Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: 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

5 vendors have this plant for sale.

12 members have or want this plant for trade.


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)

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
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

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

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By Happenstance
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There are a total of 21 photos.
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2 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Argilla 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.

Neutral Cixi 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.

Positive palmbob 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.

Neutral mystic 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.


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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