Mollugo pentaphylla L.

Last updated: 27 Jul 2015

Scientific Name

Mollugo pentaphylla L.


Mollugo stricta L. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Tapak burong, rumput belangkas, bunga karang [2], daun mutiara [3]
English Carpet weed, African chickweed [2]
China Di ma huang [4]
India Chinavaragogu, gharpudi, jaraasi, jaradsi, jarasi, jharasa, julpapra, kedarasi, khet-papra, parpadagam, sirupaaraimalli, turapoondu [4]
Indonesia Jampang kulut, jukut taridi(Sundanese); galingsa (Javanese) [2]
Thailand Soi nok khao (Southeastern); yaanok khao (Central); yaa khai hao(Northern) [2]
Philippines Malagoso (Tagalog); sulangkang (Subanun); lepouo (Bontok) [2]
Vietnam C[or] b[uj]ng cu, b[if]ink cu [2]
Nepal Nyauli [4]
France Mollugine, olsine [2].

Geographical Distributions

Mollugo pentaphylla is distributed throughout the tropics and subtropics of the Old World, from India to New Caledonia and Micronesia, but is rare in Australia. [2]

M. pentaphylla occurs in semi-arid to humid regions, mostly locally abundant as a minor weed in cultivated areas, including rice fields. [2]

Botanical Description

M. pentaphylla falls under the family of Aizoaceae. It is an erect or prostrate plant, smooth annual; often much-branched from the base. It can grow 2-35 cm tall, with a thin taproot. [2]

The stems are thin and angular often tinged brownish-red when old. [2]

The leaves are in false whorls of 3-5(-9) or partly opposite with the basal ones in a rosette. The leaves are oblong-obovate-spatulate. The upper leaves are smaller, linear-lance-shaped about 10-50 mm x 1.5-10 mm in size with both ends narrowed. The margins are entire with prominent midrib underneath. The petiole is short or absent and the stipules are minute. [2]

Its inflorescence is lax axillary or terminal cyme, often with long racemiform branches. The bracts are small and persistent. Its pedicel is between 1.5-6 mm long, persistent and recurved, long after the fall of the fruiting perianth. [2]

The flowers are bisexual with 5 free tepals; oval-oblong in shape, and1-2 mm long.  The apex is rounded, white on the inside while the outside is green with white margins. It is widely expanded during anthesis, connivent to a globe afterwards. There are three stamens that are alternate with the carpels. The filaments are short. The 3 white styles are free and very short. The 3-loculed ovary is superior. [2]

The fruit is a broadly ellipsoid, 2 mm long and thin-walled capsule with three carpels. [2]

The seeds are finely granulated, numerous, reniform, 0.8 mm in diametre and dark brown in colour. [2]

The seedling’s germination is epigeal. Its hypocotyl is 3.5-5 mm long and the size of cotyledons is 3 mm x 1.5 mm. The apex is acute while its petiole is short. The first leaf form is elliptical to egg-shaped, petiolate, hairless and possess a distinct midvein. [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

Poisonous Management

No documentation

Line drawing





Figure 1: The line drawing of M. pentaphylla [2]


  1. Mollugo pentaphylla L. [homepage on the Internet]. St. Louis, Missouri: Missouri Botanical Garden; c2015 [cited 2015 Jul 27]. Available from:
  2. Aquilar NO. Mollugo pentaphylla 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. 382-384.
  3. Herbal Medicine Research Centre, Institute for Medical Research. Compendium of medicinal plants used in Malaysia. Volume 2. Kuala Lumpur: HMRC IMR; 2002. p.147.
  4. Quattrocchi U. CRC world dictionary of plant names: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms, and etymology. Volume IV M-Q. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press; 2012. p. 176.