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Telosma cordata (Burm. f.) Merr.

Family Name: Apocynaceae
Common Name: Chinese Violet, Cowslip, East Coast Creeper, Fragrant Telosma, Tonkin Creeper, Bunga Tonkin, 夜来香
Full Sun: 6-8h Moderate Water Fruit & Vegetable Hanging Basket Fragrant Ornamental Flowers Climber, Vine and Liana


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Growth Form Climber, Vine & Liana


Native Distribution India, South China, Indochina, Myanmar
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Secondary Rainforest, Grassland / Savannah/ Scrubland)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical, Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal
Local Conservation Status Exotic (Horticultural / Cultivated Only)

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form A woody vine, it has a twining growth habit and can grow up to 10m in height.
Foliage The simple leaves are arranged in opposite pairs along the stem and are ovate with 3 basal veins, the leaf apex is acuminate. 
Stems The new stems are pubescent while the older stems are glabrescent.
Flowers The flowers are borne on umbel-like cymes. The flower petals are yellow-green to orange, the inner surface of the throat is covered with hairs. The flowers are highly fragrant. 
Habitat It is naturally found in secondary forest, open forested areas and shrublands in lowland tropics and subtropics.
Cultivation It is best grown in well-drained, sandy-loam soil with pH 6.1-7.5. It tolerates drought and infertile soils, but not flooding.
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts (Edible Flowers)
Food (Fruit & Vegetable : The flowers can be eaten cooked and are used in several Asian cuisines. )
[Others]: The oil, extracted from the flowers are used to create perfumes. 

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers, Fragrant (Flowers)
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Well-Drained Soils, Fertile Loamy Soils
Landscape Uses Hanging Basket, Parks & Gardens, Vertical Greenery / Green Wall, Trellis / Arbour / Pergola
Thematic Landscaping Fragrant / Aromatherapy Garden

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Propagation Method Stem Cutting


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Opposite
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Acuminate

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower Colour(s) Orange, Yellow / Golden, Green - Light Green
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Axillary
Inflorescence Type Cyme

Image Repository



Master ID 219
Species ID 1515
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 19 August 2021.