Family • Araceae - Raphidophora merrillii Engl. - DRAGON TAIL PLANT - Long wei cao - Epipremnum pinnatum (L.) Engl.

Scientific names

Epipremnum merrillii Engl. & Krause
Epipremnum pinnatum (L.) Engl.
Raphidophora merrillii Engl.
Raphidophora pinnata (L.) Schott.
Philodendron nechodomii Britton
Pothos aurea Lindl. & Andre
Qi lin ye (Chin.)

Other vernacular names

CHINESE: Ling shu teng, Bai su jiao, Bai zu teng, Shang shu long, Long wei cao.
INDONESIAN: Lolo munding, Jalu mampang, Samblung.
MAORI: ‘ara
SPANISH: Cortina, Enredadera.
THAI: Ngot, Ngot khao, Naang rong.
VIETNAMESE: R[as]y leo l[as] x[er], R[as]y ng[os]t.

Common names

Amiling (Is.)
Amlong (Bik., Bis.)
Amolong (Ilk.)
Amuling (Is.)
Bagak ( S. L. Bis.)
Bakag (Bik.)
Balikupkup (Bis.)
Balision (Is.)
Bisako (Bis.)
Daila (Bis.)
Dibatib (Bis.)
Dukup (Bon.)
Garban (Bis.)
Garusiba (Ibn.)
Gatgati (Bon.)
Gayaman (Sbl.)
Horoa (Bis.)
Kigau (Bon.)
Kilat (Sbl.)
Malapakpak-balauai (Tag.)
Mamisi (Ig.)
Maragayaman (Sbl.)
Tabatib (Tag.)
Takoling (C. Bis.)
Takotin (Bis.)
Tampinbanal (Tag.)
Tibatib (Tag.)
Centipede tongavine (Engl.)
Devil’s ivy (Engl.)
Dragon tail plant (Engl.)
Golden pothos vine (Engl.)
Pothos vine (Engl.)
Swiss-cheese plant (Engl.)
Taro vine (Engl.)


Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Rhaphidophora merrillii Engl. / The Plant List

(2) Epipremnum pinnatum / Vernacular names / GLOBinMED

(3) Epipremnum pinnatum L. Araceae / Medicinal Plants in Papua New Guinea / WHO

Tabatib is a stout vine climbing on tree trunks, reaching a height of 5 to 6 meters. Leaves are oblong-ovate, up to 60 centimeters long, pinnately cleft almost to the midrib into 7 to 12 pairs of lanceolate, acuminate, falcate, 1-nerved lobes, 12 to 20 centimeters long, 2 to 5 centimeters wide. Spathes are several, terminal, white or greenish, in flower about 15 centimeters long and deciduous. Spadix is green, dense, cylindric, nearly or as long as the spathe, 2 to 2.5 centimeters thick in flower, thicker in fruit.

– In thickets and forests at low and medium altitudes in Bontoc, Benguet, La Union, Nueva Viscaya, Zambales, Bataan, Rizal, Laguna, Quezon, and Sorsogon provinces in Luzon; Polilio, Palawan, Leyte, Negros and Mindanao.
– Urban ornamental cultivation.

– Yields Benzenoid (11-phenyldecanoic acid, 15-phenylpen- tadecanoic acid, 13-phenyltridecanoic acid) and alkaloid (tongine).

– Emmenagogue, antidotal, anticancer.

Parts utilized
Sap, leaves.

• Sap used for snake bites.
• Stem used as toothbrush to improve the breath.
• Spadix of plant used as emmenagogue.
• Leaves used for chest pains.
• Root, stem and leaf sheath chewed to alleviate dental ailments, also used for its soothing, sedating effect.
• Used for treatment of diabetes, cancer, and immune system enhancement.
• In Fiji, bark used as treatment of rheumatism, neuralgic headache, back pain, and muscular spasm.
• In Taiwan, used as dental analgesic.
• Mixture of young leaves of E. pinnatum and Imperata cylindrica is crushed in water or coconut jice and solution drunk to treat gonorrhea. Young leaves boiled in water used to treat diabetes and malaria; also used for toothaches. Juice extracted from stem mixed with water and drunk for joint paints, dislocation, and fractures.
• Decoction of leaves use as gargle and mouth wash for gum inflammations and tooth abscesses.
• In Malaysia and Singapore, Epipremnum pinnatum has a reputation as anticancer preparation and a remedy for skin diseases.

• Teeth-blackening: Vine Epipremnum pinnatum used by some Mindanao tribes, also in Bali, Java and Taiwan, used as a chewing agent for teeth blackening.
• Basketry: Inner part or central cylinder of root used for basketry, lamp shades, etc.

Study Findings
• Anticancer: Study of chloroform extract showed growth inhibition against T-47D breast carcinoma cells. Analysis of cell death mechanisms showed the extract elicited both apoptotic and non-apoptotic programmed cell deaths, possibly contributed to by up-regulation of caspase-3 and c-myc mRNA expression, respectively.

Ornamental cultivation.