Mussaenda frondosa L., Sp. Pl. 177 1753. (Syn: Gardenia frondosa (L.) Lam.; Mussaenda belilla Buch.-Ham.; Mussaenda dovinia Buch.-Ham.; Mussaenda flavescens Buch.-Ham.; Mussaenda formosa L. [Illegitimate]; Mussaenda fruticosa L.; Mussaenda ingrata Wall. ex Hook.f.; Mussaenda macrophylla Kurz [Illegitimate]; Mussaenda sumatrensis B.Heyne ex Roth; Mussaenda tomentosa Wight ex Hook.f. [Illegitimate]; Mussaenda villosa Schltdl. ex Hook.f. [Illegitimate]);
Indian Subcontinent to Caroline Islands: Andaman Is., Assam, Bangladesh, Borneo, Cambodia, Caroline Is., India, Jawa, Lesser Sunda Is., Malaya, Nepal, New Guinea, Nicobar Is., Sri Lanka, Sulawesi, Sumatera, Thailand, Vietnam as per POWO;

help to identify the species of this mussaenda please..:

Is it mussaenda roxburghii or other species?
Habit:- shrub
Locality: Kottayam, Kerala
altitude:- 156meters MSL

I think it is Mussaenda frondosa

Same as … thought – Mussaenda frondosa L.

It is Mussaenda bellila.

Now, it is a synonym of M. frondosa, I guess. Please check it with plant list.

Images by Raghu Ananth (Id by Vijayasankar Raman) (Inserted by J.M.Garg) (For more images & complete details, click on the links)



Rubiaceae Week: Hedge turner – Mussaenda from Bhagamandala #AR11:  Hedge-turner!… Beautiful all the way!!

Flowers, 2cms, close to star shape, stalk hairy
Leaves elliptic oblong, accuminate, size 10-13cms
//Not sure if it is Mussaenda frondosa
Not a M. glabrata for sure,
From the photos, neither I can check the glabrous nature of the leaves nor the loose/close flower arrangement. //
Bhagamandala, Mercara
Photo date-27 Jul 2011

Beautiful. Looks Mussaenda frondosa  


Wild white flower for ID | 11Mar2010AR03:  A wild flower found along the foot steps, while ascending Krishnagiri hills to reach Gingee or Senji Fort, Tamil Nadu touted as one of the most impregnable fortresses (by Shivaji maharaj) in India.
Date/Time-20Jul2008, 03:27PM
Location- Place, Altitude, GPS-Gingee or Senji Fort, Villupuram district, Tamil nadu

Habitat- Garden/ Urban/ Wild/ Type-Wild

Plant Habit- Tree/ Shrub/ Climber/ Herb- Shrub

Height/Length-< 1meter

Leaves Type/ Shape/ Size-Ovate, Mucronate, hairy,

Inflorescence Type/ Size-

Flowers Size/ Colour/ Calyx/ Bracts-Small, White color,

Fruits Type/ Shape/ Size Seeds-Not observed

can be Kopsia or a Gardenia species?????

… the velvety leaves and the flower remind me of Mussaenda.

You may be right …,
I think it is Mussaenda tomentosa. I remember some collection (by Dr. Ravikumar and/or Dr. D.Narasimhan) from the same locality. Also check in Flora of Tamilnadu Carnatic. It is an endemic species.
Thanks for the beautiful photos …! Pl confirm the id and tell us.

I too thnk this plant is Mussaenda tomentosa as …, because the morphology of this plant matches with th description in “Flora of Tamilnadu Carnatic” by K.M. Matthew.


White leaves | id request 22Mar2010AR01:

White leaves – As always I wonder, is this odd white leaves because of a disease ? chlorophyll deficiency? Will the leaf survive like as long as its siblings.
Anyway, to me it appears like a natures handiwork.
Kumaraparvatha hills, South Canara, Karnataka
Western Ghats
26 Mar 2009, 10.38AM
Basic info: Leaf size – 4 inches, height -10 inches, Shape:- cordate, entire, acuminate

Date/Time-26 Mar 2009, 10.38AM

Location- Place, Altitude, GPS- Kumaraparvatha hills, South Canara, Karnataka, 12″39′ 36.77″ N 75″ 40′ 49.68 E, elev 4000ft approx

Habitat- Garden/ Urban/ Wild/ Type-Wild / Western ghats


lant Habit- Tree/ Shrub/ Climber/ Herb-

Height/Length-approx – 8-10 inches

Leaves Type/ Shape/ Size- Shape –cordate, entire, acuminate

Inflorescence Type/ Size-

Flowers Size/ Colour/ Calyx/ Bracts-

Fruits Type/ Shape/ Size Seeds-

Other Information like Fragrance, Pollinator, Uses etc.- Three white leaves

this not a disease nor chlorophyll deficiency it completely genetical abnormality. Seen very rarely the leafs wont survive long due to albinism (white) lack of chlorophyll.

These are not leaves. This is the special feature of Mussaenda bellila, wherein the floral bracts are modified, enlarged and brightly white, probably to attract pollinators as the corolla is indistinct naturally. In Malayalam it is known as ‘Vellila’ means ‘white leaf’.

There are many plants in this variety
Poincetia, Musanda even Bogan villia in this catagory.

In Mussaenda, it is the sepals that get modified into coloured leaf like structures and not the bracts.. out of 5 sepals present in it one gets modified into coloured structure either white or red.. this plant is Mussaenda frondosa of the family Rubiaceae..

… have similar looking plant : flickr
Found it at Murudeshwara, South Kanara, Karanataka on 14 May 2007.
Considering it as Mussaenda glabrataM. glabrata and M. frondosa are perhaps related by synonymy.

Its ofcourse M.frondosa… absolutely no doubt for me… if needed i may post the photos of 2 coloured varieties of the same grown in Western ghats

In M. frontosa the flowers are thick and densely arranged whereas, in M bellila (the old name was M. laxa/M. frontosa var. laxa) the flowers are arranged loose/lax. If you get the specimen, while brushing through the leaves and if you feel rough hairs on the leaves you can be sure of that as M frontosa but if there are small smooth hairs that is M.bellila.
In most of the ecology text books and other introductory books it has been mentioned as M. frondosa only. That had given an impression that there is only one species that is M.frondosa.
Please be more cautious when deal with minute characters. Taxonomy is interesting but it should be taken as a serious subject because it is mostly based on minute characters and need your discretion to reach a valid id.
Do refer a valid flora, I would like to emphasis not e-flora. I say this because we found lots of mistake in many of the e floras that might happened while copying the old literature in to e-format.
Unless you are thorough with the original description. You never find/understand the mistake.
We had this problem all throughout when we were trying to make a key for plants for farmers and layman.
Here the picture is of M.bellila. … was correct. He might have handled several individals of this species from different parts of India as he worked all throughout India and collected specimens from different parts. He he may not go wrong.

Thanks a lot for your response and validation of id. I always say that identification with photograph may not be always 100 % correct. Whatever name we give is just a lead and it needs further literature verification with actual plant specimen/ Herbarium. As you rightly pointed out plant identification needs critical observation with real specimen. 


Mussaenda frondosa L : Attachments (2). 1 post by 1 author.
Mussaenda frondosa L., (= M. belilla B&H), Fam – Rubiaceae,
wild shrub, walparai tea estate area, (anaimalai) Coimbatore dt Tamilnadu

Agumbe :: Mussaenda FOR ID :: DVJAN46 : 3 posts by 2 authors.
Agumbe … Dakshina Kannada, Karnataka
Date: 26 DEC 2014 … Altitude: about 700 m asl
Is there any other wild Mussaenda besides M. frondosa ?
The buds of the photos posted below have a bulge that is not to be seen in the adjacent picture of M. frondosa. Not sure if it is to be considered just as a variation.
From distance, these buds alluded to some ceropegia; we somehow reached near to the plant – Anurag was quick to realize that it is Rubiceae plant – he concluded it to be some Mussaenda.
Mussaenda ¿ species ? … (family: Rubiaceae)

Mussaenda species in eFloraofindia (with details/ keys from published papers/ regional floras/ FRLHT/ FOI/ Biotik/ efloras/ books etc., where ever available)

Mussaenda tomentosa Wall. ex G.Don

Thank you very very much … I am convinced with your ID.

No. This does not match with the type specimen of Mussaenda tomentosa Wall. ex G.Don as per GBIF (only two specimens including one type specimen).
On the other hand, there are 507 occurrences for Mussaenda frondosa in GBIF.
I could not find the keys to differentiate them, but the type specimen of M. tomentosa says it all.
I think it should be Mussaenda frondosa only as per images and details herein.





Mussaenda frondosa:
I guess—z/r/rubiaceae/mussaenda/mussaenda-frondosa has other sp. also mixed up.

Pl. see current page at Mussaenda frondosa


111 ID wild plant: 13 images.

Please ID wild plant,
Location: near Reserve Forest, Chathamattom, Ernakulam District, (Kochi) Kerala PIN:686671
Flower date: 17.07.2021, 12.25pm
Altitude: 1400fsl
Habitat: wild moisture
Plant habit: climbing/erect, branches, hard stem, long lasting
Height: 06 meters feet
Leaves: green and white coloured, opposite, heart shaped, apex, size:13×7cm or less
Flower: bunches, diameter:15mm, orange/yellow, non fragrant
Fruit: ovate green into black size:9×5mm, edible sweet
Camera: Samsung Galaxy A21s

Mussaenda treutleri Stapf

Yes, it is dear …, thank you very much for ID my plant.

I think more closer to images and details at Mussaenda frondosa as per images and details herein and as per FoPI rather than Mussaenda treutleri as per images and details herein and as per FoPI.  

Yes, it is very close to Mussaenda frondosa. Thank you very much for ID my plant,


This may be Mussaenda frondosa as per discussions and keys at Amboli, MH :: Mussaenda for ID :: ARK2021-110

Rubiaceae Week :: Mussaenda glabrata at Prabalgad:
Sharing photographs of a large climbing Shrub, ” Mussaenda glabratafrom Prabalgad (Maharashtra).

This may be Mussaenda frondosa as per discussions and keys at Amboli, MH :: Mussaenda for ID :: ARK2021-110


Rubiaceae Week :: Mussaenda glabrata in Belgaum and Murudeshwar:
Mussaenda glabrata (Hook.f.) Hutch. ex Gamble

mew-say-EN-duh — Latinized form of Sinhalese vernacular name mussenda
GLAB-rah-tuh — somewhat smooth
May 14, 2007 … at Murudeshwar, Karnataka
commonly known as: mussaenda • Bengali: sada patta • Hindi: bedina • Konkani: मिठाइ फुल mithai phool • Manipuri: hanu-rei • Sinhalese: mussenda • Tamil: வெள்ளையிலை vellaiyilai
Native to: tropical Africa, Asia, Pacific Islands
References: Flowers of IndiaWikipediaLen Webb Ecological Images Collection
more views: May 14, 2007 … at Murudeshwar, Karnataka
May 29, 2011 … off SH 34 near Kumbharwadi, Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary, Karnataka 

Hedge-turner!… Beautiful all the way!!
I always like the contrasts it makes. Here it is white large bracts & the little red flower

Putting now the pronunciation and meaning of glabrata:
GLAB-rah-tuh — somewhat smooth
I refer Dave’s Botanary for finding pronunciation and meaning of the binomials.
Other good references are found at Calflora:

This may be Mussaenda frondosa as per discussions and keys at Amboli, MH :: Mussaenda for ID :: ARK2021-110

In my plant the inflorescence looks clearly hairy, thus revising it to Mussaenda frondosa, shortly.

along KSH 34 between Ramnagar & Malamba :: Mussaenda glabrata :: DVFEB42/75 : 1 post by 1 author. 2 images.
along Karnataka State Highway No. 34 between Ramnagar & Malamba
Date: 29 MAY 2011 … Altitude: about 640 m asl
Mussaenda glabrata (Hook.f.) Hutch. ex Gamble (family: Rubiaceae)

This may be Mussaenda frondosa as per discussions and keys at Amboli, MH :: Mussaenda for ID :: ARK2021-110

Flower for Id – ID21082017SH1 : 5 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (2)
Flower for Id pl.
Location – Near Guhagar (Konkan, Maharashtra)
Date – 03.08.2017

Mussaenda species. Pl. check comparative images at efi site at genus page

Ok Sir

Pl. Check comparative images at /species/m—z/r/rubiaceae/mussaenda


Photo needed: Mussaenda frondosa:
To accompany a “Tree Tidbit” item on the SeasonWatch website
(, we are looking for a photo of Mussaenda frondosa, showing both flower and bract in the same frame. The subject of the tidbit is “bracts”.

Since research has shown that the white bracts in this species attract long-distance pollinators, we thought that this is a good species to use as an illustration of the use of brightly coloured bracts.
If anyone has such a photo and is willing to allow it to be shown on the SeasonWatch site, could you please email us at the address below?

Here a few pictures at eFI website:
You may seek permission of the poster.

We had found a photo then, and had put up a short post on bracts under Tree Tidbits in SeasonWatch:

unknown sp. from Assam KD 08 Aug 2017 : 5 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (3)

Attached images are unknown sp. Pl. ID the plant.
Date :22.08.2017
Location: Assam
Family :  ??
Genus & species : ??
Habitat: Grows wild
Habit : Small tree

Mussaenda sp. I think…

Thanks, …  Fruit images look similar to images at

Mussaendaspecies so far in efi

Maybe Mussaenda frondosa L. as per images and details herein, going by the size of the calyx lobes.


Rubiaceae: Mussaenda frondosa L.: 1 correct high res. image.

synonym: Mussaenda belilla Buch.-Ham.
location/date: (jp1) Hirebailu, Chikamagalur Distr., Karnataka, July 1997; (jp2) Chikaldara, Melghat Tiger Reserve, Amravati Distr.,  Maharashtra, November 1994

1st image may be of some hybird.
2nd image id is OK.


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