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Oreocnide integrifolia - (Gaudich.) Miq.

Common Name Wild Rhea
Family Urticaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Rain forests, valleys, at elevations of 200 - 1,400 metres in southern China[266 ]. Understorey trees in disturbed wet evergreen forests at elevations between 300 - 1,400 metres in India.
Range E. Asia - southern China, Bhutan, India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Indonesia.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Wet Soil Full shade Semi-shade
Oreocnide integrifolia Wild Rhea
Oreocnide integrifolia Wild Rhea


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Commonly found in East Asia, Oreocnide integrifolia is an evergreen shrub or tree that grows usually about 5 - 20 m in height. It produces one of the strongest fibers in India which are made into ropes, nets, and coarse cloth. It has no known edible and medicinal uses. It can be grown through seeds, cuttings, and root cuttings.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of cone
Oreocnide integrifolia is an evergreen Tree growing to 12 m (39ft) by 12 m (39ft) 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 can grow in full shade (deep woodland) or semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers moist or wet soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Urtica acuminata Roxb. Villebrunea integrifolia Gaudich.


Edible Uses

None known


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.

None known


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Other Uses

Other Uses A brown fibre is obtained from the stems[46 , 387 , 454 ]. Strong, and flexible, it is made into ropes, nets, and coarse cloth[387 ]. This is one of the strongest fibres produced in India[454 ]. The fibre is extracted from shoots less than 12 months old. The outside green skin or bark and a little slimy matter are scraped off, then the ribbons of partly cleaned fibre are stripped from the shoots, the inside of these ribbons is next scraped with a knife so placed in the hand as to allow the edge to rest against the forefinger. The strips are drawn through repeatedly in order to remove the slimy and gummy substances from the inner face. After being cleaned in this way, the ribbons are left to dry in the shade. Wien fully dried they are next steeped in water and wood-ashes for about twenty-four hours, and then boiled in rice water for four hours. The fibre will then be found to be quite free from gum, and may be separated into fine threads[439 ]. An alternative method, which results in a coarser fibre suited to making ropes, nets etc, is to take off the ribbons when the shoots are in a half-dry state without first scraping off the outer bark and gum. The inner face is also left coated with the slimy substance. The fibre is then purified it in a coarse way by washing it in lime and then twisting it into twine, or simply dividing up the ribbons and without any preparation twisting these into twine[439 ].

Special Uses


Cultivation details

An understorey tree of wet evergreen forests, it requires a position in dappled shade[439 ]. Requires a fertile, humus-rich soil[146 ]. The tree grows freely and quickly, and coppices readily[387 ]. It can be coppiced annually to provide a regular supply of stems from which to extract fibre[439 ]. Although this species is in the nettle family (Urticaceae), it does not have stinging hairs on the leaves or stems[266 ]. A dioecious species, both male and female forms need to be grown if seed is required[266 ].


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Seed - Cuttings Root cuttings

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Wild Rhea, Assamese: Ban rhea, Bon rhea, Chho-oi-paroli, Garo: Khilkhra, Sejugbu, Gingsining, Khasi: Dieng teingbah, Tillejwat

Found In

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

China ; Bhutan; India; Indonesia; Lao People's Democratic Republic; Myanmar; Thailand; Viet Nam

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

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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(Gaudich.) Miq.

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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