Uncaria cordata (Lour.) Merr.

Etymology Genus Hook; referring to the characteristic recurved hooks of this genus
Species Having heart-shaped leaves
Family Rubiaceae
Synonyms Restiaria cordata Lour.
Common Names Heart-shaped Uncaria
Status Native: Endangered
Form Climber
Native Distribution Indochina, Malesia, and Queensland


One must know how to identify an Uncaria species first, which is a climber, with opposite leaves and have a pair of large recurved hooks at the base of the petioles. Uncaria cordata has broad large leaves with cordate bases and have a diagnostic bi-lobed stipule (Tan et al., 1995).

Interesting Facts:

The Heart-shaped Uncaria can be found in the Central Catchment and Bukit Timah Nature Reserves.

Form of the Heart-shaped Uncaria climbing at a forest fringe at Mandai Track 7.

Leaves are opposite with heart-shaped bases.

Recuved hooks. The stipule is divided into two lobes, a diagnostic feature.

Ball of yellow-white flowers.


Tan HTW, KS Chua & TM Turner. (1995) Rubiaceae of the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. Gardens' Bulletin Supplement, 3: 29-59.

Author: Jake
Posted: 2013-10-08 / Modified: 2017-12-25