Geophila repens (L.) I.M.Johnst.

Last updated: 02 Jun 2015

Scientific Name

Geophila repens (L.) I.M.Johnst.


Geophila reniformis D. Don, Geophila herbacea (Jacq.) Standl., Carinta herbacea (Jacq.) W.Wight, Carinta repens (L.) L.B.Sm. & Downs, Carinta uniflora (Hiern) G.Taylor, Cephaelis diversifolia Blume, Cephaelis herbacea (Jacq.) Kurz, Cephaelis reniformis Kunth, Cephaelis reniformis Kunth, Cephaelis herbacea (Jacq.) Kurz [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Pegaga ular, pegaga tikus, pantat berok (Peninsular) [2], pegaga terkukur, pantat berok [3]
English Snake’s pennywort [3]
Thailand Mali din (Trat); uttaphit nam (Peninsular) [2]
Tonga Tongo [4]

Geographical Distributions

Geophila repens occurs throughout the tropics of Africa, Madagascar, South and Central America, Asia and Micronesia. It is found in the whole of South-East Asia. [2]

G. repens occurs in lowland forest, in not too dry localities, usually below 1000 m, but sometimes up to 1600 m altitude (e.g. in Java). [2]

Botanical Description

G repens is a member of the family Rubiaceae. This is a small creeping perennial herb, with papillose stems, which is up to 50 cm long, and profusely rooting. [2]

The leaves are arranged opposite, cordate-orbicular or cordate-reniform with a size of 2-4.5 cm x 1.5-4.5 cm, usually hairless, 7-9-veined and markedly pale below. The petiole is 1-9 cm long and densely papillose. The stipules are interpetiolar and transversely elliptical. [2]

The inflorescence is a terminal few-flowered umbel (flowers often solitary). Peduncle is up to 4 cm long while papillose is hairy. Flowers are bisexual, (4-)5(-7)-merous.  Sepal is deeply divided while the lobes are 3-4 mm long. Petal is tubular-infundibuliform, with 8-11 mm long tube while the lobes are 5-8 mm long, white and soon fall off. The stamens are inserted in petal tube while the filaments are minute. The ovary is inferior, 2-celled, crowned by a thick disk and 2-branched style. [2]

The fruit is spherical or broadly ellipsoid drupe about 8 mm in diameter. It is red but sometimes orange when ripe. There are 2 nutlets, which are plano-convex. [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.

Line drawing


Figure 1: The line drawing of G. repens [2]


  1. The Plant List. Ver 1.1. Geophila repens (L.) I.M.Johnst. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Mac 23; cited 2015 June 2]. Available from:
  2. Geophila repens (L.) I.M.Johnst. In: Lemmens RHMJ, Bunyapraphatsara N, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 12(3): Medicinal and poisonous plants 3. 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. 370.
  4. Quattrocchi U. CRC World Dictionary of Plant Names: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms, and etymology. Volume III E-L. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press; 2012. p. 318.