8 Fun Facts about Epipermum pinnatum

Epipermum pinnatum is a common plant found in many areas of Asia like Southern China, Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indo-China region, Indonesia,Tropical India, Melanesia region, Papua New Guinea and the Philippines.

In other parts of the world like Hawaii, West Indies, tropical Americas and Southern parts of the United States of America. This plant had become invasive in much of the areas where it was introduced. Epipermum pinnatum engulf vegetation killing out native weeds, plants, moss,lichen and shading-out native trees killing them slowly.

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Epipermum pinnatum is called Malapakpak-balaua, lukmoi, lukmoy, tibatib or tampinbanal in Tagalog speaking region.

Common names includes dragon-tail plant, centipede tongavine ( English), tibatib, lukmoi,lukmoy tampinbanal ( Tagalog),Malapakpak-balauai ( Tagalog) bisako ( Bisaya). It is a member of the Araceae family, same family as Caladiums.

IMAGEEpipermun pinnatum -young leaves

Lukmoi/ lukmoy/ tibatib/ tampinbanal /bakag spend part of its life cycle in the canopy or ground as seeds are disperse by birds and insects. Using suitable host trees, palms, wall, fences to cling on. It is considered as a hemiepiphyte.

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Epipermum pinnatum cling on a dead palm

Eventually clinging to host trees by sending roots downwards. Humans and sometimes some mammals also help spread the plant by cuttings, plant fragments, and/or discarded plant parts. Sometimes called Rhaphidophora pinnata L. Schott ( synomym) according to the website the plantlist.org by Kew Garden.

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8 Fun Facts about Epipermum pinnatum

8.) Teeth -Blackening: The vine is used by in some Asian countries like in Java, Bali in Indonesia, aboriginal tribes of Taiwan and lumads in Mindanao island where it is considered a standard for beauty.

7.) Food -Some Aeta tribes in Central Luzon and Northern Luzon in the Philippines would eat the young leaves and use the inner stem for handicraft.

6.) Traditional Medicine – In some parts of China , it is used for traditional medicine for dysentery, rheumatism and fractures.

5.) Indoor Plant– It is used as indoor plant in United States and other countries.

4.) Basket and Handicraft – The central stems of the root is used for several handicraft like basketry, lamp shades, mat, rope, accessories throughout its native range.

3.) Allergy -Some people are allergic to the sap. Sap is also sometimes use as a cure for snake bites.

2.) Leaves are used for flower arrangements and decor. Large leaves are sometimes sold in Dangwa market in Sampaloc, Manila. some local florist would substitute them for Philodendron.

1.) Some unscrupulous sellers would easily pass this as Epipermum pinnatum ” Cebu Blue”, BLUE Pothos, Monstera deliciosa or Philodendron bipinnatifidum both of which are native in tropical Mexico to South America.

Sources, Bibliography and References:

Peppard, Terry (1992). “Volatile flavor constituents of Monstera deliciosa“. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 40 (2): 257–262.

Madulid, Domingo; Winner, National Book Award, Science, 1995. Revised Edition, 2000 with 388 pages. ARACEAE Page90, Bookmark, Makati, A Pictorial Cyclopedia of Philippine Ornamental Plants.

Moodie, G. E. E. (1976). “Heat production and pollination in Araceae”. Canadian Journal of Botany. 54 (5–6): 545–6. doi:10.1139/b76-053.

Steiner, Mona Lisa, PHD;Care, M &L Licudine Enterprises, First Edition 1952, Second Edition 1960, Third Edition 1986, Atlag, Malolos , Bulacan. Epipermum pinnatum page 142, Philippine Ornamental Plants And Their Care.

Brown, D. (1988). Aroids: Plants of the Arum Family. Portland, OR: Timber Press, 1988

One Response

  1. […] Avoid constant touching the leaves and stems of Epipermum pinnatum and Epipermum aureum since parts of the stems and leaves contains calcium oxlate crystal which may […]

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