Stephania japonica var. discolor (Bl.) Forman, Kew Bull. 11: 49, 56 49 1956. (Syn: Cissampelos hernandiifolia Willd.; Cissampelos hexandra Roxb.; Clypea discolor Bl.; Clypea hernandifolia (Willd.) Wight & Arn.; Clypea longa G.Don; Menispermum peltatum Forst. ex DC.; Stephania australis A. Gray; Stephania concinna Miers; Stephania discolor (Bl.) Spreng.; Stephania exigua Miers; Stephania gaudichaudii A. Gray; Stephania hallieri Diels; Stephania hernandiifolia (Willd.) Walp.; Stephania hypoglauca Miers; Stephania latifolia Miers);
China (Yunnan, Guizhou, Guangxi, Sichuan), Australia (E-Queensland, E-New South Wales, +Victoria), peninsular Malaysia (Penang Isl.), India (Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya), Nepal, Myanmar [Burma] (Yangon), Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Sumatra, Java, Lesser Sunda Isl., Borneo, Sulawesi, Moluccas, New Guinea, Nicobar Isl. (Great Nicobar Isl.), Marquesas Isl., Society Isl. (Tahiti, Raiatea, Tahaa), Tonga as per Catalogue of Life;
India: Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya and Nicobar Islands; Myanmar, Thailand, Indo-china to Malesia and E. Australia as per BSI Flora of India;
As per efi thread : Cissampelos pareira and Stephania japonica belong to the family Menispermaceae
Both species are dioecious.
In Stephania leaves are glabrous as are the stem as well
In Cissampelos leaves and stem tomentose
In Stephania the petiole (leaf stalk) joins the leaf away from the edge / conspicuously peltate (resembles Cyclea peltata) generally triangular-rotund.
In Cissampelos the petiole joins the leaf close to the edge
In Stephania flowers arranged in stalked umbellate cymes
In Cissampelos Male inflorescences axillary, solitary or few fascicled, corymbose cymes and pubescent whereas, female inflorescences thyrsoid, narrow
While “Bengal Plants” (and “F. B. I.”) describes only one species, Stephania hernandifolia Wall. (Cissampelos pareira L. in F. B. I.), “Flora Indica” describes six Cissampelos species.
Could this be Cissampelos hernandifolia Willd. of F. I. iii. 842 = Stephania japonica var. discolor (Blume) Forman of FoC?
Species : Stephania japonica var. discolor (Blume) Forman?
H & H : wild climber/twiner in roadside hedges
Date : 16/1/13
Place : Hooghly

In the last photo, is that the seeds!? Very intriguing…

I thought those were seeds, each fruit having one, but literature (also FoC) says that those are endocarp (stone)!

Thank you very much for the eye-opening comment.

The Plant List and GRIN
Both consider Stephania and Cissampelos as separate genera. Both belong to Menispermaceae though.
I am confused….

Thank you very much for the mail, i made two grave mistakes, 1) It is not Cissampelos pareira L., the entry in F. B. I. is Stephania hernandifolia Walp., same as in “Bengal Plants”, and 2) it is “Walp.”, not “Wall.”.
However, i copy entry in “Bengal Plants” :-
Stephania hernandifolia Walp.; F. B. I. i. 103; E. D. S. 2794. Cissampelos hernandifolia F. I. iii. 842.

(i) leaf blade ca. as long as wide, abaxial surface glaucous ——– S. japonica
(ii) leaf blade longer than wide, abaxial surface usually green —— S. longa
I attach new set of photos to show that its leaf-blade are slightly longer than wide.
Yet it is Stephania japonica var. discolor (Blume) Forman, i think, for :-
  1. petiole is much longer than the those in Stephania longa Loureiro
  2. leaf blade and venation do not match with the above
  3. the perforation in the seed/endocarp rather centrally placed and narrower than Stephania longa Loureiro

4 images.

This is another very common roadside vine, often intertwined with other climbers like Tiliacora acuminata Miers. It maybe the Stephania japonica (Thunb.) Miers, as in –
Habit & Habitat : slender climber, very common on roadside
Date : 4/7/12, 11.52 A.M.
Place : Hooghly
I am yet to find its flowers or fruits, for i was not interested in plants.

I have not seen this so far but yes it does appear to be Stephania japonica.
Wikipedia mentions it as found near sea….that is the reason it may not be that common in Maharashtra esp Pune( Or I have not observed it yet )

Recorded these pics yesterday, 26/7/12 @ 9.47 A.M., at another place from another vine. Again, this climber to remained intertwined with other climbers, Tinospora cordifolia & Coccinia grandis.
8 images.

I searched previous group posts of Stephania japonica and found these-
Also some info or pics from the google search-

Recorded some pictures today of a twiner that i think is the same species in this thread.
10 images.

Attaching seed images of the same plant, recorded today. 2 images.

Please change this id to Stephania japonica var. discolor (Blume) Forman, as in my another post – efi thread.
I re-checked the seeds of this species too, i have its herbarium, cleaned one of the seeds thoroughly, and there is a perforation in the centre, which i missed earlier.

What a wonderful depiction! I really appreciate your efforts …

Thank you very much for confirming. As i look back to my progress i realize that i still forget to record finer details of a plant, like stipules, under surface of a leaf, smell of a flower etc.


I am fed up with certain software giant for their continuous effort to junk older version of OS. They just don’t understand we, common people, can’t afford to shell out a grand or half every couple of years!
So, i have installed UBUNTU for the first time and this is the first email i am sending using this new OS. Hope, everything works fine.
This is a common vine here and i have earlier uploads –

Thank you

very nice …

what a weird and wonderful seed, as if its of fired terra cotta … almost the diwali diyas

Thank you very much …, with all botanical kochkochi i have lost my eyes!

Thank you … for this upload.

I have a feeling that I have seen it though not having the pictures. I have to search it once again around Pantnagar, it must be here.

Thank you Sir, it is very common here, hope you too find it over there soon.

Good pictures …!  Nice comparison Usha di, yes the seeds looks almost like diyas!

Stephania species (Menispermaceae) for ID : 8 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (1)
A climber in subtropical forests of Sikkim at about 6000′ altitude.
I am not getting the species. The following species are recorded from Sikkim: S. elegans, S. glandulifera and S. japonica.

Can it be Stephania glandulifera? As per The Useful Plants of India (CSIR Publication in Sikkim it is known as KUNTEA-POT)

Of three species you have mentioned, I think, we can exclude S. elegans Hook. f. & Thomson, since the species has leaves longer than wide. Please check … upload – efi thread. There are several herbarium in KEW site also.
As per BSI drupes of S. glandulifera Miers are sessile. Your plate shows drupes are not sessile.
Strangely enough BSI thinks we, in West Bengal, have only S. elegans! Perhaps the species is distributed in Darjeeling (as per KEW herbarium collection).
BSI gives distribution of S. japonica var. discolor in which excludes West Bengal. But, I have identified my collection using illustration (and description) of Flora of China. The threads can be accessed at –
  1. efi thread 1
  2. efi thread 2
I am attaching a few pics here for your perusal. I think your species is same, because drupes can be pedicellate in this species.
Moreover, I am confused regarding BSI key on nerves of leaves (at key 2). Because S. glandulifera can have 5 to 9 nerves as per BSi description!

Attachments (7)

efi page on Stephania japonica var. discolour

BSI “checklist” or distribution of spp in its various “volumes“, I think, is not exhaustive. One reason may be that certain volumes are relatively old publication. Recently I have noticed many examples, two are E. granulata Frossk. and Abelmoschus tuberculatus Pal & Singh.

The species only known as Stephania japonica

Thank you very much …, I still have some doubts about the identity although I have a manuscript of Flora of Sikkim Volume 1 in hand (unpublished) but it is not clearly leading on to the species.  In fact when I failed after trying the key given in this work, I posted the photo here. I will go to CAL after the forthcoming festival and will look at the relevant specimens there.  I hope that I shall be able to clarify the situation after that.


SYMBIOSIS : 92: Attaching the image of the 92nd member of the series. In this a Redvented Bulbul is eating the Fruits of Stephania hernandifolia. The common name of this climber is Tape-vine.

Help ID this climber

Date/Time-20/08/2011- 09 AM
Location- Place, Altitude, GPS-  Assam,
Habitat- Garden/ Urban/ Wild/ Type- Wild Type
Plant Habit- Tree/ Shrub/ Climber/ Herb-  Climber
Leaves Type/ Shape/ Size- Cordate, 5-8X4-6cm
Inflorescence Type/ Size- as seen in the photos,
Flowers Size/ Colour/ Calyx/ Bracts- Minute
Fruits Type/ Shape/ Size Seeds- Not seen

This looks like Stephania japonica to me.
Family: Menispermaceae.

Yes this is Stephania japonica as suggested …

yes Stephania japonica

May be Stephania japonica var. discolour as per keys in Flora of China


MS,Dec.,2021/15 Stephania sp. for id.: 1 very high res. images.
Location : Aizawl, Mizoram

Altitude : 970 m.
Date : 28-02-2011
Habit : Climber
Habitat : Wild

Keys pl.

It appears to be Stephania japonica var. discolor (Bl.) Forman as per images and details herein and as per keys provided by you and in BSI Flora of India.



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