It is the only common climber that grows
climbing habit . With delicate white flowers, when Common Derris
blooms in the Park, it can be as pretty as bridal decorations!
Uses: The leaves contain the chemical compound rotenone, a poison
that kills a wide range of creatures from insects to earthworms and
fish. Derris trifoliata and another species, D. elliptica, are used
to produce rotenone in commercial quantities as an insecticide.
Locals use crushed leaves to stun or kill fish and shrimp which are
then easily collected. This method of fishing, however, is
prohibited in many areas because it is so destructive
Derris is also one of the components of poison-arrow. The plant is
also used to produce cordage.
choke marks on treeRole in the habitat: Like other climbers, Common
Derris provides shelter for the smaller creatures of the mangroves.
The plants also form an interlocking framework among trees for added
strength against coastal storms.
An aggressive plant, Common Derris can form deep "choke" marks on
its host tree . But eventually, the host trees usually prevail,
breaking the vines. Thus Common Derris doesn't "strangle" its host.