Neohymenopogon parasiticus (Wall.) Bennet, Indian Forester 107: 436 1981. (Syn: Hymenopogon parasiticus Wall.; Hymenopogon parasiticus var. longiflorus F.C.How ex W.C.Chen; Mussaenda cuneifolia D.Don);
1600-2800 m; Himalaya (Kumaun to Bhutan), Burma, Indo-China, W. China (var.) as per Checklist of Nepal;
Nepal to China (Yunnan): Assam, China South-Central, East Himalaya, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand, Tibet, Vietnam as per POWO;


SK121OCT02-2016:ID : 7 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (8)
Sharing some pictures for ID shot at Chandragiri Hill Kathmandu on 19 September 2016 at 8200 ft.
It was on a tree and looks like parasitic plant.

This is Hymenopogon parasiticus  – a small epiphytic shrub belonging to the Rubiaceae (the Madder Family).

It has terminal branched flat-topped clusters of creamy-white tubular flowers plus prominent long narrow white bracts. The capsules are cylindrical.  There is a photo in ‘Flowers of the Himalaya’ but that shows the flowers, rather than the young fruits as in your images, making it harder to “match” especially with that image with dark green leaves and the bracts being less prominent.
Most helpful, …, to have several good shots incl. habit, habitat, close-ups of fruits plus upper & lower surface of leaves- rather than only 1 or 2 images shot in less close-up. Keep up the good work.
‘Flowers of Himalaya’ give a distribution of what was Uttaranachal to SW China & SE Asia @ 1600-2800. It is not found in the NW Himalaya. A forest epiphyte. I first observed this next to the Naryanswamy Ashram in Kumaon, close to border with West Nepal.
‘Flora of Kathmandu Valley’ (1986) says it occurs on trunks of tall trees in oak forest @ 1950-2286m. Flowering May-Aug, fruiting Sep-March known as ‘Gabre Kath’.

Thank you for the ID. I could not ID from the fruits only. Now I remember it was already ID from the flowers. Enclosing some pictures shot on the way to Kalinchowk Dolakha Nepal on 24 July 2014 at around 8-9000 ft.
Attachments (3)

Adding Nepali Names: बिरी Biree/ गब्रे काठ Gabre Kaath/ गोब्रे काठ Gobre Kaath/ हंसराज Hansaraaj/ वन गाजा Vana Gaajaa/ वन विरी Van Viree

Nice to see the images of the plant in flower.  Just goes to show how useful it is to have images both of a species in flower and at fruiting stage (both immature and mature, as there can be significant differences).  Not forgetting the foliage including both upper and lower surfaces of leaves.  One is not always fortunate to come across a plant in perfect flower.  Now that one can take as many photos as one likes with digital cameras, at no additional cost, the way for the future is for keen plant photographers to take a minimum of 10-20 shots per plant (once you get into the habit of doing this, it does not take much time) and for on-line references to be available showing all these characteristics of plants.  If the specimen(s) you come across belong to certain difficult-to-identify genera, then it may be important to concentrate your photography on particular features (if you know which bit is important).
I have made a modest start at preparing such a site for the Flora of Buckinghamshire (the county in the UK I live in, albeit recent boundary charges have occurred). It may come as something of a shock to view so many images per plant but the benefits are enormous and it is the “way forward”, such that increasingly, it will not be necessary to collect voucher pressed specimens for checking in herbaria (though there remains a role and need for herbaria and for the present, such specimens are essential to reliably identify certain genera). I shall keep repeating that I approach plant identification as “detective work” – the more clues and supporting evidence the better.
I am thinking about starting such a site for Ladakh flora (and ultimately the whole of the NW Himalaya) but this is a mammoth task, requiring support (in various ways) plus collaboration with others and for me to devote myself full-time to this (whilst still contributing to efloraofIndia, complementing, not competing with it) for it to make significant progress. We shall see. I consider it important to include images from all available sources such as line drawings, scanned in slides from past decades, written descriptions. Distributions, altitudinal ranges and habitats are vital information.
There has been a tradition (partly because it was not economic to have more than a single image, occasionally two, per species in books/guides (and having more, would make very large and expensive books) to attempt to identify plants by matching with a single image in such books.  Yes, some species are distinctive enough but many are not. The single, general, often “pretty” photo often does not show the diagnostic characteristics of a species.  Frequent misidentifications occur this way.
In the past it was not economic to take more than 1 or 2 photos per plant. A year ago I spent a couple of hours photographing flowers locally (in a rich area) taking no less than 720 images!  But that cost me nothing.  From those I could select the best, perfectly in focus when I inspecting them on my computer screen.  Back in the days when I used 36 exposure slide film, this equated to the total number of roles I would have taken (and been able to afford) for a month or two botanizing in the Himalaya.  How things have changed.  And even from the early days of digital photography, the memory cards can hold large numbers of images of bigger ‘size’, the battery chargers and batteries are much smaller and if one is trekking or away from reliable electricity, a few spare, charged batteries can be brought along.  Plus a modest, compact camera with macro-facility can take excellent images and be kept safely in a shirt pocket – no need for tripods or changing lenses.

Thank you very much for your tips and guidance. I was wondering when I used to browse the Google and saw your pictures and imagined to get in touch with you. See the world is a small village.
Thanks to efloraindia and … for connecting me with you.
By the way I am not a specialist botanist and just a plant enthusiast and trying my best to learn about the plants and pursuing my passion after my retirement.
I hope I would be receiving your valuable guidance time and again in future.

Location: Shivapuri National Park, Nepal
Altitude: 7500 ft.
Date: 22 July 2017
Attachments (3)


Hymenopogon parasiticus Wall. ?? : 4 posts by 2 authors.

Location: Lepchaghat, Darjeeling, India
Date: 24 May  2017
Altitude: 7200 ft.

I think yes, as per the following: high resolution specimen)

Neohymenopogon parasiticus (Wallich) Bennet of Rubiaceae family is an epiphytic, small shrub. Not common.
Here photographed near Kalamuni, Pithoragarh (Uttarakhand).
It is addition to eFI database

Chakrata Tour 2013: Tree 1 for id.. : Attachments (4). 4 posts by 3 authors.
This medium sized tree with oblong leaves which are silvery tomentose beneath was shot during recent tour to Chakrata region, please help in identification..

Leafy bract below some flowers indicate affinity with Mussaenda sp (Rubiaceae).

Neohymenopogon parasiticus (Wall.) Bennet
Syn: Hymenopogon parasiticus Wall.

Thank you very much …, we are coming closer to exact identification..

I think matches with images at Neohymenopogon parasiticus

Neohymenopogon parasiticus (Wall.) Bennet : 2 posts by 1 author. Attachments (3) – above 800 kb each.
Location:  Phulchoki, Lalitpur 
Date:  3 July 2019
Elevation:  2365 m.
Habit : Wild
Syn: Hymenopogon parasiticus Wall.


Bk0026 : 4 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (1)


  • Location: Bagamati province Central Nepal
  • Elevation: 1900m
  • Date: last week of Jul 2019

Neohymenopogon parasiticus (Wall.) Bennet Syn: Hymenopogon parasiticus Wall.

Ohh yes…Previously got only vegetative.. this one with floral parts…


Neohymenopogon parasiticus (Wall.) Bennet: 6 very high res. images.

Location: Phulchoki, Lalitpur
Date:  18 July 2021
Elevation:  2500m.
Habit : Wild
Syn: Hymenopogon parasiticus Wall.

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