Also Known As
Chinese Honeysuckle
Madhu Malti
BENGALI: Malatilata
ASSAMESE: Malati ( মালতী)
MALAY: Akar Dani
TELEGU: Radha Manoharam
Quisqualis indica [a formerly common name] 

Order:   Myrtales
Family:   Combretaceae
Genus:    Combretum
Species: indicum

Florida c s

Other Uses
Medicinal Fragrant
The showy, tubular, white to reddish flowers are very fragrant, with a delightful musky scent. The flowers are said to be edible, with little flavor. I will have to try them and report back to you. The young shoots are eaten, raw or steamed, in Indonesia. This entire plant is used medicinally for many ailments, especially the seeds, which are well known in some Asian country's traditional medicines. Be sure to read the caution on the seeds below.

—ACAUTION: DO NOT INGEST THE SEEDS OR SEED OIL. “In large doses they cause nausea, vomiting, hiccough and even unconsciousness.” [1]  "An oil extracted from the seed has purgative properties.” [1] 

EDIBLE FLOWERS AND VERY YOUNG SHOOTS:  “The flowers are also reported as edible, although they have no flavor, and they can be mixed into salads to add color.  In Indonesia, very young shoots are eaten raw or steamed.” [1]   
—EDIBLE SEEDS:  “Ripe seeds are reported as sweet and pleasant to eat if the seed coat is removed.” [1]  “The fruit tastes like almonds when mature.” [7]  CAUTION:  They are medicinal, to be used with caution.  See the section below this for details. 
—MEDICINAL SEEDS/FRUITS:  BE SURE TO READ THE CAUTION ABOVE - DO NOT INGEST. It is “considered an important medicinal plant” in tropical Asia. [1]  It is “valued particularly for ridding the body of parasites.” [4]  “The bitter half-ripe fruits and seeds are widely known as being anthelminticand are used as such, usually in decoction, particularly to treat ascariasis.” [1] “The seed of the dried ripe fruit is used to reduce vomiting, and roots in decoction are also taken as a vermifuge.  Although the seeds are often applied to stop diarrhea, an oil extracted from the seed has purgative properties.” [1]  “A decoction of the fruit is used as a vermifuge. And :a concentrated decoction of the fruit is used as a gargle that is effective against toothache.” [7] 
- PHILIPPINES: “In the Philippines the fruits are chewed as a remedy for coughs.” [1]
- VIETNAM:  “In Vietnam, a root decoction is taken to treat rheumatism.” [1] 
- NEW GUINEA:  “In Papua New Guinea plants are eaten daily by men and women as a method of birth control.” [1] 
- CHINA:  “Used by the Chinese for worms.” said Dr. John Ivor Murray, in a note with seeds, sent to the Museum of Economic Botanay, Edinburgh, 1861. 
- CAUTION:  “In large doses they cause nausea, vomiting, hiccough and even unconsciousness.” [1] 
- NOTE: It is”cultivated in the tropics of Africa and SE Asia – for production of the drug [fruits and seeds.}” [1] 
MEDICINAL ROOTS: Read the mention of this in the comments above on the medicinal seeds.
- PHILIPPINES: “In the PHILIPPINES the crushed fruits and seeds are externally applied to alleviate nephritis.  Leaf juice or seeds, macerated in oil, are applied externally to treat boils, ulcers, parasitic skin infections and fever.  Various preparations of the plant are applied both externally and internally for pain relief. 
- In the INDIAN OCEAN ISLANDS a decoction of the leaves is used to bathe children with eczema.“ [1] 
- ALSO: “The juice of the leaves is considered a remedy for boilsand ulcersand the leaves are applied to the head to relieve ache caused by jungle fever.” [7] 
OTHER USES: —“In West Africa, the long, flexible stems are used for basketry, fish weirs and fish traps.” [1]  

—NATIVE TO:  “Rangoon creeper is found in thickets or secondary forests of the Philippines, India and Malaysia.” [6]  “Probably originally native to tropical Asia and possibly eastern Africa, but now widespread through the tropics.” [5] 
—DESCRIPTION:  A climbing shrub, much-branched, to 24 feet tall [reported to 60 feet long in the tropics]. 
- LEAVES: Opposite, elliptical with an acuminate tip and a rounded base, 7-15 cm. long.. 
- FLOWERS: White, becoming pink then reddish, tubular, very fragrant, musky scented. 
- FRUIT: 30-35 mm. long, ellipsoid. With 5 prominent wings. 
—CULTURE:  Vigorous and fast growing, will climb up into trees.  Does well growing over a support.  Widely grown as an ornamental.   
- LIGHT: Full sun or partial shade. 
- SOIL: Best in not-too fertile, well-drained soils.  Will tolerate very poor growing conditions. 
- PRUNING: Pruning helps keep the plant in check. 
- PROPAGATION: Propagate by seed or softwood cuttings with a heel. [8]    

More Details

Flower Color

Plant Form
Woody Evergreen Perennial Vine

Hardiness Zone
9a to 11b
Ease of growth
Part Sun Full Sun

Requires Support


[1] Plant Use
[2] Useful Tropical Plants
[3] Flora of China
[4] Flowers of India
[5] Mansfeld'sDatabase of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
[6] Wikipedia
[7] Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
[8]  The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening

Last Updated: October 28, 2017