Flagellaria angustifolia Wall.
Flagellaria catenata Lour. ex B.A.Gomes
Flagellaria loureiroi Steud.
Flagellaria minor Blume
Flagellaria philippinensis Elmer
Common Name: False Rattan
Flagellaria indica is a semi-woody climbing plant with stems up to 15 metres long, occasionally even to 20 metres[
]. The leaves are unusual in as much as they terminate in a coiling tendril that helps the plant to climb[
The plant is often gathered from the wild for local use, mainly as a source of material for making baskets etc, but also as a food and medicine.
E. Africa, through tropical and subtropical Asia to Australia and the western Pacific.
Moist littoral forests, mangrove swamps, freshwater swamps; from near sea level to elevations of 1,500 metres in S. China[
]. A common forest climber which climbs over shrubs and smaller trees in wet to dry forest[
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Plants can flower and produce fruit all year round[
Young leafy shoots - cooked and eaten as a vegetable[
]. The pink fruit is a globose berry up to 6mm in diameter containing one, occasionally two seeds[
The stems contain a sweet sap sweet and are chewed in much the same way as sugar cane[
The leaves and stems are used in Madagascar to make a stimulating tea[
The plant has demonstrated antimicrobial activity[
]. It is used traditionally as a diuretic[
Several medically active compounds have been found in the plant, including 4 kaempferol 3-glycosides, alkaloids, a cyanogenic glycoside[
The root is boiled and the infusion, about 150 ml 3 times daily is taken for 3 days, as health tonic[
The fresh stalk is chopped into small pieces in water and the filtrate is drunk in order to relieve stomach aches, dysentery and diarrhoea[
The plant is used as a contraceptive, and the stem is eaten to cause sterility[
A decoction of the leaves is drunk as a treatment for asthma, general shortness of breath and fevers[
The bark and tough stems are used for making mats, baskets, fishtraps, and for constructing huts and roofs[
]. It is considered a good alternative for rattan, all the more so as it will regrow after cutting[
The leaves are used for hair washes[
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