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Useful Tropical Plants

Pipturus argenteus

(G.Forst.) Wedd.

Urticaceae

+ Synonyms

Boehmeria propinqua Decne.

Pipturus incanus (Blume) Wedd.

Pipturus propinquus (Decne.) Wedd.

Pipturus velutinus (Decne.) Wedd.

Urtica argentea G.Forst.

Common Name:

Pipturus argenteus
Tree
Photograph by: Lauren Gutierrez
Creative Commons License
Pipturus argenteus Pipturus argenteus Pipturus argenteus Pipturus argenteus Pipturus argenteus Pipturus argenteus Pipturus argenteus Pipturus argenteus

General Information

Pipturus argenteus is a large shrub to a small sub-canopy tree with a short, cylindrical bole 10 - 18cm in diameter that branches from near the base. It ranges in height from 6 - 20 metres[
388
Title
Guide to the Trees of Papua New Guinea
Publication
 
Author
Conn. B.J. & Damas. K.Q.
Website
http://www.pngplants.org/PNGtrees/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An Internet site giving good descriptions of the trees of Papua New Guinea.
,
440
Title
Brisbane Rainforest Action and Information Network,
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.brisrain.webcentral.com.au
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Information on plants in the Queensland Rainforests.
].
The plant has a wide range of traditional uses, being harvested from the wild as a food, medicine and a source of fibre and dyes. It has potential for use as a pioneer species when restoring native woodland or establishing woodland gardens, and is sometimes cultivated to provide a fast-growing screen.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

286
Title
Flora of Australia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.anbg.gov.au/abrs/abif/flora/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
The full information from the Flora of Australia - on-line. An excellent resource.

Range

Indian Ocean - Seychelles, Peninsular Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, New Guinea, N. Australia to the Pacific Islands.

Habitat

Disturbed habitats, especially in the eastern part of its area of distribution, at elevations from sea-level up to 1,250 metres[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. Found on beaches in Guam and in limestone soils[
354
Title
Plants of Guam
Publication
 
Author
Moore P.H. & McMakin P.
Website
http://university.uog.edu/cals/people/POG/scipn.htm
Publisher
University of Guam.
Year
1979
ISBN
 
Description
Brief details, usually with a photo, of plants native to the island of Guam, often together with some information on their uses. An online version is available.
]. Banks of rivers and smaller streams in Queensland[
454
Title
Useful Fiber Plants of the World
Publication
 
Author
Dodge C.R.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
Publisher
USDA; Washington.
Year
1897
ISBN
 
Description
A rather dated, but very comprehensive catalogue of fibre plants from around the world. The book can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitShrub
Height10.00 m
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Wild

Cultivation Details

Found in subtropical and tropical areas.

A dioecious species, both male and female forms need to be grown if seed is required.

Edible Uses

Fruit - raw[
440
Title
Brisbane Rainforest Action and Information Network,
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.brisrain.webcentral.com.au
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Information on plants in the Queensland Rainforests.
]. Not particularly tasty, it is eaten as bush tucker[
440
Title
Brisbane Rainforest Action and Information Network,
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.brisrain.webcentral.com.au
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Information on plants in the Queensland Rainforests.
]. The fleshy part of the fruit is sweet and juicy, making excellent eating[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
]. A small, whitish mulberry-like fruit to 6mm in diameter, containing many small seeds[
440
Title
Brisbane Rainforest Action and Information Network,
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.brisrain.webcentral.com.au
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Information on plants in the Queensland Rainforests.
].

The seeds are traditionally eaten by pregnant women and newborn babies[
339
Title
Agroforestry in the Pacific Islands: Systems for Sustainability
Publication
 
Author
W.C. Clarke and R.R. Thaman (Editors)
Website
http://www.unu.edu/unupress/unupbooks/80824e/80824E00.htm#Contents
Publisher
United Nations University Press, Tokyo
Year
1993
ISBN
92-808-0824-9
Description
The guide includes information on 100 species of plants for Agroforestry. It is also available on the web at the address given above.
].

The cooked leaves are eaten as a vegetable[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. Usually cooked in coconut milk[
339
Title
Agroforestry in the Pacific Islands: Systems for Sustainability
Publication
 
Author
W.C. Clarke and R.R. Thaman (Editors)
Website
http://www.unu.edu/unupress/unupbooks/80824e/80824E00.htm#Contents
Publisher
United Nations University Press, Tokyo
Year
1993
ISBN
92-808-0824-9
Description
The guide includes information on 100 species of plants for Agroforestry. It is also available on the web at the address given above.
].

Medicinal

The crushed leaves are used to treat coughs[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. The leaf sap is drunk to relieve a fever or headache[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. The leaves are boiled with the leaves of Alstonia spectabilis and the liquid drunk to treat coughs, colds and flu[
481
Title
Medicinal Plants in Papua New Guinea
Publication
 
Author
 
Publisher
World Health Organisation
Year
2009
ISBN
978-92-9061-249-0
Description
Traditional medicinal uses of 126 species from Papua New Guinea, including information on any modern research into the plants.
]. A leaf infusion is drunk to stimulate child birth[
481
Title
Medicinal Plants in Papua New Guinea
Publication
 
Author
 
Publisher
World Health Organisation
Year
2009
ISBN
978-92-9061-249-0
Description
Traditional medicinal uses of 126 species from Papua New Guinea, including information on any modern research into the plants.
].
Applied externally, the leaves, or the juice from heated leaves, are used for poulticing boils, burns and herpes sores[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. The crushed leaves are rubbed on the body to relieve a fever or headache and to ease centipede bites[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
,
481
Title
Medicinal Plants in Papua New Guinea
Publication
 
Author
 
Publisher
World Health Organisation
Year
2009
ISBN
978-92-9061-249-0
Description
Traditional medicinal uses of 126 species from Papua New Guinea, including information on any modern research into the plants.
]. Fresh young leaves, combined with those of Hibiscus tiliaceus, are squeezed in little water and the liquid is drunk immediately to treat urticaria and itchiness caused by the ingestion of the raw leaves of taro (Colocasia esculenta)[
481
Title
Medicinal Plants in Papua New Guinea
Publication
 
Author
 
Publisher
World Health Organisation
Year
2009
ISBN
978-92-9061-249-0
Description
Traditional medicinal uses of 126 species from Papua New Guinea, including information on any modern research into the plants.
].
The rainwater collected from the leaves is used to treat asthma[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

The sap from the scraped inner bark is given to women in labour in order to facilitate delivery[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
,
389
Title
Journal of Ethnopharmacology. Vol. 37, pp179 - 196
Publication
 
Author
Bourdy. G. & Walter. A.
Publisher
Elsevier Scientific Publishers; Ireland.
Year
1992
ISBN
 
Description
Information on various herbs used to facilitate childbirth in Vanuatu. Available to download as a PDF document from the Internet.
]. Combined with the leaves of Rubus glomeratus, it is eaten daily to soothe a bad cough[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
Sap from the bark is taken as a gargle to treat thrush[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

The bark is crushed in cold water and drunk twice daily to treat dysentery[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. The grated bark, mixed an equal
amount of grated dry coconut flesh, has been eaten in order to induce sterility[
389
Title
Journal of Ethnopharmacology. Vol. 37, pp179 - 196
Publication
 
Author
Bourdy. G. & Walter. A.
Publisher
Elsevier Scientific Publishers; Ireland.
Year
1992
ISBN
 
Description
Information on various herbs used to facilitate childbirth in Vanuatu. Available to download as a PDF document from the Internet.
].
Externally, the scraped bark is applied to spear wounds, to facilitate removal of the spear head[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

New roots are cut and the sap is allowed to drip into a container. Some of this is drunk and the rest is used to wash the body of a patient with malaria fever or a severe cough[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
,
481
Title
Medicinal Plants in Papua New Guinea
Publication
 
Author
 
Publisher
World Health Organisation
Year
2009
ISBN
978-92-9061-249-0
Description
Traditional medicinal uses of 126 species from Papua New Guinea, including information on any modern research into the plants.
]. The root sap is also used on wounds and to soothe toothache[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
The scraped roots are chewed with betel nuts (Areca spp.) and lime, then the red mixture is rubbed into centipede bites[
481
Title
Medicinal Plants in Papua New Guinea
Publication
 
Author
 
Publisher
World Health Organisation
Year
2009
ISBN
978-92-9061-249-0
Description
Traditional medicinal uses of 126 species from Papua New Guinea, including information on any modern research into the plants.
].

The plant has been shown to be weakly antibacterial[
481
Title
Medicinal Plants in Papua New Guinea
Publication
 
Author
 
Publisher
World Health Organisation
Year
2009
ISBN
978-92-9061-249-0
Description
Traditional medicinal uses of 126 species from Papua New Guinea, including information on any modern research into the plants.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

Not a particularly ornamental plant, but it is a good, fast growing screening plant[
440
Title
Brisbane Rainforest Action and Information Network,
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.brisrain.webcentral.com.au
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Information on plants in the Queensland Rainforests.
]. It is an important pioneer species that is commonly found in abandoned gardens[
339
Title
Agroforestry in the Pacific Islands: Systems for Sustainability
Publication
 
Author
W.C. Clarke and R.R. Thaman (Editors)
Website
http://www.unu.edu/unupress/unupbooks/80824e/80824E00.htm#Contents
Publisher
United Nations University Press, Tokyo
Year
1993
ISBN
92-808-0824-9
Description
The guide includes information on 100 species of plants for Agroforestry. It is also available on the web at the address given above.
].

Other Uses

A fibre obtained from the bark is used traditionally for making nets, string and rope[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
,
440
Title
Brisbane Rainforest Action and Information Network,
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.brisrain.webcentral.com.au
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Information on plants in the Queensland Rainforests.
]. It is of fine texture and great strength, but difficult to prepare[
454
Title
Useful Fiber Plants of the World
Publication
 
Author
Dodge C.R.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
Publisher
USDA; Washington.
Year
1897
ISBN
 
Description
A rather dated, but very comprehensive catalogue of fibre plants from around the world. The book can be downloaded from the Internet.
,
459
Title
The Useful Plants of the Island of Guam
Publication
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium Vol 9
Author
Safford W.E.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
Publisher
Smithsonian Institute; Washington.
Year
1905
ISBN
 
Description
A very comprehensive, if rather dated, guide to the plants of Guam. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. The fibre is used to make the traditional red, shaggy, rug-like mats of Samoa[
459
Title
The Useful Plants of the Island of Guam
Publication
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium Vol 9
Author
Safford W.E.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
Publisher
Smithsonian Institute; Washington.
Year
1905
ISBN
 
Description
A very comprehensive, if rather dated, guide to the plants of Guam. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

A brown dye can be obtained from the bark[
440
Title
Brisbane Rainforest Action and Information Network,
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.brisrain.webcentral.com.au
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Information on plants in the Queensland Rainforests.
,
454
Title
Useful Fiber Plants of the World
Publication
 
Author
Dodge C.R.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
Publisher
USDA; Washington.
Year
1897
ISBN
 
Description
A rather dated, but very comprehensive catalogue of fibre plants from around the world. The book can be downloaded from the Internet.
,
459
Title
The Useful Plants of the Island of Guam
Publication
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium Vol 9
Author
Safford W.E.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
Publisher
Smithsonian Institute; Washington.
Year
1905
ISBN
 
Description
A very comprehensive, if rather dated, guide to the plants of Guam. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

The flowers are used to scent coconut oil[
339
Title
Agroforestry in the Pacific Islands: Systems for Sustainability
Publication
 
Author
W.C. Clarke and R.R. Thaman (Editors)
Website
http://www.unu.edu/unupress/unupbooks/80824e/80824E00.htm#Contents
Publisher
United Nations University Press, Tokyo
Year
1993
ISBN
92-808-0824-9
Description
The guide includes information on 100 species of plants for Agroforestry. It is also available on the web at the address given above.
].

The wood is used in house construction, for fishhooks, rollers for hauling etc[
339
Title
Agroforestry in the Pacific Islands: Systems for Sustainability
Publication
 
Author
W.C. Clarke and R.R. Thaman (Editors)
Website
http://www.unu.edu/unupress/unupbooks/80824e/80824E00.htm#Contents
Publisher
United Nations University Press, Tokyo
Year
1993
ISBN
92-808-0824-9
Description
The guide includes information on 100 species of plants for Agroforestry. It is also available on the web at the address given above.
].
The wood is used for fuel[
339
Title
Agroforestry in the Pacific Islands: Systems for Sustainability
Publication
 
Author
W.C. Clarke and R.R. Thaman (Editors)
Website
http://www.unu.edu/unupress/unupbooks/80824e/80824E00.htm#Contents
Publisher
United Nations University Press, Tokyo
Year
1993
ISBN
92-808-0824-9
Description
The guide includes information on 100 species of plants for Agroforestry. It is also available on the web at the address given above.
].

Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe[
440
Title
Brisbane Rainforest Action and Information Network,
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.brisrain.webcentral.com.au
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Information on plants in the Queensland Rainforests.
].
Cuttings strike readily[
440
Title
Brisbane Rainforest Action and Information Network,
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.brisrain.webcentral.com.au
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Information on plants in the Queensland Rainforests.
].

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