Labisia pumila (Blume) Fern.-Vill.

Etymology Genus Handle or hilt; reference to plant unknown
Species Small or dwarfed; reference to plant unknown
Family Myrsinaceae
Synonyms Ardisia pumila Blume, Marantodes pumilum (Blume) Kuntze
Common Names Kacip Fatimah
Status Native: Vulnerable
Form Herb
Native Distribution Indochina and Malesia


Labisia pumila is a shade-loving herb that can be found in our Central Catchment and Bukit Timah Nature Reserves. The lanceolate leaf have parallel secondary venation and a thick mid vein, as well as mildly serrated margins. The petiole may be winged or not, and it appears to be dependent on the variety (Sunarno, 2005).

Interesting Facts:

Kacip Fatimah is famously used as the female's version of the male aphrodisiac, Tongkat Ali. It is also used widely to relieve childbirth and post-partum effects.

Form of Kacip Fatimah in the Central Catchment Nature Reserve.

Venation of leaf. Note that this petiole is winged.

Leaf upper surface.

Margins are mildy serrated.

Flowers are borne on spikes.


Sunarno B. (2005) Revision of the genus Labisia (Myrsinaceae). Blumea, 50: 579-597.

Author: Jake
Posted: 2014-05-04 / Modified: 2017-12-25