Scaevola taccada (Gaertn.) Roxb.

Last updated: 6 August 2015

Scientific Name

Scaevola taccada (Gaertn.) Roxb.


Lobelia frutescens Mill., Scaevola billardieri Dieter., Scaevola chlorantha de Vriese, Scaevola koenigii Vahl, Scaevola lambertiana de Vriese, Scaevola latevaga Hance ex Walp, Scaevola leschenaultii A. DC., Scaevola macrocalyx de Vriese, Scaevola piliplena Miq., Scaevola plumerioides Nutt., Scaevola sericea Vahl [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Butun laut (Borneo); ambong-ambong, buas-buas laut, akar pahit, merambong, pelambong [2][3]
English Sea lettuce tree [2], beach berry, native cabbage [3]
India Kwyae, tochonk, tuful [3]
Indonesia Dudulan (Javanese); babakoan (Sundanese); subong-subong (Bengkulu) [2][3]
Thailand Bong bong, rak thale (Peninsular); ho raa (Southeastern) [2][3]
Philippines Boto, mosboron (Tagalog, Bisaya); bosboron (Tagalog, Bikol, Bisaya); agusuhin, balok-balok, bokabok, dudukduken, linog, linu, malmalukung, panabolong, tagustus [2][3]
Vietnam H[ees]p, s[ow]n d[uw][ow]ng [2][3]
Papua New Guinea Gavagava (Milne Bay); pahop (Manus Island) [2]; akajok, azeze, bosboron, dangarong, gasoc, gavagava, kamakamahiyawa, pahop [3]
Japan Teriha-kusa-tobera, sukî [3]
Madagascar Dingdingana [3]
Hawaii Aupaka, huahekili, naupaka, kahakai, naupaka kai [3].

Geographical Distributions

Scaevola taccada is found from Madagascar eastward to Southeast Asia, throughout Malesia, tropical Australia, the Pacific Islands and Hawaii. It is cultivated and sparingly naturalised in the south-eastern United States. [2]

S. taccada is a typical constituent of the Barringtonia formation. It is usually confined to the seashore, restricted to sandy beaches or rock and coral outcrops, occasionally found inland on Pacific atolls in sunny disturbed habitats and rock faces. It is capable of substantial growth and physiological responses, which are required in coastal habitats characterised by large temporal and spatial variations in substrate salinity and salt spray levels. Seaward expansion is limited by a combination of salt spray and substrate salinity. [2]

Botanical Description

S. taccada is a member of the family Goodeniaceae. This is an erect spreading shrub or small tree up to 4(-7) m tall with cylindrical little branches. [2]

The leaves are arranged alternately and majority are crowded at the end of the branches. They are spoon-shaped to reverse egg-shaped size 12-26 cm x 5-10cm. The base is attenuate while apex is blunt to rounded. Their margin is entire, sinuate to dentate, herbaceous to just succulent, hairless to shortly densely covered with short soft hairs and sessile. There are no stipules. [2]

The inflorescence is arising from the axils, bearing a determinate inflorescence, laxly branches that size about 4 cm long are few-flowered supported by persistent bracts. The inflorescence stalk is 0.5-2 cm long. Flowers are 5-merous but irregular and size between 2-2.5 cm long. It’s scentless, white to pale yellow and supported by individual flower stalk that is 0.3-1.2 cm long, hairless to densely lying flat hairy. The sepal is united to the ovary with lobes linear to narrowly elliptical, 0.2-0.5 cm long, and persistent. The petal is hairless to hairy outside while densely hairy inside. Their tube is 0.5-1 cm long, lobe membranous, fringed towards the base, which is about 0.5 cm long. The 2-celled ovary is inferior the while style faintly hairy at base. [2]

The fruit is a fleshy drupe, 1-1.5 cm in diametre, faintly 2-lobed and ribbed. The fruit is pellucid-white when ripe, 2-seeded stone 0.8 cm x 0.6 cm.

The seedling germinates above the ground, with emergent, fleshy cotyledonsand elongated young stem.


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 S. taccada [2]


  1. The Plant List. Ver 1.1. Scaevola taccada (Gaertner) Roxb. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013. [updated 2012 Apr 18; cited 2015 Aug 14]. Available from :
  2. Wardini TH. Scaevola taccada (Gaertner) Roxb.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. 491-493
  3. Quattrocchi U. CRC World Dictionary of Plant Names: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms, and etymology. Volume V R-Z. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press; 2012. p. 177.