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Nephroia orbiculata


Nephroia orbiculata (L.) L.Lian & Wei Wang

Family Name: Menispermaceae
Synonyms: Cocculus orbiculatus (L.) DC.
Common Name: Queen Coralbead


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Climber, Vine & Liana
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Weeping / Pendulous, Irregular


Native Distribution From Himalaya, China, Japan, the Philippines to Hawaii. 
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Coastal Forest, Grassland / Savannah/ Scrubland)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Critically Endangered (CR))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a sprawling woody vine, that grows up from 2 m up to 3.5 m tall.
Foliage Leaves are 2.5 to 12 cm long, come in variable shapes from lanceolate to broad ovate and sometimes three-lobed with acute (pointed) apex and rounded to cordate base. Leaf blade is light green to bluish green, glaucous (waxy, greyish blue).
Flowers Flowers are tiny and monoecious, creamy yellowish to white, borne in clusters (axillary panicles).  
Fruit Fruits are in grape-like clusters, maturing to blue or black, each fruit is no more than 1 cm big. 
Habitat It is known to grow in open areas, grasslands, hillsides, streambanks, and in dry forests.
Etymology The specific epithet 'orbiculata' means disc-shaped or circular in outline, in reference to the rounded leaves. 

Landscaping Features

Landscaping The bluish-green leaves and dark blue grape-like fruits add an interesting feature to a native landscape. This plant can be used as an accent plant or over open rocky areas in a natural setting.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Foliage, Ornamental Fruits
Landscape Uses Trellis / Arbour / Pergola, Groundcover

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Little Water
Rootzone Tolerance Dry Soils / Drought, Well-Drained Soils
Potential Problems Mealybugs, scales, ants and aphids.
Propagation Method Stem Cutting


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green, Green - Bluish Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Powdery / Waxy Bloom
Prominent Young Flush Colour(s) Green, Green - Bluish Green
Young Flush Texture(s) Powdery / Waxy Bloom
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Ovate, Lanceolate)
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Acute
Foliar Base Rounded / Obtuse, Cordate

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality Unisexual Flowers , Monoecious
Flower Colour(s) Cream / Off-White, White
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Axillary
Flower Symmetry Radial
Inflorescence Type Panicle
Flowering Period Free-Flowering

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) Blue, Purple
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type Fleshy Fruit , Non-Accessory Fruit

Image Repository



Master ID 32208
Species ID 6614
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: 31 October 2022.