Ventilago madraspatana Gaertn., Fruct. Sem. Pl. 1: 223, pl. 49, f. 2 223 1788. (syn: Ventilago bracteata F. Heyne; Ventilago bracteata Heyne ex Wall.; Ventilago monoica Blanco);
China (S-Yunnan), India (Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Assam, Orissa, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka), Myanmar [Burma], Sri Lanka, Java, Indonesia, Malaysia as per Catalogue of Life;
commonly known as: red creeper • Assamese: bor-kalia • Coorgi: male mythala, vembadam • Gujarati: રગતરૉહાડો ragatarohado • Hindi: केंवटी keonti, पित्ती pitti • Kannada: haruge, kanvel • Khasi: mei bynoh • Konkani: खांडवेल khamdvel • Malayalam: vempata • Marathi: खांडवेल khandvel, लोखंडी lokhandi • Oriya: ରକ୍ତପିତ୍ତା roktopitta • Sanskrit: रक्तवल्ली raktavalli • Sinhalese: yakkaduvel • Tamil: பப்பிளி pappili • Telugu: సురుగుడు surugudu ;
V. denticulata has larger leaves with prominent veins. Stems usually striate and green. Large stems striate with red and black. It is found in deciduous forests and less in evergreen. It is a large liana.
V. maderaspatana stems dry blackish, leaves are smaller and often more acute at the apex. It is found more in evergreen forests and rarely in deciduous patches. It also can be a very large plant covering many trees.


Ventilago maderaspatana Gaertn. SN Feb- 21 : Attachments (2). 5 posts by 3 authors.
Ventilago maderaspatana Gaertn., Fam: Rhamnaceae
woody climber on trees,
south Chennai, scrub jungle
Root bark reddish, forms several layer, used in medicine and hair oil, Surul pattai,

Just a curiosity about the species name
It is so common with many genera??? Any relation with Madras and Patna cities

it is madras patnam; the word “patnam” means City in Tamil. so it is called maderaspatana, it is no way related to Patna

Oh. Thank you. So species name coming from region where it was discovered or seen.


200717BHAR3 : 12 posts by 4 authors. 2 correct images.

Found in Vandalur -Perungalathur Hills. (Its a reserved forest.)
Taken in Chennai, Tamil Nadu

Fruits are distinctive.

Yes …,  I wonder this species was really identified and given name.

The first and the third photographs are of Ventilago madraspatana Gaertn. [Rhamnaceae]. The species name is often spelt (erroneously) as ‘maderaspatana‘.
The fruits in the second picture are of a Reissantia sp. Possibly Reissantia indica (Willd.) N.Hallé [Celastraceae / ex-Hippocrateaceae].

Thanks for your detailed email.
The think 3 pictures I sent is of same species Ventilago madraspatana and 3 of them has same fruits. (Correct me if I am wrong).
Any how one picture has a flower (that I think you are referring) is matching to Reissantia indica.
I believe the name madraspatana  came from MADRAS (Old name of Chennai) and Patana (Patnam, patna, Vishakapatnam) means city in Indian languages.
I think Gaertn. should have named in Chennai.

I have marked out the fruit of the Reissantia sp. in your second photograph attached herewith. It is distinctly different from the fruit of Ventilago madraspatana Gaertn. [Rhamnaceae] seen in the first and in the third photograph of your post. Fruiting images of Reissantia indica (Willd.) N.Hallé can be seen in the Digital Flora of Karnataka for comparison.
Attachments (1)

The word madraspatana comes from Madras which was earlier called Maderaspatanam and later changed to Chennai.
For more reference please watch the movie, Madrasapattinam 🙂 just kidding…

Thanks for kidding.
But I can’t trust my belief, that’s why I had given an explanation.

Additional information:
As I am from MADRAS (Chennai) I know it was named after an English men named Madras.

Super. Hats off for the discovery.
Second picture fruit is different from 1 and 3.
If I look bit sensitively the difference is clear by Color, Size and structure although look similar at high level.

Although I usually send only same kind of species per mail as per group’s rule, Nature had played with me.
Only experts like Viplav can sort this issues.
This mail has 2 species has told by …

No mam, Madras word originated from Portuguese who were around, before British.

Kindly help me in identification..


20-02-2010 / 10:00 AM

Location- Place, Altitude, GPS-  

CBD Belapur Hill (Navi Mumbai), 400 ft

Habitat- Garden/ Urban/ Wild/ Type- 


Plant Habit- Tree/ Shrub/ Climber/ Herb-   

Climbing  Shrub


Approx. 4 to 5 M

Leaves Type/ Shape/ Size- 

Photograph Enclosed

Inflorescence Type/ Size-  

Not seen

Flowers Size/ Colour/ Calyx/ Bracts- 


Fruits Type/ Shape/ Size Seeds- 

Fan Blade type (Flat), 2 inch long

Ventilago sp. …. most probably V. maderaspatana … commonly known as: red creeper • Assamese: bor-kalia • Coorgi: male mythala, vembadam • Gujarati: રગતરૉહાડો ragatarohado • Hindi: केंवटी keonti, पित्ती pitti • Kannada: haruge, kanvel • Khasi: mei bynoh • Konkani: खांडवेल khamdvel • Malayalam: vempata • Marathi: खांडवेल khandvel, लोखंडी lokhandi • Oriya: ରକ୍ତପିତ୍ତା roktopitta • Sanskrit: रक्तवल्ली raktavalli • Sinhalese: yakkaduvel • Tamil: பப்பிளி pappili • Telugu: సురుగుడు surugudu

Thanks … Definitely Ventilago sp.  As indicated by u, it could as well be V.maderaspatana. Waiting for more responses. Lets see..

It looks like V.madraspatanaThe root bark of that species is the source of red dye- ventilagin. That may help confirmation.

Yes for V. maderaspatana.


ID120409phk 1 – indiantreepix | Google Groups : 2 images.
Pl. id attached shruby tree, photographed at Kanakeshwar A

… this is most possibly Ventilago species … and more likely V. maderaspatana
Friends to validate; please wait for more comments.

Thanks, …, I think after seeing Dinesh ji’s picture at, there should hardly be any doubt.


Ventilago maderaspatana ?? ID Validation- 26012012-PKA1:
Requesting you to kindly validate this ID. I had seen this Climbing Shrub at Prabal- Machi en-route Prabalgad. Tender – fresh leaves , alternately arranged. I could not see any flowers. I could also feel some smell near this Climbing Shrub.
I think this could be Ventilago maderaspatana??
Family: Rhamnaceae
Date/Time: 22-01-2012 / 02:00PM

… the fruits seem to resemble that of Ventilago, my guess: it is for sure, some different plant.
Have seen fruits of Ventilago to be in pendulous clusters – hanging on to delicate stem.
Yet will stand corrected.

yes definately Ventilago, (Rhamnaceae)…need to confirm species level…

It does look like Ventilago maderaspatana with the flowers in terminal panicles.



Ventilago maderaspatana – Please re-assess : 6 posts by 4 authors. Attachments (5)
Ventilago maderaspatana [Lokhandi] was flowering profusely at Khandala & Rajmachi. Sending a few photographs.
A while ago had posted a climber for identification and it was identified as Ventilago maderaspatana and it is available at this link
This does not look the same to me. Could it be some other species of Ventilago ?  Please re-assess.

Smythea bombaiensis, syn Ventilago bombaiensis.

These species are sometimes difficult to identify in the absence of flowers or fruit.
The leaves of the plant posted  in the link by … look to me like they might be Ventilago calyculata, syn. V. denticulata. Its flowers are in dense panicles, usually terminal. This species is seen more in deciduous forests.
As for V. bombaiensis it has flowers in axillary fascicles whereas V. maderaspatana has flowers in drooping terminal panicles. The leaves of these 2 are quite similar and they are both found in semi evergreen and evergreen forests. V. bombaiensis is a much more uncommon plant of the two.

Thanks … This could be Ventilago bombaiensis. Sending a photographs of what in contrast could possibly be Ventilago denticulata.

Ventilago bombaiensis Dals. syn. of Smythea bombaiensis


Ventilago denticulata Willd.


Here are pics of the 2 species: V. bombaiensis with fruit and V. calyculata syn. denticulata leaves. That ribbed stem is quite characteristic of V. calyculata and could be seen in one of … pictures.
2 correct image.


Spoke to Dr. Almeida…
– though called V.bombaiensis it is not found around Bombay but further south towards Castle Rock [which was part of Bombay Presidency]. It’s stem is terete [round]. The fruit are pointed, ‘finger-length’ divided at the tip. The leaves are thick.
V.denticulata has ribbed stems, leaves that are paper thin [when dry], small fruit [about an inch in length] in bundles.
– if the lower stem and roots of V. maderaspatana are cut it yields a red dye called Dragon’s Blood.

Have to agree with … – this should be V. denticulata [V.calyculata].

Further feedback from another thread from …:
These seem to be V. maderaspatana, as long as they are all of the same plant. The new leaves are clearly seen in the 4th picture, bottom line on the left. In fact if you click on the image it is correctly labelled.


Ventilago leiocarpa in FOI : 2 posts by 1 author.
Images of Ventilago leiocarpa in FOI by … should be of  Ventilago madraspatana Gaertn. as per images and details herein.
Also pl. see Request for ID- 200210-PKA1 – efloraofindia | Google Groups
Ventilago leiocarpa does not have distribution in India as per Catalogue of Life and POWO.
Pl. correct.


Ventilago madraspatana Gaertn. :: Matheran :: May 22, 2023 · 11:30 AM IST: 10 images.
Ventilago madraspatana Gaertn.
Matheran, Raigad, Maharashtra :: May 22, 2023 · 11:30 AM IST :: about 800 m (2,625 feet) asl


Ventilago madraspatana Gaertn. :: Matheran :: Apr 1, 2023 · JUN23 DV217: 6 images.

Ventilago madraspatana Gaertn.
Matheran :: Apr 1, 2023 · 4:00 PM IST :: about 800 m (2,625 ft) asl

Many thanks to Radha Veach for suggesting the ID at iNaturalist



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