black-oil plant, celastrus, oriental bittersweet, intellect tree, staff tree • Bengali: kijri, malkangani • Gujarati: માલકંગના malkangana • Hindi: मालकंगनी malkangani • Kannada: ಭವಮ್ಗ bhavamga, ಜೊತಿಷ್ಮತಿ jotishmati, ಕರಿಗನ್ನೇ kariganne, ಕೊಉಗಿಲು kougilu • Konkani: माळकांगोणी malkangoni • Marathi: कांगुणी kanguni, माळकांगोणी malkangoni • Oriya: korsana, pengu • Sanskrit: अलवण alavan, ज्योतिषमति jyotishmati, कन्गु kangu • Tamil: குவரிகுண்டல் kuvarikuntal, மண்ணைக்கட்டி mannai-k-katti, வாலுளுவை valuluvai • Telugu: కాసరతీగె kasara-tige, మానెరు maneru • Urdu: کنگني مال malkanguni;
A large, woody, climbing shrub with corky bark. Leaves5-10 x 3-7 cm, alternate, petioled, suborbicular or obovate, short acuminate, crenate, serrate, more or less coriaceous, apex mucronarte, base round or cordate. Flowers pale-yellow, borne in large, drooping terminal panicles. Sepals rounded, toothed. Petals oblong. Anthers large, almost of the size of petals. Stigmasimple, ovary free. Capsule 1.0-1.5 cm in diameter, globose, usually 3-celled, dark orange when ripe. Seeds 1-2 in each cell, black, enclosed in red arillus.
1a. Inflorescence on lateral shoots, shorter than leaves …. ssp. aggregatus
1b. Inflorescence on terminal shoots, twice as long or more than twice as long as the leaves ….. ssp. paniculatus

Celastrus paniculatus from Morni Hills:
This medicinally important plant “Malkangni“- Celastrus paniculatus
was captured in October 2010 from Morni Hills in Haryana Siwaliks.


130711 RV 1:
Please help to id this plant……its a liana a woody climbers I saw today
in north Mumbai near Film City.

Yes Jyotish mati (Celastrus paniculatus) in Marathi Mal-kangani, Seed oil is used for increasing memory power, as the name jyotish mati, one drop of oil taken along with one cup of milk.
Plant is one of the 21 Ganesh patri (Used in Puja of Lord Ganesha)

What is the sanskrit name of this plant (the one mentioned in the 21 Ganesh patri)?

One more photo of C paniculatus


Patri’s for Lord Ganesha:
Just a compilation of information. Various leaves or Patri’s are offered to Lord Ganesha during the Ganesh Festival. It was a tradition to know and remember these plants during the festival since ancient times. One should not rob or destroy these plants as it happens today. Many alternatives are also sold mimicking the originals.

Recently Celastrus paniculatus (Jyotishmati) was mentioned by somebody as one of the Patri’s offered to Lord Ganesha. Somehow this plant doesn’t  figure in the list provided below. Of course there are variations in the literature.


celastrus panicualatus is an excellent brain tonic. Lord Ganesh is god of VIDYA therefore  in our region fruits are hanging over the head of ganesha. oil of this species is the best brain tonic in Ayurveda. I think this is excellent traditional method for plant conservation.


Flora of Haryana: Celastrus paniculatus from Munak Road Karnal (Haryana):
Celastrus paniculatus from Munak Road Karnal (Haryana). Growing wild large shrub
pls validate

I particularly liked seeing the flowers… never seen them this clear.. or FRESH…
I have only seen them fallen to the ground… usually the tree climbing vises are beyond my reach…

Celastrus paniculatus in Flowering from Karnal-2012:
Celastrus paniculata Willd., Sp. Pl. 1125, 1797; Roxb., Fl. Ind. 621; Fl. Br. Ind. I: 617; Collett, Fl. Simlensis 87; C. multiflora, Roxb., Fl. Ind. I: 622
Vern.: Malkangni, Jyotishmati.
A large, woody, climbing shrub with corky bark. Leaves5-10 x 3-7 cm, alternate, petioled, suborbicular or obovate, short acuminate, crenate, serrate, more or less coriaceous, apex mucronarte, base round or cordate. Flowers pale-yellow, borne in large, drooping terminal panicles. Sepals rounded, toothed. Petals oblong. Anthers large, almost of the size of petals. Stigmasimple, ovary free. Capsule 1.0-1.5 cm in diameter, globose, usually 3-celled, dark orange when ripe. Seeds 1-2 in each cell, black, enclosed in red arillus.
This red listed medicinal plant was shot in blooming from Near Karnal on May 05, 2012.


Celastrus paniculatus Pune May 2012:
Celastrus paniculatus is flowering in Kothrud area at few places Pune May 2012.
Family : Celastraceae
Marathi: Jyotishmati ज्योतिष्मती

saw Indian Bees (Apis cerena indica) relishing on these flowers in huge numbers just 2 days back!


celstrus paniculatus for validation:
please validate the id of this plant.
Name: Celastrus paniculatus subsp. aggregatus
Collection time: 25 August 12
Locality: Jarandeshwar hill, Near Satara, Maharashtra
Distribution: Occasional, only one individual located.
Habit: Scandent, shrubs
Stem: Older ash coloured, younger green, lenticelled.
Leaves: Papery, pale green beneath, smooth, crenate serrate half of upper leaf.
Flowers: Small, 2-3 mm in length, greenish, petals 4

Yes …, This is Celastrus paniculatus…a medicinal plant….

over collecting will doom this plant… people in power must do strong protective regimens…
very important oil comes from it

It doesn’t look like ssp. aggregatus.
To me it is proper subspecies i.e. Celastrus paniculatus ssp. paniculatus.
Subspecies aggregatus should have inflorescence that is compact, and shorter than the leaf (other differences are dealt in the first link below). Due to this, the fruits appear to be in dense clusters (so the name ‘aggregatus’)…
Pl check these links:
threatenedtaxa 2

Celastrus paniculatus [Jyotismati] fruiting:
This is for … and the TAW team members. Photographed at Khandala towards the end of August with …
Some of my previous photographs of this are available at these links

Thank you so much for your pictures of Celastrus paniculatus…….very nice shots. We could see about 5 plants in a distance of one and a half kilometer. I have attached few pictures which I took yesterday.

Climber of ID : 30042013: RV 2 : Attachments (3).  5 posts by 4 authors.
A climber profusely flowering in CEC, Goregaon, Mumbai….requesting for ID of this climber.

This is Celastrus paniculatus,

Yes it is Celastrus paniculatus.
Flowering at present in Pune too.

Yes, Celastrus paniculatus indeed…lovely macro of minute flowers..


Celastrus paniculatus – Mumbai :: 22092013 :: September 2013 : Attachments (2). 4 posts by 3 authors.
Captured this Celastrus paniculatus in SGNP in September 2013….
Requested to please confirm ID.

Yes it is. Very attractively coloured seeds. The leaf shape is also characteristic unmistakable.


Celastraceae fortnight :: Celastrus paniculatus at Tungareshwar WLS :: DV05 : 2 images. 3 posts by 3 authors.
Celastrus paniculatus Willd.
at Tungareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary on 09 AUG 09  

The commonest Indian species


Celastrus paniculatus Willd.
at Tungareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary on 20 APR 13

Very well illustrated.

The commonest Indian species.


This occasionally encountered trailing shrub was shot from Morni Hills and Karnal..
Celastrus paniculatus Willd.

Very beautiful set of pictures!

Celastraceae fortnight :: Celastrus paniculatus at Tungwadi :: DV04 : 3 images. 4 posts by 3 authors.
Celastrus paniculatus Willd.
at Tungwadi near lake Pavana on 01 MAY 12  

Very good photographs …


Came across this plant near Lohagad, Lonavala region in fruiting stage..
Bot. name: Celastrus paniculatus
Date /Time: 20-06-2010 / 06:45AM
Location: Near Bhaje caves (Lohagad- Lonavala region).
Habitat: wild
Plant habit: Large Shrub
Leaves: alternate, around 8 to 10cm, broadly elliptic, crenate, serrate, petioles 1 to 1.5cm (approx).
Flowers were not seen, fruits greenish.

Well, the commonest species in India.

Celastraceae and Sapindaceae Fortnight: Celastraceae – Celastrus paniculatus from SGNP, Mumbai :: ARK-01 : Attachments (3). 1 post by 1 author.
Attached are pictures of Celastrus paniculatus from SGNP, Mumbai captured in July and September 2013.

Celastrus paniculatus
माळ कांगणी
Climbing shrub. Fairly common on the outskirts of the city. Also observed in some parts of Pune city too.


Celastrus paniculatus Willd. is common scandant shrub in Pantnagar area.
The plant is considered medicinal

Id Plz :  6 posts by 5 authors. Attachments (2).
can anyone id this climber
picture taken at Amboli on 17th April 2014 

Isn’t it Celastrus ??

Celastrus paniculatus माळ कांगणी

Yes, Celastrus paniculatus

Celastrus paniculatus


Wild Plant For ID : Nasik : 020514 : AK-4 : Attachments (2). 3 posts by 2 authors.
Wild plant seen near flowing water in a field.
No flowers or pods.

This is also a sapling of Jyotismati [Celastrus paniculatus]. My photographs of this are available at these links :
Google Groups
Google Groups

Wild Plant For ID : Nasik : 010514 : AK-2 : 7 posts by 5 authors. Attachments (3).
Wild plant with lots of tiny buds seen today. (1.5.14)
Unfortunately, no open flowers.

Likely to be Celastrus paniculatus

Yes, i think … is right, it does look like Celastrus paniculatus..

Thanks a lot for the id of this plant seen growing today.

Doubt c. paniculatus though leaves look like but inflorescence is crowfed

Yes Celastrus paniculatus

Can this be Celastrus paniculatus subsp. paniculatus with long inflorescence?

According to Dr. Almeida’s ‘Flora of Maharashtra’ & Yadav and Sardesai’s ‘Flora of Kholapur District’, there is only one species of Celastrus found in Maharashtra and that is Jyotismati. [C.paniculatus].

Yes …, you are right.
It is not subsp. aggregatus, which has inflorescence shorter than leaves.

Konkan, May 2014 :: Requesting ID of this tree :: 29MAY2014 :: ARK-17 : 12 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (5 + 2).
Requesting to please ID this tree captured near Devgad, Maharashtra in May 2014.
The medium sized tree looked very handsome in bloom.

Cassine glauca (Rottb.) Kuntze

Wow, thank you … for the very prompt feedback.
Is this the yet-to-flower stage or the post flowering stage?

Its in proper flowering stage. You can see the open flowers in two of your photographs. Indeed, the flowers are minute.
Its interesting to see the flowering of this species. Many a times, It just co-incidences with Monsoon. 

This looks like Jyotismati [Celastus paniculatus] to me. Please check.
Some of my photographs of Jyotismati for comparison are available at these links :
Google Groups
Google Groups 

My photographs of Bhutuxia [Cassine glauca] for comparison are available at these links:

Thank you … for the feedback…
I am attaching a cropped pic of the flowers….

Affirmative. This is Jyotismati [Celastrus paniculatus].

Could not find these photographs of mine in the archives of this group, so am sending them again.

Thank you … for the confirmation and the additional pics.
Isn’t C. paniculatus a climber?
The climber had completely overtaken the tree and its branches so much so that it led me to believe that it was a tree!!!!!

Affirmative. Cassine glauca is a small deciduous tree, whereas Celastrus paniculatus is a large climbing shrub. Please check this link :
Google Groups

Fully agree with … for the ID- Celastrus paniculatus Willd.
…, I missed observing the habit of the plant closely. Apologies.

Celastrus paniculatus
Climbing shrub; rightly explained earlier is found occasionally on the outskirts of city limits and occasionally within city itself in some pockets of Pune. Maharashtra. One big patch is observed close to my house on canal road in kothrud.

Celastrus paniculatus : For ID Confirmation : Jim Corbett,Uttarakhand : 060614 : AK-15 : 8 posts by 5 authors. Attachments (3).
Climber seen growing wild.
Is this Celastrus paniculatus which was recently posted by me from Nasik?
Kindly validate.

Yes in my opinion it is C.paniculatus. However, the plant seems to have variability and in inner hills in Himalaya it makes smaller inflorescences while here in outer hills and also in Pantnagar it may produce one feet long inflorescences.

C.paniculatus subsp. agrigatus may be kindly check characters.

Yes please.  Correct only

Yes please. Correct only

efi page on Celastrus paniculatus subsp. aggregatus 

I agree with the ID: Celastrus paniculatus (subsp. paniculatus).
In subsp. aggregatus, the inflorescence is shorter than the leaves.

ANOCT30 Cassine paniculata : 12 posts by 7 authors. Attachments (5).
5th October 2014

It is Celastrus paniculatus Willd., valuluvai (T), malkangni (H) seeds are commercial scale crude drug

Sir I broke this twig with infructescence from a tree. I checked because I have mistaken Celastrus for a tree before and there were no lianas on the tree.

did you also take a picture of the tree? its trunk, its canopy and trunk bark etc

Sorry ma’am. That is one thing I forgot to do.
I will be visiting the area again in the coming week. I will certainly do it then.

if we know the overall anatomy it helps in id
and then when we ourselves are out hiking/walking if we see same or similar overall features, the memory triggers recognition and may be make us stop and look and photograph.

efi page on Elaeodendron paniculatum (Synonym : Cassine paniculata (Wight & Arn.) Lobr.-Callen)

Though I have not seen Cassine paniculata yet, to make a comment, but the posted plant seems to match well with Celastrus paniculatus….

This is beyond doubt Celastrus paniculatus.

The images attached with your mail are of Celastrus paniculatus. In Cassine the leaves are opposite or subopposite.

Celastrus paniculatus.

SR1APR2015 .Id Plz : 5 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (3)

help me id this climber
flowers fragrant
leaves : alternate
place : Kolhapur MH
Date : 23rd April2015

This is Celastrus paniculatus

Yes Celastrus paniculatus is presently flowering at many places around Pune too.

ANMAY21/22 Please identify this tree : 2 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (9)
Date: 30th April 2015
Place: Hassan District, Karnataka

Habit: Tree
Habitat: Scrub forest

Celastrus paniculatus

So, not a tree. Thank you for the correction, .. I have confused Celastrus for a tree many times.

Often such plants are described as climbing shrubs.
I have yet to know the fine differences between this term and the term climber.
Not a tree though

Yes sir, thank you once again.

Celastrus the world over is a climber, prolific, and develops interesting fruits, with descendent capsule when really ripe revealing a red berry inside.
seeds of this celastrus from india is Jyotishmati, imp food for brain, i understand its oil is used.
twigs with the dehiscent fruits and red berries, are an interesting fall to winter brightener of indoor
flower pots when everything else is dead and brown, In usa a popular thing to find on walks in the woods and bring home some color. But that celastrus is a vine much disliked because it chokes its supporting tree, in australia its burned i think whenever found.

please tell is this flower belongs to Celastrus paniculatus : 6 posts by 5 authors. Attachments (4)
i got this flower from a plant believed to be Celastrus paniculatus. In all books Celastrus paniculatus consists of 5 stamens. all stamens contains large number of pollen grains. but in this flower the stamens are too small and hardly contains one or two pollen. the gynoecium is large in size.

Please check C.paniculatus in the link

These are female flowers. Celastrus paniculatus, and I think most species of Celastrus are dioecious. Dioecious plants have male (staminate) flowers on one plant, and female (pistillate) flowers on another plant. The stamens are not completely absent, or usually slightly reduced in size in the female flowers. In the link by … below the flowers are typically male flowers with a reduced pistil.

Yes it appears to be Celastrus paniculata (malkangni)

Thank you … for the information. Now I understand why I never saw any fruit on that plant of C.paniculata.

Images by tspkumar



It is my pleasure to present a few images of Celastrus paniculatus  (Celastraceae 

Habit: A large woody climber 

Habitat: Wild, Evergreen forest. 

Sighting: Kottigehara, Chikmagalur, about 1000 msl 

Date: 28-11-2015

Very good fruit photo.

The typical acuminate tip of the good quality leaf is lacking here. I am sure you will capture it next time …

Thanks … I will definitely take some more pics with more diagnostic features.


PM 28-05-2018 Plant id from Sukhna Wildlife Sanctury, Chandigarh : 4 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (7)
Habit- A large woody climber with Panicle type of inflorescence
Habitat- Wild found growing along a water reservoir
Locality- Sukhna wildlife sanctury, Kansal Range, Chandigarh

Please check for Celastrus paniculata (Celastraceae).
C. paniculata in eFI.

Yes it is matching with C.paniculata


Please help identify climber-Clicked 17-May-2018. : 6 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (4)
Please help identify climber in attached pictures.

Clicked on 17-May-2018. It is in Mumbai. Seems someone planted it one or two years back.

Climber for ID : Nasik : 26SEP21 : AK – 045: 4 images.
Climber seen in Nasik yesterday (26.9.21) with orange berries.

Bad pictures due to low light and taken from a distance.
Is this some Smilax Species?

Must be Celastrus paniculatus Willd. but images are not so clear !

Yes it’s Celastrus paniculatus,


Celastrus paniculatus Willd.: 7 very high res. images.

Location: Surkhet, West Nepal
Altitude: 370m.
Date: 28 August 2021
Habit : Wild


Small Tree For ID : Nasik : 10MAY22 : AK – 02: 4 images.
Seen at the base of Borgad Conservation Reserve.
The forest guard gave the local name as Bondara.

Are you sure it is a tree?

Do you think it is a woody climber growing on the tree, whose name was given as Bondara?
This could be possible since the flowers looked different to me.

Pl. post high res. images to check the details.

It does look like it is a climber.
Celastrus paniculatus, I think

3 very high res. images.

Yes, Celastrus paniculatus, to me also.


Identification help!: 4 images.

Please review the photos and help me to identify.
Location : Mhatoba tekdi, Pune, Maharashtra.
Habit: Tree
Date: 07/04/23
observation : all the leaves where folded when seen at evening.

Celastrus paniculatus

Yes, appears close to images at


SK 3841 16 August 2023: 9 high res. images.

Location: Jajarkot Road, West Nepal 
Date: 30 May 2023
Elevation 800m.
Habit : Wild

Celastrus paniculatus


Celastraceae: Celastrus paniculatus Willd.: 1 image.
location/date: Jabalpur Distr., Madhya Pradesh, October 1994