Pentaphragma sinense Hemsl. & E.H. Wilson

Pentaphragma sinense Hemsl. & E.H. Wilson; Bull. Misc. Inform. Kew 1906(5): 160 1906.

Pentaphragma sinense
Pentaphragma sinense
Pentaphragma sinense Hemsl. & E.H. Wilson; Nam Tuấn
Pentaphragma sinense
Pentaphragma sinense
Pentaphragma sinense Hemsl. & E.H. Wilson; Photo by 帝天生

Vietnamese name: 

Bánh lái, Bánh tái, Tai voi, tai nây

Chinese name: 

五膜草 wu mo cao 

English name:

Latin name: 

Pentaphragma sinense Hemsl. & E.H. Wilson


No synonyms are recorded for this name.




Plants covered with glandular hairs and these mixed with stellate hairs on young stems, petioles, abaxial surface of leaf blade, inflorescence axis, bracts, pedicels, and calyx. Rhizome to 30 × 1 cm, ± woody. Fibrous roots ca. 3 mm in diam. Stem short but robust, with leaves borne at one side. Leaves petiolate; petiole 3-10 cm; leaf blade ovate, asymmetric, 10-20 × 5-12 cm, main veins arcuate, margin entire or obscurely verrucose denticulate. Inflorescences solitary or 2 together, pedunculate, strongly curved, bracteate; peduncle 2-4 cm; bracts ovate, with 2 flowers at axil; pedicels 1-2 mm. Calyx tube campanulate; calyx lobes broadly elliptic or linear-oblong, ca. 6 × 2-3 mm. Corolla white, 6-7 mm, cleft for more than halfway; lobes long elliptic. Stamens: connective higher than anther cells; anther cells long ellipsoid, almost laterally longitudinally dehiscent. Stigma conic, almost smooth. Berry obovoid, ca. 9 mm. Seeds ovoid, ca. 0.3 mm; testa yellow, obviously reticulate.. 

Flower and Fruit season: 

May to November.


This species is distributed in Southern China, Laos and Vietnam. In Vietnam, trees grow in humid mountainous areas, under the shadow of other trees Lao Cai, Vinh Phu through Quang Nam-Da Nang to the Central Highlands provinces.


Forests, by streams, moist shady banks of ravines; at an elevation of 200-1500 m.

Parts used: 

Leaves - Folium Pentaphragmae

Chemical composition: 

Young leaves contain 95% water, protid 0.8%, glucid 1.9%, fiber 1.5% ash 0.8% calcium 411mg%, phosphor 5.4mg%, carontene 1.6mg%, vitamin C 17mg%. 


Used to eat vegetables. People use boiled or chopped young leaves and tops to cook soup like spinach. 





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