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Sabah Snake Grass, Clinacanthus nutans - Plant

Note: The image is for reference purpose only. The actual product may vary in shape or appearance based on climate, age, height etc.
Sabah Snake Grass, Clinacanthus nutans is a tall, erect herbaceous perennial that can sometimes become a rambling shrub.
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Description for Sabah Snake Grass, Clinacanthus nutans

Clinacanthus nutans is a tall, erect herbaceous perennial that can sometimes become a rambling shrub, growing up to 10 feet. It is a scandent shrub, with upright branches drooping over. Foliage is simple with stalked leaves 4-12 cm long by 1-4 cm wide. The flowers are up to 4 cm long, with a green base, borne in dense terminal racemes followed by brown fruits.

Common name Flower colours Bloom time Height Difficulty
Sabah snake grass, Belalai gajah, Phaya-Yor Red/Crimson - Up to 10 feet Easy to grow

Planting and care

Natural habitats are forests and thickets at low elevations. It can be propagated by seed or stem cutting. Prepare soil mixture with the ordinary garden soil/loamy soil and organic fertilizers. You can add some river sand. Re-pot when a plant starts to grow drastically.

Sunlight Soil Water Temperature Fertilizer
Full sun Moist/ Well-Drained/ Fertile Loamy Soil Medium 18 to 28 degrees C Use any organic fertilizer.

Caring for Sabah Snake Grass

  • You can apply fruit peel, vegetable leaves, used ground coffee, used tea leaves, and water from washing rice grains as an organic fertilizer.
  • Water twice daily, once in the morning and once in the evening.
  • Avoid very hot weather or heavy rains.
  • The watering should not be directly onto the leaves to avoid damage that could produce brown spots on leaves.


Harvest leaves when they fully grew.

Typical uses of Sabah Snake Grass

Special features: Edible leaves

Culinary use: The young leaves are eaten as a vegetable.

Ornamental use: It is sometimes cultivated as a hedge plant.

Medicinal use: The plant is commonly used in the folk medicine of China and Asia.


  • http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl/record/kew-2727901
  • https://toptropicals.com/cgi-bin/garden_catalog/cat.cgi?uid=Clinacanthus_nutans&comments=1
  • Dictionary of Economic Plants
  • https://florafaunaweb.nparks.gov.sg/Special-Pages/plant-detail.aspx?id=5655
  • https://www.flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/Sabah%20Snake%20Grass.html

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