Eurycoma longifolia Jack

Etymology Genus Possibly from Greek, Eury=broad & kome=hair, likely referring to the foliage that crown at the top of the plant
Species Long leafed; referring to the long compound leaves
Family Simaroubaceae
Synonyms Eurycoma latifolia Ridl.
Common Names Tongkat Ali
Status Native: Critically Endangered
Form Shrub
Native Distribution Indochina, Malesia


Eurycoma longifolia can be found in both our rocky shores or the understorey of our dry inland rainforests. The Malay common name Tongkat Ali, literally meaning the walking stick of Ali, refers to its tall thin stem that can grow up to 12m, though usually shorter. Together with the pinnately compound leaves which spreads like a rosette near the top, it is a species which is unmistakeable for its form.

Interesting Facts:

Tongkat Ali is most famous for the roots which are taken for as a male aphrodisiac (Tahan Uji, 2016); or said to treat erectile dysfunction, male infertility or boost athletic performance (WebMD, n.d.). In Brunei, the leaves are taken raw to relief stomachache (Tahan Uji, 2016).

A Tongkat Ali growing from a rocky coast at Sentosa (2018).


Leaflets, which are sub-opposite.

Compound leaves.

Petioles and leaf scars.


Tahan Uji (2016) Eurycoma longifolia (PROSEA). Plant Resources of South East Asia. Accessed on 30-Dec-2018.

WebMD (n.d.) Eurycoma longifolia: Interactions, Side Effects, Interactions, Dosage and Warnings. Accessed on 30-Dec-2018.

Author: Jake
Posted: 2018-12-30