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Maclura cochinchinensis - (Lour.) Corner

Common Name Cockspur Thorn, Thorny Cockspur
Family Moraceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Thickets and brushwood in lowland forest and up to elevations of 1,800 metres[310 ].
Range E. Asia - Indian subcontinent through Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia, Indo-China, to Australia.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Tender Full sun
Maclura cochinchinensis Cockspur Thorn, Thorny Cockspur
Maclura cochinchinensis Cockspur Thorn, Thorny Cockspur
John Tann


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Cocksure thorn or Maclura cochinchinensis is a slow-growing thorny vine native to China, Malesia, Queensland, and New South Wales. The stems grow up to 10 m long and up to 15 cm in diameter. The thorns are present on the nodes. It has been popularly used in ‘batik’ processes in Indonesia. The leaves are oblong and arranged alternately. The fruit is hairy, round, and green but turns yellow-orange as it ripens. The young leaves and fruits can be eaten. The wood is used to treat fevers while root decoction is used against coughs. The heartwood yields yellow dye that is used as an ingredient in traditional ‘soga-batik’ when mixed with other dyes.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Maclura cochinchinensis is an evergreen Shrub growing to 10 m (32ft) by 8 m (26ft) at a slow rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Cudrania cochinchinensis (Lour.) Kudo & Masam. Cudrania javanensis Trécul. Maclura javanica Blume. V


Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit  Leaves
Edible Uses:

The young leaves are sometimes eaten raw[310 ]. The fruit is edible[310 ].

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

The wood is used to treat fevers[310 ]. A decoction of the roots is used to alleviate coughing[310 ].

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Other Uses

Other Uses The heartwood, particularly of the larger roots, but also of the stem, is used to dye textiles yellow[310 ]. A yellow dye is obtained when alum is used as a mordant, a green is obtained when it is mixed with indigo {Indigifera spp), red when combined with sappan wood (Caesalpinia sappan), and orange-green with turmeric(Curcuma longa)[46 , 310 ]. It is also used in mixtures of dyes with other plants[310 ]. It is an ingredient of the traditional 'soga-batik', together with the bark of Ceriops tagal and Peltophorum pterocarpum[310 ]. Sometimes the dye is used for colouring other materials like mattings[310 ]. In the traditional 'soga-batik' process the wood is chopped into small pieces (3 - 5 cm), and mixed with the chopped bark of Ceriops tagal and Peltophorum pterocarpum, usually in the ratio of 1:2:4, but other proportions are also used, depending on the desired colour[310 ]. The mixture is put into a pan, covered with water, and boiled until it has thickened to the right consistency; this usually takes about 8 hours[310 ]. After cooling, filtering, and about 2 hours of precipitation, the liquid is transferred to another pan and used for dyeing cotton textiles[310 ]. For this purpose the textile, partly covered by wax where colouring is not wanted, is soaked in the warm to cool (but not hot) infusion until absorption is even. Then, the textile is dried in a shady place. This process of soaking and drying is repeated at least 20 times for good quality 'soga-batik'[310 ].

Special Uses

Cultivation details

A slow growing plant, the stems reaching 10 - 15cm diameter in about 10 - 15 years[310 ]. Formerly extensively used in 'batik' processes. The easy availability of synthetic dyes has largely reduced the use of this plant, but it is still locally used in dyeing processes[310 ]. However, the traditional 'soga-batik' produced with it is very expensive and used only in ceremonies, particularly by Javanese nobility[310 ]. As the demand for 'soga-batik' is decreasing and as it is becoming more and more difficult to obtain the wood, the use of this vegetable dye so highly esteemed in Javanese culture can be expected to disappear completely in the near future[310 ].

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Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Cockspur Thorn, Thorny Cockspur, Amali, Damaru, Manda, Mangei, Kamgu, Gou ji, Kederang, Kangu, Tegerang, Kuderang, Ke le, Pulikait, Tekum esing, Bapou chuni,

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Australia, Asia, Asia, Australia, Bhutan, Burma, Cambodia, China, East Timor, Himalayas, India, Indochina, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Northeastern India, Pacific, Papua New Guinea, PNG, Philippines, SE Asia, Sikkim, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Vietnam,

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Maclura pomiferaOsage Orange, Bois D'ArcTree15.0 4-9 MLMHNDM12 
Maclura tinctoriaFustic TreeTree20.0 10-12 MLMHNDM224

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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(Lour.) Corner

Botanical References

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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