Leycesteria stipulata (Hook. f. & Thomson) Fritsch, Nat. Pflanzenfam. 4(4): 169 169 1891. (Syn: Lonicera stipulata Hook. f. & Thomson; Pentapyxis stipulata (Hook. f. & Thomson) Hook. f. ex C.B. Clarke);
Images by Sheila




Unknown shrub.: Please can you identify this large rather straggly shrub.
It was found along the road to Tiger Hill near Darjeeling.

It could be Trema sp, Most probably T tomentosa

Yes I too had a wild guess that this could be species of Trema.

With … lead and with the help of the following link, I think … is correct in saying this could be Trema tomentosa of Cannabaceae family.

Thank you … and … for you suggestion.
However, mystery shrub has opposite leaves.. while Trema tomentosa has alternate leaves.

Yes I didn’t notice that and not only that, I think, I didn’t examine the close up of flower picture carefully.

I really appreciate your effort in cross checking based on the suggestions.
Now, I have a second thought based on the flower/inflorescence close up pictures that, could this be a plant belong to the family Rubiaceae?
Opposite leaves, interpetiolar stipules, pentamerous flower, epipetalous stamens exerted stigma which is capitate, all forced me to think of a Rubiacean element in it.

Thank you … for the suggestion of the family Rubiaceae.
Any chance that anyone can get it any further?
This was such a common shrub along the tourist road to watch sunrise from Tiger Hill. I was so sure it would be a really easy one for local people to id.

It may be a Lasianthus species, not sure but.

I have had a look on www but am unable to find any Lasianthus with the small leaflet on the top, between the pairs of leaves.
I wish I could have been there at a different season to see what colour the berries were.

Thanks for the lead … I too think that this is Lasianthus andmost probably this could be Lasianthus micranthus of Rubiaceae family. 

Thank you … for the suggestion of Lasianthus micranthus.
Reading about it, it does seem to be very variable.
I am not clever enough to understand the technical terminology… so am not sure if this is my shrub or not. I do much better with visual aids and photos!
I have searched on www and found a herbarium specimen from Kew.
I cannot see the small semi circular leaflet that was grows on the stem between the pairs of leaves, or the pair of stipules that show on my images.
Hmm! Just not sure…….

Pl also check these Kew holdings. They seem to have similar features to that of our plant (are we checking in right genus?). Let’s wait for more comments from members.

isn’t style 3-5 branched for Lasianthus?

Agreed, … Thank you.
The search is still on… Can it be a Canthium sp? I have no idea 🙁

FOC says ….style linear stigma lobes 3-9.


Please refer the following link as well


I really appreciate all your help and do not wish to appear ungrateful.
However, Lasianthus parvifolius is not at all like it.
My mystery shrub has 5 petals not 4.
I found this pic showing the leaves.
It just doesn’t come close to my amateur eye.
It was a very large shrub. My pic does not show the bulk of the shrub, just a few bottom branches. See my 3rd pic for the base of the mother plant.
I thought at the time it might be a shrubby honeysuckle. But the stigma is not right.
Of all the unidentified plants from this trip this is THE one I would really love to id.
I thought my close up pics showing the detail pretty well would make it so easy! Not so!

I think … wanted to only compare the stigmas in “Lasianthus” and in the plant in discussion.
Flora of China says stigma lobes 3-9. Even in the poster picture, I see multiple stigmas clustered together on a common style, as we see in the picture in Giby’s link. My doubt is the shape of stigma lobes…FoC says they are “linear or lanceolate” which is not the case in our plant. But our plant also has multiple stigmas but appear as capitate. I see more than 6 lobes here.
Number of corolla lobes is variable in Lasianthus (4-6).
Hope someone in the group will come up with convincing id for this plant…

Maybe some kind soul be willing to collect a live specimen from Tiger Hill, and take it to the Herbarium at the Lloyd Botanic Garden. Hopefully the local botanists there would be able to give an accurate
id of a very very common shrub in their local area.

I have been trying AGAIN to id this and think at long last I may have it!
It has been suggested in the past it was Leycesteria.
How about Leycesteria stipulata???
It used to be Lonicera stipulata. (The way it was growing reminded me very much of a shrubby honeysuckle.)
I even found a link to say it is common in Ghoom.
However, the only really good pics on www are on a Chinese web site that I cannot copy to here as they must be private.
Expert opinion please.

Congrats! Finally you got the correct id, I think!
The description of Leycesteria stipulata at FoC perfectly fits and also here is a herbarium specimen that exactly matches with your plant: http://apps.kew.org/herbcat/getImage.do?imageBarcode=K000076878

You have provided me the final piece of the jigsaw.! Brilliant. That is it.
I tried to find a herbarium specimen on www with no luck. Thank you.
I cannot tell you just how thrilled I am to have finally got this shrub positively id.