Common name: Manjith • Bengali: manjit, manjistha, majith • Hindi: मंजीठ Manjith • Kannada: chitravalli, manjista • Malayalam: poont • Mizo: manjishtha, munjistha • Nepali: मजीठो Majitho • Tamil: manditta, manjitti • Telugu: mandastic, tamravalli
1a. Dried plants flushed with red, particularly on lower leaf side; corolla rotate, purplish red, red, or orange, with spreading lobes of 1.2-1.5 mm;
mature fruit dark red…………………………………………………………………………………..Rubia manjith
1b. Dried plants green, gray, or yellowish (if rarely flushed with red then corollas campanulate with reflexed lobes); corolla white, yellow, greenish, or red;
mature fruit black, dark blue, or orange………………………………………………………2

2a. Stems smooth or sparsely aculeolate; petiole usually up to 6 cm long; flowers purplish red, greenish yellowish, or whitish; fruit 3.5-4 mm in diam.,
black at maturity…………………………………………………………………………………………Rubia wallichiana
2b. Stems rather markedly or sparsely aculeolate; flowers greenish, yellowish, or whitish; fruit 4-6(-7) mm in diam., orange at maturity…………………….Rubia cordifolia   

Flora of Chakrata: Rubia manjith from Tiger fall Road ChakrataRubia manjith from Tiger fall Road Chakrata

We were sticking to id R cordifolia but this time flowers helped us to get the correct id. As i have never seen earlier this in flowering. 

Yes I was about to say this to be Rubia cordifolia when I checked your further additional information. Good one.

R cordifolia bears pale flowers 


VoF Week : Climber for ID : RS: Saw this small beautifull climber, under forest canopy, enroute to Govind Ghat while trekking down from Ghanghariya. May I have the name please.

Rubia manjith

VOF Week: Rubia manjith from Ghanghariya-Gobind Ghat Trek: This tiny herb was shot from the way down to Gobind Ghat from Ghanghariya, Rubia manjith..(Rubiaceae)..

Good catch. I had seen this last year at Manali.

VoF Week :: DV :: 01 AUG 12 – 0127 :: Rubia ¿ species ? along Govind Ghat – Ghangaria trail: 1 AUG 12
Govind Ghat – Ghangaria trailabout 8300 ft
Habitat: mountain slope
Habit: climber, about 2 – 4 m long; flower about 2 – 3 mm across – perhaps in opening stage.
… would it be Rubia manjith ? … the flowers look comparatively smaller than those found in others’ posts OR at FOI.
… please look at another set of views below – got during return journey

This looks like Rubia manjith only. Characteristic leaves, 4-angled stems, they all agree. Probably because the inflorescence has not bloomed, it looks a bit different. Thats my guess.

Many thanks … for validating … me too think strongly that this would be R. manjith.
The small size of buds concerns me.

I think yes, Rubia manjith.





VoF Week: Rubia manjith from Ghanghariya Gobind Ghat Trek: Rubia manjith from Ghanghariya Gobind Ghat Trek

Yes … Nice photographs



Rubia manjith:  Rubia manjith
En-route Pinadari Glacier, Uttarakhand

for my own edification, would love to see the leaves and the plant habit if you have it


Rubiaceae Week:Rubia manjith from Tiger fall Road Chakrata:  Rubia manjith from Tiger fall Road Chakrata

Complete set. Good upload 




Rubiaceae Week: Rubia manjith Roxb. ex Fleming from Chakrata:  Rubia manjith Roxb. ex Fleming, Asiat. Res. 11: 177. 1810

syn: Rubia cordifolia var. khasiana G.Watt; R. cordifolia var. munjista (Roxburgh) Miquel
These two plants have confused me since i collected two very distinct species of Rubia, not able to place precisely because most authors considered R. manjith as synonym of R. cordifolia, and as such I named one with broader leaves as R. cordifolia and narrow leaved in R. manjith. Today while looking at the nomenclature in The Plant list and descriptions in eFlora of china where both are described as distinct species, I realised that it was rather reverse, a decision reinforced by looking at our collections in flower from Chakrata which had red flowers, broader leaves and even young fruits looking red. There are rather three closely related species differentiated as under:
1a. Dried plants flushed with red, particularly on lower leaf side; corolla rotate,
purplish red, red, or orange, with spreading lobes of 1.2-1.5 mm;
mature fruit dark red…………………………………………………………………………………..Rubia manjith
1b. Dried plants green, gray, or yellowish (if rarely flushed with red then corollas
campanulate with reflexed lobes); corolla white, yellow, greenish, or red;
mature fruit black, dark blue, or orange………………………………………………………2

2a. Stems smooth or sparsely aculeolate; petiole usually up to 6 cm long; flowers
purplish red, greenish yellowish, or whitish; fruit 3.5-4 mm in diam.,
black at maturity…………………………………………………………………………………………Rubia wallichiana
2b. Stems rather markedly or sparsely aculeolate; flowers greenish,
yellowish, or whitish; fruit 4-6(-7) mm in diam., orange at maturity…………………….Rubia cordifolia
Here are my photographs of what I think Rubia manjith from Chakrata





Rubiaceae week:: Rubia cordifolia at Manali and Bhimashankar: Sharing photographs of Rubia cordifolia from Manali and Bhimashankar.
Family: Rubiaceae
Flowers seen at Manali were red where as one from Bhimashankar were greenish.

Thanks … for bringing this out for discussion again. The problem has been that all three species have mostly been treated as one species only but now that all three are treated as distinct and looking at the key in Flora of china, this plant has red petals could be Rubia manjith. The last two photographs, however, belong to a different plant.

Yes, the last 3 photographs belong to Bhimashankar WLS.
The first 3 bearing red flowers are of Manali.
…, you could now be having Rubia manjith in your collection.

Yes … and Thanks to … for sorting out this issue. Actually in one of my earlier post, i remember the one from Manali with reddish flowers was identified as R. cordifolia. Good that … has given fresh look to this post. Thanks a lot.





ID request-101010-PKA1: Came across this climber at Manali. Appearance wise to me it looked like some Rubia sp.?? Flowers were small (few mm) reddish brown in colour.
I remembered earlier … has uploaded Rubia sp from Manali. (efi thread).
Kindly have a look at the pics for ID.
Date/Time: 25-09-2010 / 04:15PM
Location: Manali (on the way to Hadimba temple), Himachal Pradesh.
Habitat: Wild
Plant Habit: Climber

Yes Rubia cordifolia, red flowers are often found in Asiatic specimens.

Rubia manjith Roxb. ex Fleming as per latest thread


Rubia cordifolia?/ABJAN01_Update : 1 post by 1 author.
More berries on a Rubia cordifolia. The berries disintegrate readily oozing an inky sap.

Mcleodganj, Dharamshala, HP
07 January 2015

May be Rubia manjith as per another thread





Rubia cordifolia?/ABJAN01 : 19 posts by 5 authors. 3 images.
I found these black berries on a Madder vine while observing a smilax nearby. The leaves were browning but the square stalk and the rough texture suggested Rubia cordifolia. Please advise.

Mcleodganj, Dharamshala, HP
01 January 2015

Yes, it is Rubia cordifolia L.

Rubia cordifolia, black fruited var. 

Found a Rubia cordifolia shrub flowering today and thought of sharing the photos.
2 images.

Some flowers from my walk to Triund on 21 August. 3 images.

I hope Rubia manjith Roxb. ex Fleming
efi thread 2

Thank you very much … I was confused as some authors treat the two under R. cordifolia. The authors of Flora of Chamba are of the same opinion. I had missed your note on the group site. 

The plants here have inky black berries, purplish red flowers, long petioles and very rough stems—characteristics that will place them in  part both R. manjith and R. wallichiana. It is possible that both are found here and I have been photographing flowers on one and the fruits on the other. It seems unlikely because I have seen several plants, even if at different times, with the same characteristics (black fruit, purple flowers).
The berries and leaves are earlier in this thread but if needed I will post them again. Please advise.

Perhaps good research project for you.
You have enough information on eFlora of China for foundation

Thank you … I will try my best!

Pl. see images & herbarium of R. wallichiana below:
Images of Rubia manjith can be seen herein.

Thank you … A comment from Floras of China about R. wallichiana reflects the confusion;

Forests, forest margins, thickets, open fields, village fences; 300-2600 m. Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, Hunan, Jiangxi, Sichuan, Yunnan [Bhutan, NE India, Nepal].
The above description and distribution data of Rubia wallichiana have been taken over from H. S. Lo (in FRPS 71(2): 315-316. 1999). There are hardly any differential characters relative to R. cordifolia s.s. aside from vague references to less prickly stems or differences in flower and fruit color (see key). Thus, this dubious taxon clearly belongs to R. ser. Cordifoliae. Deb and Malick (Bull. Bot. Surv. India 10(1): 1-16. 1968) do not even mention R. wallichiana. In Fl. Bhutan (2(2): 823-825. 1999) the name is used in a wide sense and evidently includes what is here treated as R. cordifoliaR. sylvatica, and possibly even R. argyi. The Kew Rubiaceae checklist (Govaerts et al., World Checkl. Rubiaceae;; accessed on 15 Sep 2010) accepts R. wallichiana as a distinct species. We have hardly seen specimens from China that clearly correspond to R. wallichiana (and not to other taxa of R. cordifolia agg.). In view of all this, we regard R. wallichiana as a possible synonym of R. cordifolia s.s. but maintain it as a species in the present flora in order to stimulate its clarification.
And about R. manjith here;
Broad-leaved forests, Pinus forests and thickets; 700-3600 m. Qinghai, Sichuan, Xizang, Yunnan [Bhutan, India, Nepal].
Rubia manjith belongs to R. ser. Cordifoliae. Among the taxa with small rotate flowers (R. cordifoliaagg.) it is mainly characterized by its conspicuous reddish cast, particularly on lower leaf sides and flowers (see additional comments under R. cordifolia). A similar cast also appears in the otherwise quite different R. podantha, a taxon with campanulate flowers.
Deb and Malick (Bull. Bot. Surv. India 10(1): 6-8. 1968), after a lengthy discussion, treated Rubia manjith (“R. munjista”) as a synonym of R. cordifolia only and identified it with R. cordifolia var. khasiana. In contrast, Long (Fl. Bhutan 2(2): 823-825. 1999) distinguished R. manjith from R. cordifolia largely by its red cast, both alive and dried, but agreed with the inclusion of R. cordifoliavar. khasiana as a synonym. The same was maintained by H. S. Lo (in FRPS 71(2): 314. 1999), who added “R. cordifolia f. rubra Kitamura” as a synonym of R. manjith and qualified it as “nom. non rite publ.” Both Deb and Malick (loc. cit.) and Long (loc. cit.) mention the economic and historical importance of the taxon as a source of an excellent red dye.
And R. cordifolia;
Sparse forests, forest margins, grasslands; 300-2800 m. Anhui, Gansu, Hebei, Hunan, Qinghai, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Xizang, Yunnan [Japan, Korea, Mongolia, Russia (Far East); S and SE Asia to Sri Lanka and Java, through the Himalaya to Afghanistan; (sub)tropical Africa].
As noted by most previous authors (Pojarkova, Fl. URSS 23: 387-391. 1958; Ehrendorfer et al., Fl. Iranica 176: 52-53. 2005), the plants included in Rubia cordifolia s.l. comprise a geographically very widespread (from E and SE Asia to Afghanistan, from Sudan to S Africa), morphologically extremely “polymorphic,” polyploid, and still most insufficiently understood racial complex. Its populations, together with related taxa, have been grouped into R. ser. Cordifoliae by Pojarkova (loc. cit.), characterized by their generally clambering to climbing habit; leaves and leaflike stipules in whorls of 4 or more, petiolate, palmately 3-7-veined; and corollas rotate to shortly campanulate, with anthers ellipsoid, somewhat curved, and 4-6 × shorter than the corolla lobes. Depending on narrow or wider species concepts and differential characters chosen, the elements of this series have been quite variously treated. In the present flora the following 16 species are assembled in R.ser. Cordifoliae: 1. R. alata, 2. R. argyi, 5. R. cordifolia, 6. R. crassipes, 14. R. linii, 17. R. manjith, 18. R. membranacea, 19. R. oncotricha, 20. R. ovatifolia, 21. R. pallida, 22. R. podantha, 25. R. pterygocaulis, 27. R. salicifolia, 31. R. sylvatica, 35. R. trichocarpa, and 37. R. wallichiana. Species 5, 14, 20, 31, and 37 are so close and linked by occasional intermediates that they can be understood as R. cordifolia s.l. or R. cordifolia agg. The above species description refers to R. cordifolia s.s.
The type specimen of Rubia cordifolia in the Linnaean Herbarium (no. 131.7, LINN) has no flowers or fruit, but its distinct habit with leaves in whorls of 4, oblong-cordate, acute, and with long petioles corresponds to the above description of the species in a more narrow sense and to the figure in H. S. Lo (in FRPS 71(2): 307, t. 68, f. 7-12. 1999). The complications in the typification of R. cordifoliahave been detailed by Jarvis (Order Out of Chaos, 800. 2007). The description by Linnaeus was emended by Gaertner (Novi Comment. Acad. Petrop. 14(1): 541. 1770). The original reference to “4-merous flowers” may have been due to the occasional occurrence of 4- among the typical 5-merous flowers or simply to a mistake. The fruit were originally described as unknown, but later their color was given as red. Pojarkova (loc. cit.: 466-467) noted for R. cordifolia and for R. ser. Cordifoliae as a whole that the fruit were orange or brownish when immature and black when fully mature and dry. Personal observations revealed a group of distinctive Chinese specimens with vegetative parts drying yellowed and the mature, or near-mature, fruit drying clear bright orange but evidently turning black at maturity (e.g., Fu Kunjun 10394, MO!). Thus, fruit color may be of taxonomic relevance in Rubia but is in need of more detailed studies.
Even with the present, rather narrow circumscription, there is still much variation among the Chinese populations of Rubia cordifolia. This refers to indumentum, consistency, shape and size of leaves, number of leaves and leaflike stipules per whorl, flower shape, and fruit color. Leaf indumentum does not seem to be correlated with that of the inflorescence axes. Instead, either may be glabrous or pubescent, apparently independently, which is unusual in Rubiaceae. In zones of contact, particularly with the closely related R. sylvatica and R. ovatifolia, one has to expect transitional individuals. The status of R. wallichiana (see there) and its separation from R. cordifoliais doubtful anyway.
The infraspecific synonymy of Rubia cordifolia listed above follows H. S. Lo (loc. cit.: 315); it has not yet been checked in detail for lack of any more authoritative treatment of R. ser. CordifoliaeRubia cordifolia var. coriacea was not listed by H. S. Lo and is here synonymized provisionally, as we have seen no authentic material. According to its protologue, it differs from typical R. cordifolia in its subleathery leaves, which are glabrous below. With respect to R. cordifolia var. munjista (Roxburgh) Miquel see R. manjith.
I will inspect the plants for red tinge and dry a couple of twigs too and report back. Plants nearby haven’t started flowering yet but I will keep an eye and try the same plant for flowers and fruits for a clear idea.

Thanks, … You are turning out to be a budding taxonomist.

Thank you … Taxonomist is a big word, I am just trying to solve the mysteries (to me!) of my local flora. 

I went out after my last mail and collected a few twigs of different Rubia plants, one of them with two flowers. I am sharing some results here.
Our plants have leaves on long stalks which can be in whorls of four or more. The shape and size varies too and the leaves can be ovate to narrow and long-pointed. The whorl can have four leaves of equal size or not. The nerves are always prominent, both leaf-surfaces rough, edges and stalks lined with tiny translucent teeth. I could not discern any red tint on under surface but I have put the specimen to dry and will check again. The flowers are purplish red.
The previous year I had photographed ripe fruits which were black, normally in a pair joined together and the juice was purplish black too. I will check in a couple of months to see if that is the case or if there are variations.
I again apologise for enclosing a good number of photos.


Should we take it as Rubia manjith (as per images herein) for the time being ?

I would think so. That is the closest match unless we consider it under the R. cordifolia group. I will wait for the dried sample and the fruit to update our record on the features.


Rubiaceae Week: Rubia wallichiana from Manali pl validate: Looking at narrower leaves, longer petiole and blackish fruit it appears to me to be Rubia wallichiana Decne.
Photographed from Manali in October 2009



Rubia manjith from Manali – efloraofindia | Google Groups : 9 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (3)
I consider this to be the typical R. manjith (sometimes considered as synonym of variable R. cordifolia) and is very distinct from my other plant (R. cordifolia) in being very lax in habit, much larger and spreading inflorescence, leaves with much longer petiole and distinctly narrower leaf blade and more importantly the fruit is blackish in colour.

Thanks for the post… a very important drug in Ayurveda. . . Called as “Manjishta“…the Rubia species in western ghats are some how the same as found in this photo. . .which we consider as R.cordifolia. . .I have heard of two other species which are also taken in the name of manjishta. they are R.tinctorum (available in the himalayas) & R. sikkimensis (Available in North East). . .but looking into both your posts am confused a bit… the fruits of Manjishta in W.ghats are purely black when they are ripe. . .when i get the photos i will post them

Rubia tinctorum is a much different species with much smaller (hardly 2-3 mm long) petiole and elliptic-lanceolate leaves:
I could not get the description of R. sikkimensis. Any member may kindly help.

Nearly all databases consider Rubia manjith as a synonym of Rubia cordifolia Sir Ji

I know yes, all except “An annotated checklist of Flowering Plants of Nepal” who treats it as distinct species. However, the fact is that the two plants I have uploaded are so distinct (As enumerated by me in the upload) that I did not feel like considering them same.

In Flora of Pakistan The description of R cordifolia matches with your plant.

…, it would because it considers R. manjith as synonym of R. cordifolia. Typical R. cordifolia does not have black fruits.

Thats true Sir.

If there is no intermediate forms, and if it is possible to distinguish these two forms by morpho/ anatomy/ palynology etc. you can reinstate the specific status of R. manjith, as you know.

It is a matter of taxonomic judgement as they are heterotypic. In fact most Japanese workers including Tiara (Fl. E. Himal, 1966), Hara (Enumeration of Flowering Plants of Nepal, 1984) and recently Shreshta & Sutton (Enumeration of Flowering plants of Nepal, 2000), treat R. manjith as distinct from R. cordifolia.

May be Rubia wallichiana Decne. as per Rubiaceae Week: Rubia wallichiana from Manali pl validate by …

I think these do not match with images & herbarium of R. wallichiana below:
Rubia manjith Roxb. (accepted name) : 2 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (15)
Location: Chalnakhel , Nepal
Altitude:  5000 ft.
Date: 12 November 2016

Rubia manjith Roxb. (accepted name)

Nepali name: मजिठो Majitho / तिरो लहरा Tiro Laharaa 

Very interesting.

Ripe fruits : Nagarkot, Nepal / 28 December 2016 / 7000 ft. Attachments (5)





SK1505 13 Oct 2018 : 4 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (5)

Location:  Shivapuri National Park,Nepal 
Date: 24 August 2018
Elevation:6200 ft.

Habit : Wild  

Rubia ! Which one ??

It looks like R manjith

I was with this opinion. Thank you. 




SK1962 01 June 2019 : 2 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (8)- around 650 kb each. 

Location: Chandragiri, Kathmandu, Nepal
Altitude: 2511 m.
Date: 27 May 2019
Habit : Wild
Rubia manjith Roxb.  ??

I think matches with Rubia manjith Roxb. ex Fleming as per comparative images at Rubia  

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