Tacca integrifolia Ker Gawl

[From Malay, taka = Tacca species and from Latin, integrifolia = entire leaves]

Fig. 416. Tacca integrifolia Ker-Gawl.

Synonymy: Ataccia integrifolia (Ker-Gawl) Presl; Tacca cristata Jack; Tacca laevis Roxb.

Common names: White bat plant, black lily; keladi murai, kelemoyang ayer (Malay).

Fig. 416. Tacca integrifolia Ker-Gawl.

Physical description: It is a herb which grows in the mountain jungle paths of China Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, East India, Indonesia, Laos, West Malaysia, Burma, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam. The rhizomes are cylindrical and thick. Leaves: the blade is oblong-lanceolate to oblong-elliptic, 50 cm-5 cm x 18.5cm-21cm. The base is cuneate, the apex is acuminate or caudate. The scape is 55 cm long. The involucral bracts are 4, 2 outer sessile, narrowly deltoid-ovate and 2 inner long petiolate, spatulate and thin. The perianth is purplish black; tubular, 1 cm-2 cm long and comprises of 6 in 2 whorls, the outer ones narrowly oblong and the inner ones are broadly obo-vate. The filaments are spatulate at the apex. The style is short; and the stigma deeply 3-lobed. The fruits are berries which are narrowly ellipsoid, approximately 2cm long, fleshy, 6-ridged, with persistent perianth lobes (Figs. 416 & 417).

Pharmaceutical interest: To date, the pharmacological potential of Tacca integrifolia Ker-Gawl remains unknown. Note that spirostanol saponins, characterized from the tubers of Tacca chantrieri

Andre, inhibit the growth of HL-60 cells cultured in vitro with IC50 value below 10 ^g/mL (Yokosuka A et al., 2002) and that taccalonolides are known to occur in Tacca plantaginea Hance (Shen J etal., 1996). It would be interesting to know

Fig. 417. Tacca integrifolia Ker-Gawl.

Uses: In Malaysia, a paste of tubers of Tacca integrifolia Ker-Gawl is applied to rash caused by insects.

whether a more intensive study of Tacca integrifolia Ker-Gawl would disclose any molecules of therapeutic interest.

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