Tetrastigma sulcatum (P. Lawson) Gamble, Fl. Madras 229 1918. (syn: Vitis lanceolaria Wight (ambiguous synonym); Vitis sulcata P. Lawson);

India (Goa, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala) as per Catalogue of life;

Small climbers or creepers; stem thick, tuberculate. Leaves 3-5-foliolate; leaflets ovate-elliptic, acuminate, crenate-serrate, nerves 13-15 pairs; rachis 4 cm long. Peduncle 1-2 cm long, dichotomous, glabrous. Flowers 5 mm across; sepals ovate, acute; petals 3 mm long, oblong, obtuse. Berry 2-2.5 cm across, white, glabrous; seeds 4, 10 x 5 mm, brownish.

Flowering and fruiting: November-March
Evergreen and moist deciduous forests
Peninsular India (Endemic)

(Attributions- Dr. N Sasidharan (Dr. B P Pal Fellow), Kerala Forest Research Institute, Peechi

ANMAR55/77 Please identify this plant : 6 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (7)
Family: Vitaceae
Date: 24th March 2015
Place: Mullayanagiri, Chikamagalur, Karnataka
Habit: Climber
Habitat: Shola forest

Again I fail to reach a conclusive decision. What I notice in your attached pics are –
  • branch muricated, as in T. muricatum, T. leucostaphylum, T. sulcatum
  • I am not sure if branches are sulcate
  • flowering season doesn’t match with muricatum, match with sulcatum, don’t have info on leucostaphylum
  • leaves in your pics do not have long petiole, whereas herbaria of sulcatum and muricatum show long petioled leaves
  • I am not sure if these leaves can be called crenate, as in sulcatum
  • Wight Icones T 740 has not been referred to sulcatum
  • Icones T 740 is related with muricatum and leucostaphylum
  • T 740 has acuminate leaflets, moderately long petiole
  • I think leaves and inflorescence rather match with Icones T 28, but branch in that plate is not muricated. T 28 is related to sulcatum as per FBI
Thank you




I think it’s better to wait for the mature fruits of this plant if it’s in your vicinity.

You can download Icones from http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/bibliography/92#/summary. Meanwhile attached here related plates for your perusal.
Attachments (3)

Tetrastigma species in eFloraofindia (with details/ keysfrom published papers/ regional floras/ FRLHT/ FOI/ Biotik/ efloras/ books etc., where ever available) 

I go with Tetrastigma muricatum/Tetrastigma leucostaphylum because the Gamble description (1 and 2) effectively rules out Tetrastigma lanceolarium (although the key puts the species under not or little tuberculate). And the other possible species Tetrastigma sulcatum can be ruled out (if you agree) based on the leaf margin because as you say, they may not be crenate but rather distantly serrate.
Regarding the size of the leaves, I believe I have a very simple answer. I, very unwittingly, picked out a set of NEW AND SMALL LEAVES! Please see the attached photo. Although blurry, the background shows significantly larger leaves than the small leaves in the centre left of the photo. As for the conundrum between Tetrastigma muricatum/Tetrastigma leucostaphylum:


Tetrastigma muricatum

Tetrastigma leucostaphylum


Terete, muricate

Angled, tuberculate/muricate


Usually 3-foliate, may be pedately 5-foliate (sizes very similar)

Leaves pedately 5-foliate (sizes very similar)


Broadly elliptic






1cm across (cannot find no. of seeds)

1 cm across, 2-4 seeded

The place is quite accessible with a guide and is only a few hours away from Bangalore. I will update with fruits if possible.
In the meanwhile, please let me know what you think.
Attachments (1)

Yes …, perhaps we can skip T. lanceolarium and T. sulcatum.

Since branches are not angled and one or two leaf 3 foliolate it should be T. muricatum, not T. leucostaphylum. Leaves also match with Flora-Karnataka (JCB) herbarium. However, JCB says branches of T. leucostaphyllum is terete and leaves elliptic! Yet, it is closer to T. muricatum, I think.

Not only the stem character, …, leaves of T. leucostaphylum are broadly elliptic as per JCB, it goes against your description you keyed in your table (comparing both muricatum and leucostaphylum). Fruit sized also differs in JCB.

So, it’s a very complicated case, as can be seen in discrepancies in KEY and descriptions across various literature.

Indeed sir.
And also sir, here are those sheets that I referred, one from Coorg flora and the other Hassan flora.
Attachments (2)

Here you have account of T. leucostaphylum from Singapore, …

Perhaps you can skip T. l. too!

Keys from Flora of India vol-5 are attached. Hope these help too.

Attachments (3)

Thank you very much … Fruits and seeds are so very important to distinguish these species.

Many thanks to …

…, following Flora of India KEY I would like to try one more time.
We can skip all species after KEY-11b.
We can also skip species no. 8 at KEY-9b
We can also skip species no. 14 at KEY-10a. (we do not have fruits. but distribution is unlikely?)
That leaves us with only two species – T. sulcatum and T. nilagiricum.
It appears to me it is same species as in your other upload – efi thread

…, thank you for your tireless efforts. I also agree with T. sulcatum in both this thread and the other.

I looked in a lot of other district flora and find no mention of Tetrastigma nilagiricum. So that may be ruled out too!

…, thank you very much for the key!

The KEW herb of T. nilagiricum links – 

ANOCT24 Cayratia sp.? : Attachments (4).  
Nandi Hills
1st October 2014

Cayratiaspecies in eFloraofindia (with details/ keys from published papers/ regional floras/ FRLHT/ FOI/ Biotik/ efloras/ books etc., where ever available)

Assuming this is a climber, 5 foliolate pedate leaves, glabrous nature, corky warts o tubercles, short and compact cymes suggest it can be Vitis lanceolaria Roxb, FBI i. 660.

How about Tetrastigma species ? Not sure. Need to compare the characters.

Yes, I agree with you, …, but there is a problem with accepted name –

  • I think it is Vitis lanceolaria Roxb. of FBI, the accepted name of which, as per TPL, is Tetrastigma lanceolarium (Roxb.) Planch. But at the same time TPL gives a note – “A cross-taxon basionym link was ignored while processing this record, see Cissus lanceolaria Roxb..”. I don’t know what does it mean.
  • Our group identifies Cissus lanceolaria Roxb. with Tetrastigma leucostaphylum (Dennst.) Alston ex Mabb.
That’s why I suggested the name i found in Flora of British India.

Thanks, …, Accepted name & synonyms as given in efi is based on GRIN (2014) & Flora of Eastern Ghats: Hill Ranges of South East India, Volume 1 By T. Pullaiah, D. Muralidhara Rao, K. Sri Ramamurthy (2003- Description & Keys) 

Thanks …, in that case it may not be Vitis (Cissus) lanceolaria Roxb,

Cayratia pedata (Lam.) Gagnep.

Cayratia sp.
Have reservation about Cayratia pedata
as plant not hairy / pubescent. Further, berry seems globose and not sub-globose / compressed at both ends.
Pls consider C. tenuifolia or another from local flora.

The species in question is Tetrastigma species, as suggested by me earlier. T. leucostaphylum?  Please provide the correct citation.

Thank you very much sir. I will take it as a Tetrastigma sp. 

In FBI the distribution of Vitis rumicisperma Laws. is restricted to Sikkim Himalaya, Khasia Mts. FBI thinks it is also allied to V. lanceolaria. FBI says it has leaves usually pedately 5-foliolate, rarelt 3-foliolate; branches with corky wart or tubercles; fruit the size of large currant; seed broadly triangular-obcordate.
The book Garg Sir mentioned earlier informs it is present in the South too, as Tetrastigma rumicisperma (Laws.) Planch.
Please check probability.

Flora of Karmataka thinks (1) Tetrastigma lanceolarium is accepted name of Cissus/Vitis lanceolaria and (2) T. leucostaphylum is accepted name of Tetrastigma muricatum (Wight & Arn) Gamble.
KEY and description of the above two species can be found in the same site – http://florakarnataka.ces.iisc.ernet.in/hjcb2/herbsheet.php?id=4504&cat=1
It is ironical that the fruit size of T. leucostaphyllum given in the above site goes against the book Garg Sir mentioned earlier. It is further more ironical that our group recognize the second one above is a different taxon – /species/m—z/v/vitaceae/tetrastigma/tetrastigma-muricatum
Certainly what the above book says about the fruit (triangula-obcordate) of Tetrastigma rumicisperma is wrong. The fruit of this species (T. rum.) will be same as T. lanceolarium but  smaller (check FoC); and the plant will be same as T. lanceolarium.
All the above confusion, I think, lies in a single Wallich collection – Wall. cat. 6013. and entries in FBI.
So, forget about all experts, books, sites. Take a tip from this non-botanist-expert one, i.e. myself!
Your plant is Tetrastigma leucostaphylum as per fruit size (more than 1.2 cm?) mentioned in your Flora of Karnataka site.

Excellent … Great in-depth study. Who said you are a non botanist ? You are not only a botanist but a great taxonomist.

Thank you very much Sir. Now, everything depends on mature fruit size and backed by seed picture.

… for the efforts you take to dissect the available resources. Thank you very much. 

Thank you very much … I really spent much time on recent vitaceae uploads. Thank you for recognizing.

I do take a Tetrastigma leucostaphylum then sir. Thank you very much.

Please don’t take my words. You do express your view freely, in the process I would learn something. I think there is less probability of this plant to be T. sulcata (Laws.) Gamble, because leaves are crenate in that species, as per both of the resources we have seen earlier. This species has characters of Vitris lanceolaria Roxb. Since lanceolaria si now divided in to two taxa, and I assume fruits are likely to grow a little more I think it has possibility to be T. leucostaphylum.

I didn’t receive the Rawat Ji’s mail providing Flora of India KEY in the other thread. Under the changed scenario we need to reassess both the threads. We wasted many many hours chasing wild goose. The fruit size and murication in Flora of India KEY is quite opposite to what we found in 
We would start at KEY 1b of Flora of India and move towards : 1b -> 8 -> we will stop at 8a.
Because I think 
(a) these berries are likely to grow more than 1 cm. 
(b) the branchlets are smooth in T. leucostaphylum 
(c) leaflet margins are revolute in T. nilagiricum 
(d) berries are turbinate globose in T. rumiscispermum.
So, it should be T. sulcatum. What do you think?

I agree sir. Thank you!

Now that both this thread and the other have been narrowed down to T. sulcatum, I will club the two together so that it can be reffered to in the future all in one place. I will combine the information from both the threads too.


An Excursion Flora of Central Tamilnadu, India By K. M. Matthew (2005- Details with keys)
Flora of Eastern Ghats: Hill Ranges of South East India, Volume 1 By T. Pullaiah, D. Muralidhara Rao, K. Sri Ramamurthy (2003- Details with keys)