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Muehlenbeckia platyclada


Muehlenbeckia platyclada (F.Muell.) Meisn.

Family Name: Polygonaceae
Synonyms: Muehlenbeckia platyclados, Polygonum platycladum, Homalocladium platycladum
Common Name: Tapeworm Plant, Ribbon Bush, Centipede Plant


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

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Herbaceous Plant
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Shrubby
Maximum Height 1 m
Maximum Plant Spread / Crown Width 1.8 m to 2.4 m


Native Distribution Solomon Islands
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Non-native (Horticultural / Cultivated Only)

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Herbaceous plant with a shrubby growth form up to 1 m tall.
Foliage Foliage occurs on new growth, but later falls off, leaving the mature stem bare. Leaves are sometimes lobed at the base and have smooth edges (1.5-6.5 cm long).
Stems Long, flattened stems are known as phylloclades. They are smooth, segmented at the nodes and about 1.3 cm wide.
Flowers Several greenish white flowers are arranged in small clusters at the stem nodes (point of leaf attachment to the stem).
Fruit Fleshy, red or purplish, berry-like structures enclose the true fruits which are nuts (one-seeded, indehiscent, dry fruits).

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Fruits

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade, Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Rootzone Tolerance Dry Soils / Drought


Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Smooth
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Foliar Attachment to Stem Sessile
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Lanceolate)
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Acuminate
Typical Foliar Area Microphyll ( 2.25cm2 - 20.25 cm2 )
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 4.5 (Shrub & Groundcover - Dicot)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality Bisexual Flowers
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Axillary
Flower Symmetry Radial
Flower Colour(s) Remarks Greenish white

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) Purple, Red
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type Indehiscent Dry Fruit , Nut / Nutlet



Image Repository



Master ID 810
Species ID 2105
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: 14 October 2021.