Prinsepia utilis Royle, Ill. Bot. Himal. Mts. 1: 206 (1835) (syn: Cycnia spinosa Griff.);
NE. Pakistan to S. Central China and N. India: Assam, China South-Central, East Himalaya, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Tibet, West Himalaya as per POWO;
Himalayan Cherry Prinsepia • Hindi: bhikal, bekkra, bhekal, cherara, dhatila, • Khasi: dieng shiahmiaw, shia sohkaw, diengsla sohmon • Nepali: धतेल Dhatelo;


Rosaceae Week: Prinsepia utilis from Shimla:
Prinsepia utilis
From Shimla


Prinsepia utilis from Shimla:
Prinsepia utilis from Summer hill Shimla

– Common shrub of NW Himalayas

/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/DSC08639.JPG/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/DSC08640.JPG/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/DSC08641.JPG/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/DSC08638.JPG/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/DSC08646.JPGNilgiris: Exotic shrub for identification 130913MK01 : Attachments (5). 4 posts by 3 authors.
Please help me in identifying this shrub commonly seen along the roadsides of Ooty.
Is this any Rosaceae?
Leaf: not more than 10 cm long
Flower:c. 1cm across
Place: Ooty town, Nilgiris, TN
Date: 16 Aug 2013
Alt.: 2200 m asl

Yes … this is from Rosaceae… looks like Prinsepia utilis..

Thank you …, this shrub is Prinsepia utilis Royle of Rosaceae. Common in Himalayas, Kodaikanal and Ooty.

Prinsepia utilis Royle SN April 06 :  4 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (2).
Prinsepia utilis Royle; Fam Rosaceae,
shrub wild from ooty area of Tamilnadu

Is this a native plant found in temperate regions of Tamilnadu?

It is native to India, it is common in Himalayas, it is also distributed in China,

Yes very common in Western Himalayas.
Incidentally in Wealth of India (don’t know whether it has now been corrected or not after I pointed out to the editor nearly 35 years back) the illustrations of Prisepia utilis and Prunus cornuta were confused, not able to understand the cross labelling in Royle’s original book.

ANNOV34 Please identify this Rosaceae shrub : 6 posts by 4 authors. Attachments (5 + 2)

1st November 2014

Prinsepia utilis

Yes Prinsepia utilis

HP, Oct 2014 :: Requesting ID – Thorny shrub :: ARKDEC-03 : 5 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (4)
Requesting to please provide ID of this thorny shrub captured near Manali, HP in October 2014.
Is this some Berberis species?

Prinsepia utilis of Rosaceae.

heard of it
never seen it
thanks … for the pic
most interesting was the thorny end from the leaf pediclel and … for id
Ayurvedic herbs from the himalayas called Dhatelo in nepalese I think

some more notes to keep in the data base
an American lanscape guy lists these in his blog written in 2010.

Wiki shows an interesting drawing from 1839 lists as being done by Vishnupersaud (=Vishnu Prasad) – Illustrations of the botany and other branches of the natural history of the Himalayan Mountains. Volume 2) and this site but open library lists it as unknown …interesting usurping

found a pdf to download here, no wonder its mobot effort.. they are the best.
and for those interested
there are many modern links.
A recent paper seems Indian from 1995 available full paper for cash…


Prinsepia utils/ABDEC03 : 7 posts by 5 authors. Attachments (3)
Our Prinsepia bushes are in flower. … had posted photos of the same plant recently. Here are some close ups of these mildly fragrant flowers.

Himalayan CherryPrinsepia utilis
Mcleodganj, Dharamshala, HP
1750m approx.
03 December, 2014

Wow, Beautiful photographs..

Beautiful flowers …, Its a pity, I missed the flowering, too bad.

Thank you … I think you missed them by not more than a week or two as they start coming out early November.

close ups are even more striking

so now you and with you us
we wait for ma nature to do her thing
and in a few weeks you’ll get the honors of showing us the fruits?

Beautiful photographs.
Any one having access to Wealth of India can check whether the mistake of its labeling has been rectified. I had written to them in early seventies of its mix up with Prunus cornuta.

I spotted a lone fruit on a bush and here it is. I haven’t seen these growing on any other bush as yet.

Above Mcleodganj, Dharamshala, HP
22 March 2015

Nilgiris of 15-April-15 : 6 posts by 4 authors. Attachments (2)
Location: Nilgiris, April 2015, 1750 MSL. Plant resembles in leaf structure and many aspects Calistamon species, but the white flowers do not resemble to those of Calistomaon species.
Small tree. Aromatic leafs. Planted-ornamental.

Please check for Chamelaucium species. This is a suggestion not confirmation.

Prinsepia utilis of Rosaceae?

thank you all

Rosaceae Fortnight- utilis from Himachal-GSG20/Sept 2015 : 4 posts by 4 authors.
Prinsepia utilis. Locally called ‘bekhal’,
the seed oil is considered a very useful famine food.

Thanks, …, for participating in a big way, with lovely depictions.

Wow these are lovely images …! thanks for sharing! this is larval host plant for Hedge blue butterflies in Himalaya’s!
Sir may I request you to contribute these lovely images to Indian foundation for butterflies, with due credit to your name

Nice images, particularly ripe fruits. This species is also common in mid hills of Uttarakhand.


Uploading Prinsepia utilis from Kullu and Manali
I had mentioned about mix up of this with Prunus cornuta in Wealth of India, in one of my earlier posts when this plant was uploaded earlier.

SK241DEC15-2016:ID : 7 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (5)
Location: Kakani , Nepal
Altitude:  6000ft.
Date: 17 January 2015

I hope Prinsepia utilis.

Thank you …
Nepali Names:  ढटेलो Dhatelo / भेकाली Bhekaalee / कुकुर पाइले Kukur Paaile

Fruits ! Same location on 8 April 2014! Attachments (1)

Yes fruits are typical.

This reminds me of when I first saw this image nearly 45 years back on Wealth of India, where it was mixed up with Prunus cornuta. Luckily I had Royle’s Book with me and found that both species were on same page with cross legend, which editors of Wealth of India could not detect, and they just saw the names under each image to get confused. I wrote to them for correction, and had to write second time the reason for their confusion.

Fwd: Identification of plants collected from Kausani, Munsiyari, Nainital.- 4 : 4 posts by 4 authors. Attachments (1)- 6 MB
I have collected this plants from Nainital, Kaushani, Munsiyari. May I request you to kindly help me to identify this plant specimens.

Some similarity with Cansjera rheedei…..not sure..

This appears to be Prinsepia utilis Royle [Rosaceae].

Thank you very much for your efforts.

Prinsepia utilis Royle : 13 posts by 4 authors. Attachments (3)- 1 or 2 mb each.
Location : Chandragiri Hills, Kathmandu, Nepal
Elevation : 1738 m.
Date : 12 December 2018
Habit : Wild
Why so much variation in flowering period ?

Thanks, …, What is the variation?

efn says flowering season Apr-May.

But observation in efi site at Prinsepia utilis matches with your post.

Thank you …!
Enclosing a link saying different blooming period.

As Prinsepia utilis is distributed from about 1000metres to 2600 metres altitude. So the flowering time shows variation with increasing altitude.

I have also seen this plant flowering in January at about 950metres altitude, however in P.utilis normally flowering time is from March to May.
Along with altitude other factors including plant aspect, local climatic conditions and sunlight availability etc also plays important role in determining flowering time.
The plants growing in drier and sunny locations shows early flowering than the plant growing in moister and shady locations at same altitude.
As you have observed plant at 1700metres altitude so other microclimatic factors may be the reason for this.

Thank you … I have also enclosed  2 links stating different flowering seasonality.

White flower @ Uttarakhand, asl 3000 ft, for id : 7 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (4)
Sattal, Uttarakhand
3000 ft asl

Princepia utilis.



Prinsepia utilis: 2 high res. images.


Prinsepia utilis Royle: 2 very high res. images.

Location: Dhorpatan, Baglung, Nepal 
Date: 31 May 2023
Elevation: 2900 m.

Habit : Wild




  1. Prof. Suneel Sharms

    I have seen first time this plant in Manali. Lot of potential exist in this himalayan cherry. We have written book on Underexploited fruit and nuts.