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    Jawa Barat

Naming Identity

The watermelon begonia plant is scientifically known in Latin as Pellonia repens, or which is synonymous with the name Procris repens (Lour.) B.J.Conn & Prize. Internationally, in English, this plant is popular with the names watermelon begonia, trailing watermelon begonia, satin creeper, or rainbow vine.

The genus name Pellionia is taken from the name of French Vice Admiral Joseph Alphonse Odet-Pellion (1796-1868) who sailed with French navigator Louis de Freycinet on a voyage around the world from 1817-1820. Meanwhile, the species name repens means growing or consumed, referring to the plant's growth habbit (NParks | Procris Repens, 2022).















Pellonia repens

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The Pellonia repens plant or watermelon begonia is a plant that originates from countries on the Asian continent including the Southeast Asian region of India, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Singapore as well as China, Bhutan, and India.

Description of Form and Habitat

Pellonia repens is a climbing herbaceous plant that generally grows bent or sticking out to the ground. This plant can grow to a height of up to 15 cm with a length extending up to 60 cm.

The leaves grow in alternate positions and are said to be fleshy with the sides of the leaf blade being serrated and wrinkled. The leaves are elliptical or oval with a length of around 2.5 to 10 cm and a width of around 2 to 5 cm.

The tiny white or pink flowers with a silver tinge are arranged in clusters on the branches.

The main character of this plant is its pattern with a color that resembles watermelon rind which easily turns purple or brown as the plant ages.

Apart from generally growing as an ornamental plant, Pellonia repens can also grow in shady and damp places between rocks and floors in the forest.

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Benefits of Pellonia repens or Watermelon Begonia for Health and Other Uses

Apart from being able to beautify the garden as a hanging ornamental plant, the Pellonia repens plant also has other uses and health benefits that not many people know about.

This plant is said to be a plant that can be used as a food plant for butterfly caterpillars, large egg flies (Hypolimnas bolina bolina), Jacintha egg flies (Hypolimnas bolina jacintha), and Danaid egg flies (Hypolimnas Misippus Misippus). Meanwhile, in traditional Malay medicine in Southeast Asia or Singapore and Malaysia in particular, the Pellonia repens plant is used to help heal boils, swollen areas and stomach aches. In the same area, a decoction of this plant is also used for rheumatism (NParks | Procris Repens, 2022).

His study of the compound content of the Pellonia repens plant may be traced to the Urticaceae family which has much biological importance of angiosperms because of its various phytoconstituents and valuable medicinal uses. The ingredients contained in this family are triterpenes, sterols, flavonoids, lignans, sesquiterpenes, alkaloids and simple phenolic compounds. Not only that, various compounds that are responsible for biological activity can also be found in this family, such as cytotoxic, antimicrobial (antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral), anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, anti-prostate hyper benignplasia, hepatoprotective, antioxidant and wound healing (Assaf et al. . ., 2021).

However, not much research has been carried out on the Pellonia repens species so the validity of its contents and health benefits are not yet known.

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