Mussaenda frondosa


Images by Surajit Koley (Inserted by J.M.Garg) (For more images & complete details, click on the links)

Images by Raghu Ananth (Id by Vijayasankar Raman) (Inserted by J.M.Garg) (For more images & complete details, click on the links)

Flag Bush;
ID of this bush. : 5 posts by 4 authors.
I would love to know the botanical name of this bush. The tender leaves are white. Some of them drop down too.
The flowers are dark orange in colour, the fruits are round and greenmabout 10 mm diameter.
I wonder if the colour of the tender leaves or at least the leaves close to the flower is to attract moths at night? Is it a plant that
is pollinated by moths at night?
Date & Time        28 June 2010, time 5.00 PM
Location: Place, Altitude, GPS        Chethalayam,  Wayanad, Kerala.
Habitat: Garden, Urban, Wild Type:        Wild
Plant Habit: Tree, Shrub, Climber, Herb        Shrub
Height, Length.        10’
Leaves Type, Shape, Size        
Inflorescence Type Size        
Flowers Size Colour Calyx Bracts-        Orange
Fruits Type, Shape, Size Seeds        Green , Oval, 10 mm by 15 mm
Other Information like Frangrance, Pollinator, Uses.        
The plant might be Mussaenda bellila (Rubiaceae)
yes this is Mussaenda bellila

Mussaenda belilla
& Mussaenda frondosa- differences;
Kumaraparvatha hills, South Canara, Karnataka, Western Ghats, 26 Mar 2009, 10.38AM;
White leaves | id request 22Mar2010AR01 - efloraofindia | Google Groups

Photo needed: Mussaenda frondosa: To accompany a "Tree Tidbit" item on the SeasonWatch website
(, we are looking for a photo of Mussaenda frondosa, showing both flower and bract in the same frame. The subject of the tidbit is "bracts".
Since research has shown that the white bracts in this species attract long-distance pollinators, we thought that this is a good species to use as an illustration of the use of brightly coloured bracts.
If anyone has such a photo and is willing to allow it to be shown on the SeasonWatch site, could you please email us at the address below?
You may seek permission of the poster.

We had found a photo then, and had put up a short post on bracts under Tree Tidbits in SeasonWatch: 

Mussaenda frondosa L. from Hooghly: Found this Mussaenda frondosa L. in a school compound in Hooghly where i went yesterday to receive in service teachers' training organized by SSA / SARVA SIKSHA MISSION.
Species : Mussaenda frondosa L.
Habit & Habitat : garden shrub
Date : 16-04-2012, 10.15 a.m.
Place : Dattapur (Hooghly), WB
help to identify the species of this mussaenda please..:  
Is it mussaenda roxburghii or other species?
Habit:- shrub
Locality: Kottayam, Kerala
altitude:- 156meters MSL
I think it is Mussaenda frondosa 
Same as ... thought - Mussaenda frondosa L.
It is Mussaenda bellila.
Now, it is a synonym of M. frondosa, I guess. Please check it with plant list.
Rubiaceae Week: Hedge turner - Mussaenda from Bhagamandala #AR11:  Hedge-turner!... Beautiful all the way!!
Flowers, 2cms, close to star shape, stalk hairy
Leaves elliptic oblong, accuminate, size 10-13cms
//Not sure if it is Mussaenda frondosa
Not a M. glabrata for sure,
From the photos, neither I can check the glabrous nature of the leaves nor the loose/close flower arrangement. //
Bhagamandala, Mercara
Photo date-27 Jul 2011
Beautiful. Looks Mussaenda frondosa
Wild white flower for ID | 11Mar2010AR03:  A wild flower found along the foot steps, while ascending Krishnagiri hills to reach Gingee or Senji Fort, Tamil Nadu touted as one of the most impregnable fortresses (by Shivaji maharaj) in India.
Date/Time-20Jul2008, 03:27PM
Location- Place, Altitude, GPS-Gingee or Senji Fort, Villupuram district, Tamil nadu

Habitat- Garden/ Urban/ Wild/ Type-Wild

Plant Habit- Tree/ Shrub/ Climber/ Herb- Shrub

Height/Length-< 1meter

Leaves Type/ Shape/ Size-Ovate, Mucronate, hairy,

Inflorescence Type/ Size-

Flowers Size/ Colour/ Calyx/ Bracts-Small, White color,

Fruits Type/ Shape/ Size Seeds-Not observed

can be Kopsia or a Gardenia species?????
... the velvety leaves and the flower remind me of Mussaenda.
You may be right ...,
I think it is Mussaenda tomentosa. I remember some collection (by Dr. Ravikumar and/or Dr. D.Narasimhan) from the same locality. Also check in Flora of Tamilnadu Carnatic. It is an endemic species.
Thanks for the beautiful photos ...! Pl confirm the id and tell us. 
I too thnk this plant is Mussaenda tomentosa as ..., because the morphology of this plant matches with th description in "Flora of Tamilnadu Carnatic" by K.M. Matthew. 
White leaves | id request 22Mar2010AR01:  
White leaves - As always I wonder, is this odd white leaves because of a disease ? chlorophyll deficiency? Will the leaf survive like as long as its siblings.
Anyway, to me it appears like a natures handiwork.
Kumaraparvatha hills, South Canara, Karnataka
Western Ghats
26 Mar 2009, 10.38AM
Basic info: Leaf size - 4 inches, height -10 inches, Shape:- cordate, entire, acuminate

Date/Time-26 Mar 2009, 10.38AM

Location- Place, Altitude, GPS- Kumaraparvatha hills, South Canara, Karnataka, 12"39' 36.77" N 75" 40' 49.68 E, elev 4000ft approx

Habitat- Garden/ Urban/ Wild/ Type-Wild / Western ghats


lant Habit- Tree/ Shrub/ Climber/ Herb-

Height/Length-approx - 8-10 inches

Leaves Type/ Shape/ Size- Shape -cordate, entire, acuminate

Inflorescence Type/ Size-

Flowers Size/ Colour/ Calyx/ Bracts-

Fruits Type/ Shape/ Size Seeds-

Other Information like Fragrance, Pollinator, Uses etc.- Three white leaves

this not a disease nor chlorophyll deficiency it completely genetical abnormality. Seen very rarely the leafs wont survive long due to albinism (white) lack of chlorophyll.
These are not leaves. This is the special feature of Mussaenda bellila, wherein the floral bracts are modified, enlarged and brightly white, probably to attract pollinators as the corolla is indistinct naturally. In Malayalam it is known as 'Vellila' means 'white leaf'.
There are many plants in this variety
Poincetia, Musanda even Bogan villia in this catagory.
In Mussaenda, it is the sepals that get modified into coloured leaf like structures and not the bracts.. out of 5 sepals present in it one gets modified into coloured structure either white or red.. this plant is Mussaenda frondosa of the family Rubiaceae..
... have similar looking plant :
Found it at Murudeshwara, South Kanara, Karanataka on 14 May 2007.
Considering it as Mussaenda glabrata ... M. glabrata and M. frondosa are perhaps related by synonymy.
Its ofcourse M.frondosa... absolutely no doubt for me... if needed i may post the photos of 2 coloured varieties of the same grown in Western ghats
In M. frontosa the flowers are thick and densely arranged whereas, in M bellila (the old name was M. laxa/M. frontosa var. laxa) the flowers are arranged loose/lax. If you get the specimen, while brushing through the leaves and if you feel rough hairs on the leaves you can be sure of that as M frontosa but if there are small smooth hairs that is M.bellila.
In most of the ecology text books and other introductory books it has been mentioned as M. frondosa only. That had given an impression that there is only one species that is M.frondosa.
Please be more cautious when deal with minute characters. Taxonomy is interesting but it should be taken as a serious subject because it is mostly based on minute characters and need your discretion to reach a valid id.
Do refer a valid flora, I would like to emphasis not e-flora. I say this because we found lots of mistake in many of the e floras that might happened while copying the old literature in to e-format.
Unless you are thorough with the original description. You never find/understand the mistake.
We had this problem all throughout when we were trying to make a key for plants for farmers and layman.
Here the picture is of M.bellila. ... was correct. He might have handled several individals of this species from different parts of India as he worked all throughout India and collected specimens from different parts. He he may not go wrong.
Thanks a lot for your response and validation of id. I always say that identification with photograph may not be always 100 % correct. Whatever name we give is just a lead and it needs further literature verification with actual plant specimen/ Herbarium. As you rightly pointed out plant identification needs critical observation with real specimen.
Mussaenda frondosa L : Attachments (2). 1 post by 1 author. 
Mussaenda frondosa L., (= M. belilla B&H), Fam - Rubiaceae,
wild shrub, walparai tea estate area, (anaimalai) Coimbatore dt Tamilnadu

Mussaenda sp. for ID : 5 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (1).
Date : 26-06-2014
Location : Lengte, Mizoram
Altitude : c.500 m.

Habit : Shrub
Habitat : Growing wild along the way
M. roxburghii to me 
It seems to be Mussaenda frondosa.
Refer Some Beautiful Indian Climbers And Shrubs by N L Bor and M B Raizada.

Mussaenda- some‎ species in India & eFI with some keys