Spermacoce laevis Lam.

Last updated: 13 August 2015

Scientific Name

Spermacoce laevis Lam.


Borreria capitellata (Willd. ex Roem. & Schult.) Cham. & Schltdl., Borreria herbert-smithii Rusby, Borreria laevis (Lam.) Griseb., Spermacoce capitellata Willd. ex Roem. & Schult., Spermacoce guianensis Bremek., Spermacoce riparia Cham. & Schltdl., Tardavel laevis (Lam.) Standl. [1]

Vernacular Name

Indonesia Jugul, katum­pang lemah (Sundanese) [2], udu pelian [3]
Philippines Akupao [2]
Vietnam Ru[ooj]t g[af] l[as] nh[awx]n [2]
Papua New Guinea Kanan (Lalibu, Southern Highlands) [2][3]

Geographical Distributions

Spermacoce laevis is native to tropical America, nowadays almost pantropical, throughout Southeast Asia but not recorded in Kalimantan. [2]

S. laevis occurs in regions with a short or pronounced rainy season, on sunny or lightly shaded localities, in grasslands, along roadsides, in rice fields, often on hard soils, often abundant, from sea level up to 1200(-2000) m altitude. [2]

Botanical Description

S. laevis is a member of the family Rubiaceae. It is an erect, annual to perennial herb, which mainly branches from the base. The stems are decumbent or ascending. It can grow up to 15-50 cm tall with long and thin taproot. [2]

The leaves are oblong-lance-shaped, measure 2.5-6 cm x 0.8-2 cm, acuminate at apex, smooth and usually tinged dark purple. [2]

The lateral veins are conspicuous below. The fascicles are axillary, dense and slender bracts between the flowers are visible. The sepal is narrowly obconical, sparsely hairy, 4-lobed and with narrow lobes 0.5-1 mm long while the petal is funnel-shaped, about 3 mm long, white, glabrous inside tube, with ovate lobes, often purplish-rimmed and sparsely hairy inside. The capsule is obconical and 2-3 mm long. [2]

The seed is oblong, 1.5-2 mm long, transversely wrinkled and brown. [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 S. laevis [2]


  1. The Plant List. Ver 1.1. Borreria laevis Lam. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013. [updated on 2012 Mar 23; cited 2015 Aug 18]. Available from: http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/kew-193647
  2. Noriel LM. Borreria laevis (Lamk) Griseb. 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. 118.
  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. 359.