Tetracera indica (Christm. & Panz.) Merr.

Etymology Genus Four horns, referring to the pointed fruiting capsules
Species India
Family Dilleniaceae
Synonyms -
Common Names Sandpaper Vine
Status Native: Common
Form Climber
Native Distribution Indochina, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Sumatra, and Java


Tetracera indica is a woody climber very common in secondary forests. The alternative elliptic leaves have distinct secondary veins, acute drip tips, and usually have reddish petioles. The young non-woody stems are also reddish and is rough when rubbed along one side. The woody stems have light brown bark and knobby at intervals. The flowers are also diagnostic.

Interesting Facts:

In Indonesia, the young shoots of the Sandpaper Vine are crushed into poultice for treating poisonous snake bites and festering fingers (Tawan, 2001). The fruits are also taken against the common cold.

Form of the Sandpaper Vine.

The woody stem is light brown and knobbly.

Note the clear venation, drip tips, and reddish petiole.

Young leaves are serrated.


Capsules with pointed tips.

Stringy red aril covering the seed.


Tawan CS. (2001) Tetracera indica (Houtt. ex Christm. & Panz.) Merr. In: van Valkenburg JLCH and Bunyapraphatsara N (eds.) Plant Resources of South-East Asia. No. 12(2): Medicinal and poisonous plants 2. Backhuys Publisher, Leiden, The Netherlands, pp 541-542.

Author: Jake
Posted: 2014-02-08 / Modified: 2017-12-25