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Bitter vine (Mikania micrantha)

Sembung rambat or bitter vine (Mikania micrantha) is a plant species in Asteraceae, crawling or wrapped around trees, perennial that grows up to 27 mm per day in tropical climates, branched stems where heart-shaped or triangular leaves are arranged in pairs and a plant can cover more than 25 square meters in a few months.

M. micrantha has square-shaped stems or longitudinal bones, light green, many branches and has fine hairs. The stems have segments for lengths of 75-215 mm, each segment has a pair of leaves, new shoots and flowers. New roots grow when the segments come in contact with the soil.

Dlium Bitter vine (Mikania micrantha)


The leaves are in pairs and facing each other. Strands do not have hair, heart-shaped or triangular with jagged edges, length 30-125 mm, width 15-60 mm. Petiole is 1-6 cm long and has fine hairs.

The flower panicle grows from the armpit of the leaf and the tip of the stem, having 3-15 mm long stems. Each flower head has 4 minor flowers. The crown is greenish-white, tubular and measures 4-6.5 mm. Black anthers grayish with white.

Formation of seeds begins 17-21 days after flowering, brown to black, linear-oval, five angles, 2 mm long and equipped with 32-38 soft white feathers to fly long distances in the wind or stick to animal hair.

Flowering and fruiting occur throughout the year. One plant can cover more than 25 square meters in a few months using vegetative and generative production of 20,000-40,000 seeds per year to germinate optimally at a temperature of 24-32C.



Bitter vine grows in humid and dry areas, is open and shaded at an altitude of 0-3000 meters. This species has a good tolerance to a variety of soils including acid to alkaline (pH 4.1-8.3), soils with an organic content of 2.29-32.85 and has a positive response to high potassium content.

M. micrantha proliferates quickly after disruption to the environment, especially after fires in disturbed forests, river banks, road sides, grasslands, plantations and cultivated crops. This species also produces allelopathic compounds to suppress the growth of competing plants.

This plant is widely used as sheep feed, but is known to cause hepatotoxicity and liver damage in dairy cows. Also used as a cover crop to prevent soil erosion and green manure to increase rice yield.

M. micrantha is used as an antibacterial, insect bites and scorpion stings. The leaves are used as vegetables to make soup, treat colic and healing agents for itching.

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Tracheophyta
Subphylum: Angiospermae
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily: Asteroideae
Tribe: Eupatorieae
Subtribe: Mikaniinae
Genus: Mikania
Species: Mikania micrantha
Forms: Mikania micrantha f. hirsuta, Mikania micrantha f. micrantha

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