Erythropalum scandens Blume, Bijdr. 922 1826. (syn. Dactylium vagum Griff.; Decastrophia inconspicua Griff.; Erythropalum grandifolium Elmer; Erythropalum populifolium Mast.; Erythropalum triandrum Quisumb. & Merr.; Erythropalum vagum (Griff.) Mast.; Mackaya populifolia Arn.; Modeccopsis vaga Griff.);
¿ er-ith-roh-PAL-um ? — Greek: erythro (red)palum (stake); dehisced segments of persistent calyx alludes to stakes
 — climbing or sprawling … Dave’s Botanary 
India: In forest undergrowth and along margins of evergreen forests. West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Nagaland, Manipur. Tripura, Meghalaya, Sikkim, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andamans; Bangladesh, Nepal, Indo-China, Malay Peninsula. Philippines, Thailand, S. W. China and Celebes as per BSI Flora of India;
China (Guangdong, Guangxi, S-Guizhou, Hainan, Yunnan), SE-Tibet, Bangladesh, Brunei, Thailand, Vietnam, Java, India (West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, Tripura, Meghalaya, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala), Sikkim, Philippines, Nepal, Thailand, Sumatra, Borneo, Lesser Sunda Isl. (Flores), NE-Sulawesi, Moluccas (Sulu Arch., Talaud Isl.), peninsular Malaysia (widespread), Andamans (South Andamans), Nicobars (Central Nicobars), Myanmar [Burma] (Bago, Mon, Sagaing, Taninthayi, Yangon), Bhutan, Laos, Singapore as per Catalogue of Life;

Tendrillate climbers. Leaves alternate, 11-15 x 7-10 cm, ovate to deltoid, apex acuminate, base truncate, 3-ribbed, glaucous below, membranous. Flowers in axillary peduncled cymes, drooping, pedicellate; sepals cupular, 5-toothed; petals 5, 6 x 2 mm, oblong, obtuse, yellow; stamens 5, filaments very short, staminodes hairy; disc surrounds the ovary, ovary 1-celled, 1-3 ovuled, style short, stigma 3-fid. Fruit ovoid, 8 x 6 mm, orange-red, glabrous; seed 1, bluish-black, aril red.

Flowering and fruiting: December-March
Evergreen and semi-evergreen forests
Indo-Malesia to South West China and Celebes

Charmadi Ghat Karnataka
Date: 12 NOV 2016 … Altitude: explored between: 873 – 976 m (2863 – 3201 ft) asl
Erythropalum scandens Blume … (family: Olacaceae)

You have been posting beautiful pics from this region.

Bhagamandala – Thalacauvery Road Karnataka
Date: 22 FEB 2017 … Altitude range: ~ 907 – 1122 m (2976 – 3683 ft) asl
Erythropalum scandens Blume … (family: Olacaceae

Kindly examine and identify this plant 

Habit: Climbing shrub 

Habitat: Wild, Evergreen forest 

Sighting: Near Sakaleshpur, Karnataka, about 1000 msl 

Date: 22-01-2016

Most possibly Erythropalum scandens.

Thanks …. I think you are on the button. Erythropalum scandens

I took this  picture at Mudumalai, Tamil Nadu on 9/5/2007
It is a shrub.
Among so many similar shrubs I saw only one fruit like this.
It is a shrub.
ID please

Me too saw this tree in Satyamangalam. The plant is Olax sp.

The plant in question is not a tree, it is a climber. This belongs to Erythropalum populnifolium and not Olax as you think. This species often climbs on other trees/shrubs and we often confused it as a tree or a shrub. Attached my  photographs for comparison. Advance apology if I am wrong!
3 images.

What a beautiful fruit. The only other blue (not purple) fruit I know is of Symplocos. Olax fruit is very characteristic being partly enclosed. At least the ones I know are then easy to distinguish from others



Diploclisia glaucescens (Blume) Diels SN mar 38 : Attachments (2). 5 posts by 4 authors.
Diploclisia glaucescens (Blume) Diels; Fam Menispermaceae; Climber from Bahamandala area of Karnataka

The leaf shape and inflorescence type doesn’t match Diploclisia glaucescens. Could this be something else?
The link from Flowers of India

yes, I think Diplocliscia fruits are larger and white in colour

Erythropalum scandens.

Thank you … for identifying the specimen. Erythropalum scandens Blume Fam: Olacaceae


ANAPR02 Climber for identification : 5 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (10)

Date: March 2015
Place: Aralam WLS, Kerala
Habit: Climber
Habitat: Evergreen forest

Erythropalum scandens.

potentially important medicine plant

Thanks … and thank you for the information, ma’am. Found this article on its medicinal usage and another interesting one about its anatomical (microscopic) features.


GKE 2 : 5 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (1)
Please identify this….

Thanks, … Cocculus trilobus (Thunb.) DC. Synonym of Cocculus orbiculatus (L.) DC.
But I think it’s found in E. India (Himalayas) as per:

Was the photo taken in E. India ?

No, it was from kozhikode dt., kerala

It may be Erythropalum scandens.

Id : 3 posts by 3 authors.
please help me to identify this climber. Is it a member of Menispermaceae?
From Kannur dist., Kerala

Thanks, … Pl. check comparative images of different species in efi at Menispermaceae

Appears to be Erythropalum scandens. But some more angles could help.


Please help with the name vaathavallikodi for Erythropalum scandens in native script.
Reference: Gardentia

It should be வாதவள்ளிக்கொடி.
As you might have noticed, the terms “valli” and “kodi” are synonymous, meaning “climber” or “twiner”!

Thank you very much, … Now that you told me about kodi, it strikes me !
In the description for this plant, the habit is described as tendriliate climber, thus a twining climber !
I could not find about vaatha, please help. May be the English name for this plant can be made from Tamil.

Sorry to have asked about vaatha !! It is one of the three doshas: Vata. Pitta, and Kapha.


I searched the net and some books available with me, to find meaning of Erythropalum.
While Greek erytho is well known to be mean “red”, could not find what palum in context of the genus name stands for.
I have a feeling that it may be connected to red dehisced fruit.
Palus, in Latin would be plural form of palum. In Wiktionary, palus seems to have range of meanings: swamp, marsh, morass, bog, fen, pool … stake, prop, post.

On much of searching, I think the nearest meanings of palum in context of the genus name are: stake or pale.
References: Worldnews (search for the word palum on the webpage) and the Wiktionary page of palus.
Wooden stakes / pales (palings) are normally seen used for building fences.
I am assuming that the dehisced segments of persistent calyx seen in Erythropalum scandens fruit allude to stakes. I hope so. Please validate.

There is a very reliable authentic book named “Botanical Latin” by William T. Stearn (third revised edition, 1983). I have a personal PDF of the same (22 mb) which can not be shared via email.  Here I get the following meaning which has to be followed:
palaris: relating to stakes, stake-like;
radix palaris, tap-root.

via Species‎ > ‎E‎ > Erythropalum scandens Blume … family: Olacaceae ~ Erythropalaceae
Flowers of India Discussions at efloraofindia more views in flickr more views on Google Earth
¿ er-ith-roh-PAL-um ? — Greek: erythro (red)palum (stake); dehisced segments of persistent calyx alludes to stakes
 — climbing or sprawling … Dave’s Botanary 
commonly known asred stake climber • Assamese (Karbi)ল’জাংঠু lojangthu • Malayalamവെട്ടടമ്പ് vettatamp • Tamil (Kanikkar)வாதவள்ளிக்கொடி vaathavallikodi
botanical namesErythropalum scandens Blume …. synonymsDactylium vagum Griff. • Decastrophia inconspicua Griff. • Erythropalum populifolium Mast. • Erythropalum vagum (Griff.) Mast. • Mackaya populifolia Arn. • Modeccopsis vaga Griff. … status at The Plants List (2013). Version 1.1. 
November 12, 2016 … along Charmadi Ghat, Karnataka 

Thanks, …,  for your efforts.

¿ er-ith-roh-PAL-um ? — Greek: erythro (red)palum (stake); dehisced segments of persistent calyx alludes to stakes

SKAN-dens — climbing or sprawling ... Dave’s Botanary

commonly known as: red stake climber • Kannada: ಬೆಳ್ಳಿ ಬಳ್ಳಿ belli balli • Karbi: ল’জাংঠু lojangthu • Malayalam: വെട്ടടമ്പ് vettatamp • Tamil: வாதவள்ளிக்கொடி vaathavallikodi

botanical namesErythropalum scandens Blume … heterotypic synonymsDactylium vagum Griff. • Decastrophia inconspicua Griff. • Erythropalum grandifolium Elmer • Erythropalum populifolium (Arn.) Mast. • Erythropalum vagum (Griff.) Mast. • Mackaya populifolia Arn. • Modeccopsis vaga Griff. … POWO

Bibliography / etymology

~~~~~ ENGLISH ~~~~~
red stake climber
  • name given for want of name … name derived from the genus name erythropalum of this woody climber: Greek: erythro (red); palum (stake); dehisced segments of persistent calyx alludes to stakes
~~~~~ ANDAMAN & NICOBAR ISLANDS’ languages ~~~~~
no given name / no name found
~~~~~ ARUNACHAL languages ~~~~~
no given name / no name found
~~~~~ KANNADA ~~~~~
ಬೆಳ್ಳಿ ಬಳ್ಳಿ belli balli
~~~~~ KARBI (also known as Mikir or Arleng) ~~~~~
ল’জাংঠু lojangthu
~~~~~ MALAYALAM ~~~~~
വെട്ടടമ്പ് vettatamp
~~~~~ MANIPURI ~~~~~
no given name / no name found
~~~~~ MEGHALAYA languages ~~~~~
no given name / no name found
~~~~~ NAGALAND languages ~~~~~
no given name / no name found
~~~~~ SIKKIM languages ~~~~~
no given name / no name found
~~~~~ TAMIL ~~~~~
வாதவள்ளிக்கொடி vaathavallikodi
~~~~~ TRIPURA languages ~~~~~
no given name / no name found
~~~~~ DISTRIBUTION in states of India ~~~~~
Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Karnataka, Kerala, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, West Bengal
~~~~~ x ~~~~~
Names compiled / updated at

ಬೆಳ್ಳಿ ಬಳ್ಳಿ belli balli:  ಬೆಳ್ಳಿ belli = a kind of medicinal plant / the colour of pure snow; white colour / silver … ಬಳ್ಳಿ balli = climber, creeper
The above derived name is very appropriate. Interpretation/ narration is excellent.


Erythropalum scandens :: Iruppu Falls, Coorg :: 12 NOV 19 : 1 post by 1 author. 1 image.
Iruppu Falls  Coorg
Date: November 12, 2019 … Altitude range: about 850 – 1,000 m (2,800 – 3,300 ft) asl
Erythropalum scandens  Blume


Erythropalum scandens: 1 high res. image.
Erythropalum scandens
Behali Reserve Forest, Biswanath, Assam, India


386 ID wild climber (?): 12 high res. images.
Please ID wild climber (?). Specimen collected with in a moment while bus keeps side, Location: near Santhanpara, Idukki Dist., Kerala
Altitude: 3000fsl
Flower date: 12NOV2022, 02.15pm
Habitat: wild moisture roadside
Plant habit: climbing (?), branches, branchlets, hard stem, rough silverish bark, perennial
Leaves: alternate, elliptic, acute, simple glossy, wavy margins, size upto:12×5cm
Flower: axillary panicle racemose, 05 petals, diameter:08mm, green, lite fragrance
Camera: CANON EOS1500D +FL10x

Asclepiadaceaea: Secamone species ???

Leaves alternate, so it may not be Apocynaceae !

I overlooked the arrangement of leaves.

Which family is closer to apocynaceae?

But flowers look close to Apocynaceae only. Is there any other option?

This plant is growing in Kerala – Tamil Nadu border.

Wikipedia :
Leaves and stems[edit]
Leaves are simple. They may appear one at a time (singly) with each occurrence on alternating sides of the stem (alternate),[6] but usually occur in pairs (and rarely in whorls).[1] When paired, they occur on opposite sides of the stem (opposite), with each pair occurring at an angle rotated 90° to the pair below it (decussate).
There is no stipule (a small leaf-like structure at the base of the leaf stem), or stipules are small and sometimes fingerlike.[6]

The specimen branch is fully hanging downwards as same as to my last image before I collected it, so I think it is a climber.

identified as Erythropalum scandens, thank you very much

Yes, Great id.
Matches as per images at

Initially I was thinking of it to be close to Tylophora appearance wise.

Tylophora sp. have latex, but my plant haven’t latex, I already checked,

Yes. I’d by … is correct.



Catalogue of Life  The Plant List Ver.1.1 Flora of China  FOC illustration  India Biodiversity Portal  Forest Plants of Eastern India By Amal Bhusan Chaudhuri (1993)   Kammu Food  Parasitic Plant Connection – Olacaceae  Erythropalum scandens Herbarium