Celastrus monospermus Roxb., Fl. Ind. 2: 394 (1824)

Species name meaning 'one seeded', referring to the fruit.

Catha benthamii Gardner & Champ.
Catha monosperma Benth.
Celastrus benthamii (Gardner & Champ.) Rehder & E.H.Wilson
Celastrus championii Benth.
Monocelastrus monospermus (Roxb.) F.T. Wang & T. Tang

Evergreen twining shrubs; annotinal branchlets purplish brown; lenticels sparse, elliptic or suborbicular. Petiole 1-2 cm; leaf blade broadly rectangular-elliptic to narrowly elliptic, rarely obovate-elliptic, 5-17 x 3-7 cm, approximately leathery, glabrous, base cuneate, rarely widely cuneate, margin serrulate, apex acuminate or acute; secondary veins 5-7 pairs. Thyrses axillary, sometimes terminal; rachis 1-2.5 cm, glabrous; pedicels 1-4 mm, jointed at base, generally glabrous. Flowers yellowish green or whitish. Male flowers: sepals triangular-semiorbicular, ca. 1 mm; petals rectangular or rectangular-elliptic, ca. 2.5 x 1.8 mm, revolute during blossoming; disk carnose, flat, shallowly 5-lobed, lobe apex approximately truncate; stamens 5, 2.5-3 mm, inserted on disk; filament subulate. Female flowers: pistils approximately ampullaceous; styles 3-lobed, revolute; staminodes ca. 1 mm. Capsule broadly elliptic, rarely globose, 10-18 x 9-14 mm; valves elliptic, 12-20 x 8-10 mm, revolute when dry, margin crispate. Seed 1, elliptic, 10-15 x 6-9 mm, glabrous, slightly verrucose; aril purplish brown. [from Flora of China]

Dense forests, thickets, slopes; 300-1500 m.


From Pakistan to Southern China and Hainan, into Indochina and Peninsular Malaysia. Also reported for Java.

Local names
China: Du zi teng.