Ribbon Bush, Centipede Plant, Tapeworm Plant

Homalocladium platycladum

Family: Polygonaceae
Genus: Homalocladium (hom-al-oh-KLAY-dee-um) (Info)
Species: platycladum (plat-ee-KLAD-um) (Info)
Synonym:Muehlenbeckia platyclada



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)


USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Pale Pink

Pale Green

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall


Grown for foliage




Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

From leaf cuttings

From herbaceous stem cuttings

Seed Collecting:

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:


Arroyo Grande, California

Calistoga, California

Clayton, California

Fremont, California

Los Angeles, California

San Francisco, California

San Leandro, California

Simi Valley, California

Thousand Oaks, California

Brooksville, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida

Miami, Florida

Summerland Key, Florida

Lebanon, Illinois

Lafayette, Louisiana

Lucedale, Mississippi

Houston, Texas (2 reports)

Humble, Texas

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Jan 27, 2013, Argilla from Melbourne
Australia wrote:

There is a plant growing in the Melbourne Botanical Gardens. It is growing as a large bush about 1 1/2 metres high and about 1 metre wide outside in a relatively shady spot during the afternoons. So, the cold Melbourne winters don't seem to affect it.


On Feb 4, 2010, Cixi from Addis Ababa
Ethiopia wrote:

I've had one of these growing in a pot for several years. It's now about 1.5 m tall and rather sprawly.

In Ethiopia there is also a medium-sized tree (unrelated to this plant) called 'Kosso' or 'Qosso' (which means tapeworm) from which people produce a traditional remedy for tapeworm.


On Oct 4, 2003, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is a really weird plant who's name, the Tape Worm Plant, describes it nearly perfectly. It has leaves that grow in flat segments and look just like a branching, green tape worm. I have only seen in a few botanical collections as an Australian native, but I am finally seeing it in nurseries. Mine grew great and did well on average watering, not having any problems with some frost. I don't know it's cold tolerance. I does tend to get out of control, though, and start to climb up nearby trees and fences, draping its long, light, weird wormy leaves on everything.


On Nov 16, 2002, mystic from Ewing, KY (Zone 6a) wrote:

The name comes from the flat leafless stems that resemble tapeworms.The small green flowers appear at the joints of stems and are followed by red fruits. This plant is native to the Solomon Islands.This plant will reach 3-4 feet in pots, but in warm climates grown outdoors my reach 10-12 feet.