HOME      •      SEARCH      •      EMAIL    •     ABOUT

Family Orchidaceae
Philippine ground orchid
Spathoglottis plicata Blume

Scientific names Common names
Bletia angustifolia Gaudich.      Common spathoglottis (Engl.)
Calanathe poilanei Gagnep.      Large purple orchid (Engl.)
Paxtonia rosea Lindl.      Malayan ground orchid (Engl.)
Phaius rumphii Blume      Philippine ground orchid (Engl.)
Spathoglottis angustifolia (Gaudich.) Benth. & Hook.f.      Philippine orchid (Engl.)
Spathoglottis angustorum Rchb.f. Pleated leaf spathoglottis (Engl.)
Spathoglottis daenikeri Kraenzl. Spathoglottis orchid (Engl.)
Spathoglottis deplanchei Rchb.f.  
Spathoglottis grandifolia Schltr.  
Spathoglottis lilacina Griff.  
Spathoglottis papuana var. puberiflora Rogers & White  
Spathoglottis papuana var. puberula Schltr.  
Spathoglottis plicata Blume  
Spathoglottis plicata f. alba (Ridl.) N.H.Tuan & O.Gruss  
Spathoglottis plicata f. alba N.H.Tuan & O.Gruss  
Spathoglottis plicata var. alba Ridl.  
Spathoglottis plicata var. minahassae Schltr.  
Spathoglottis rosea (Lindl.) G.Nicholson   
Spathoglottis spicata Lindl.  
Spathoglottis vieillardii Rchb.f.  
Spathoglottis wariana Schltr.  
Spathoglottis plicata Blume is an accepted species. KEW: Plants of the World Online

Other vernacular names
CHINA: San zi tong.
INDONESIA: Anggrek songkok.
OTHERS: Lumbah tikus.

Gen info
- Spathoglottis, commonly known as purple orchids, is a genus of about 50 species of orchids in the family Orchidaceae.
- Spathoglottis plicata, commonly known as Philippine ground orchid or large purple orchid, is an evergreen, terrestrial plant found from tropical and subtropical Asia to Australia and the western Pacific, including Tonga and Samoa. (2)

- S. plicata was first formally described in 1825 by Carl Ludwig Blume who published the description in Bijdragen tot de flora van Nederlandsch Indië.
- Etymology: The genus name Spathoglottis derives from Greek spathe, and glotta, meaning sheathed tongue, referring to the broad labellum midlobe or spathulate-shaped lip. The species epithet plicata derives from Latin, referring to the plicate or folded leaves (distinctive longitudinal folds). (9)
- Spathoglottis plicata was previously listed as "vulnerable" under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, but was delisted in 2010. (2)

Spathoglottis plicata is an evergreen, terrestrial herb which forms tall clumps. Crowded pseudobulbs are 40–60 mm (1.6–2.4 in) long and 20–40 mm (0.8–2 in) wide, each with three or four pleated leaves 50–90 mm (2–4 in) long and 8–15 mm (0.3–0.6 in) wide on a stalk 80–150 mm (3–6 in) long. Up to forty deep pink to purple resupinate flowers 35–55 mm (1–2 in) long and wide are borne on a hairy flowering stem 50–100 cm (20–40 in) tall. Dorsal sepal is 20–30 mm (0.8–1 in) long and the lateral sepals are slightly narrower. Petals are about the same length as the sepals but significantly wider. Labellum is T-shaped, a similar size to the dorsal sepal and has three lobes with the side lobes close to vertical. At the tip of the column there is a cap, under which masses of yellow pollen grains can be seen. Fruit is a capsule about 3 mm (0.1 in) long, green and cylindrical. After the flower is fertilized, the seeds take about six weeks to develop. When ripe, the capsule splits open and thousands of tiny seeds are carried away by wind. (2)

• Medium to large terrestrial orchid commonly found in Singapore. Foliage: Long, straplike leaves are light green and pleated. Flowers: Pinkish purple, odorless flowers occur in groups of 5 - 30 and open a few at a time (4 cm wide). Flowers are composed of 1 dorsal sepal, 2 petals, 2 lateral sepals and a lip which are all pinkish purple. The terminal inflorescence is borne on a long stalk reaching up to 1.5 - 2 m in length. This species is free flowering. Fruit: Seed pod is light green and cylindrical. (9)

- Native to the Philippines. (1)
- Also native to Andaman Is., Assam, Bangladesh, Bismarck Archipelago, Borneo, Cambodia, Caroline Is., Cook Is., East Himalaya, Fiji, India, Jawa, Laos, Lesser Sunda Is., Malaya, Maluku, Marianas, Myanmar, Nansei-shoto, New Caledonia, New Guinea, Nicobar Is., Niue, Philippines, Queensland, Samoa, Santa Cruz Is., Solomon Is., Sri Lanka, Sulawesi, Sumatera, Taiwan, Thailand, Tonga, Vanuatu, Vietnam, Wallis-Futuna Is. (1)

- Phytochemical profiling for alkaloids using Wagner's reagent in vitro yielded seeds +++. callus ++ and shoot buds ++; natural parts yielded root +++, leaf +++, and stem +++. Phytochemical screening of natural plant parts yielded flavonoids, saponins, tannins, terpenoids, steroids, phenols, leucoanthocyanins, glycosides, and coumarins in roots, leaf, and stem; anthroquinone in root and stem; and phlobatannins in root and leaf.  (4)

- Study suggested cytotoxicity properties.

Parts used
Leaves, roots, seeds.


-  No reports found on edibility.
- No reported folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.
- In Bangladesh, leaves are extensively used by local tribes for its styptic properties for treatment of boil and fevers. Mixture of roots pounded with ginger is extracted with water and used for treatment of paralysis and chronic illness. Seeds are used for healing wounds. Whole plant used as tonic and for treatment of vertigo, weakness of the eyes, and burns. (4) Used for treatment of rheumatoic arthritis. (6)
- Seeds used to promote a fair complexion for Javanese lasses. (7)
- In Indonesia, plant paste or juice topically applied for rheumatism and earache; used to promote countenance. (8)
- In Malaysia, poultice of leaves applied to painful joints.

Cytotoxicity against Breast Cancer Cells:
Study evaluated the cytotoxic activity and IC50 value of aquadest, ethanolic, and chloroform extracts of  S. plicata's pseudobulbs, leaves, and whole plants on T47D cells (breast cancer cell line) and cytotoxic activity of specific fractions of most toxic crude extract. Results showed 2 of 9 crude extracts showed a concentration dependent pattern of inhibition.  The chloroform extract showed lowest IC50 369.837 µg/mL, while fraction IV showed 144.41 µg/mL. Results suggest leaves have moderate potency to develop as anticancer agent, especially breast cancer. (5)


April 2024

                                                 PHOTOS / ILLUSTRATIONS
IMAGE SOURCE: Spathoglottis plicata / Island of Fatu Iva, Marquesas Is., French Polynesia / Sémhur / CC BY-SA 3.0 / Click on image or link to go to source page / Wikipedia
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Spathoglottis plicata flower detail / Swardeepak / CC BY-SA 4.0 / Click on image or link to go to source page / Wikipedia
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Spathoglottis plicata / White cultivar from Bukidnon / Obsidian Soul / CC0 / Click on image or link to go to source page / Wikipedia

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Spathoglottis plicata / KEW: Plants of the World Online
Spathoglottis plicata / Wikipedia
Spathoglottis / Wikipedia
Comparative phytochemical investigation of natural and in vitro raised plant parts of Spathoglottis plicata Blume: A terrestrial medicinal orchid of Bangladesh / Tapash Kumar Bhowmik, Minhajur Rahman, Md Mahbubur Rahman / International Journal of Botany Studies, 2020; 5(6): pp 223-228 / ISSN: 2455-541X

CYTOTOXIC EFFECT OF AQUADEST, ETHANOLIC, AND CHLOROFORM EXTRACTS OF Spathoglottis plicata Blume ON BREAST CANCER CELLS LINE (T47D CELLS) / Mukhlish Jamal Musa Holle, Hestri Dyah Puspitasari, Andaru Satryo, Wahyu Dewi Astuti Ningrum, Digdo Sudigyo, Ardaning Nuriliani / KnE Life Sciences / International Conference on Biological Sciences (ICBS-2013)
Medicinal plants used against rheumatoid arthritis by traditional medicinal practitioners of Bangladesh / AH Mollik et al / Planta Med, 2009; 75 - PD58 / DOI: 10.1055/s-0029-1234537
Genus: Satyrium to Sunipia / Eng Soon Teoh MD / Medicinal Orchids of Asia, 2016 /
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-24274-3_20
Ethnomedicinal properties of orchidaceae by local communities in Lake Toba region, North Sumatera, Indonesia / A Aswandi, CR Kholibrina / IOP Conf. Series: Earth and Environmental Science, 2021; 914: 012056 / DOI: 10.1088/1755-1315/914/1/012056
Spathoglottis plicata / National Parks: FLORA & FAUNA WEB

DOI: It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page. (Citing and Using a (DOI) Digital Object Identifier)

                                                            List of Understudied Philippine Medicinal Plants
                                          New plant names needed
The compilation now numbers over 1,300 medicinal plants. While I believe there are hundreds more that can be added to the collection, they are becoming more difficult to find. If you have a plant to suggest for inclusion, native or introduced, please email the info: scientific name (most helpful), local plant name (if known), any known folkloric medicinal use, and, if possible, a photo. Your help will be greatly appreciated.

HOME      •      SEARCH      •      EMAIL    •     ABOUT