of the flowers as an expectorant. [6][7][8]

Leucorrhoea is treated by drinking half glass of decoction of the roots of U. lobata. In Upper Assam the roots is used to procure abortion. Malay traditional midwives use a decoction of the root as an aid to hasten difficult delivery. [3][4][6]

Various inflammatory conditions could be treated with U. lobata. The flowers or the leaves is made into a paste and applied over wounds, ulcers and abscesses to aid in hastening healing. The same is made used of in treating sprains and bruises, rheumatism, and tonsillitis. The juice extracted from the leaves is a remedy for snake bites and conjunctivitis. [3][4][6][7] The roots of U. lobata are considered diuretic and the decoction is used by Indonesian traditional practitioners to treat oedema due to nephritis. [6]

Preclinical Data


Antimicrobial activity

Mazumder et al found that the methanol extract of U. lobata roots has a broad spectrum antibacterial activity. [10]


No documentation.

Clinical Data

No documentation.


No documentation.

Poisonous Management

No documentation.

Line drawing


Figure 1: The line drawing of U. lobata [5].


  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1. Urena lobata L. [homepage on the internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Mar 23; cited 2017 Mar 09]. Available from: http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/kew-2449399.
  2. 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. 677-678.
  3. Arifin N. Penyembuhan semula jadi dengan herba. Kuala Lumpur: PTS Litera Utama, 2005; p. 192-193.
  4. Chopra RN, Chopra IC. Indigenous drugs of India. Kolkata: Academic Publishers, 2006; p. 570.
  5. Ong HC. Urena lobata L. 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. 575-577.
  6. Hariana HA. Tumbuhan obat dan khasiatnya 2. Jakarta: Niaga Swadaya, 2008; p. 194-195.
  7. Manandhar NP, Manandhar S. Plants and people of Nepal. Oregon: Timber Press, 2002; p. 469.
  8. Lindley J. An introduction to the natural system of botany: Or, a systematic view of the organization, natural affinities, and geographical distribution of the whole vegetable kingdom; together with the uses of the most important species in medicine, the arts, and rural or domestic economy. New York: G. & C. & H. Carvill, 1831; p. 34.
  9. Burnett GT. Outlines of botany: Including a general history of the vegetable kingdom, in which plants are arranged according to the system of natural affinities. Volume 2.  London: John Churchill, 1835; p. 817.
  10. Mazumder UK, Gupta M, Manikandan L, Bhattacharya S. Antibacterial activity of Urena lobata root. Fitoterpia. 2001;72(8):927-929.