Kepula,Kuntala,Nerala etc berry shrubs /tree end in suffix -la. Kepula is a wild shrub bearing red coloured flowers and berries,common in humid country sides.It is also known as 'Jungle flame Ixora'(Botanical name:Ixora coccinea Linn)
There is also an interior village named Kepu in Bantvala taluk.
'Kepu'2 (derived from English 'cap')nowadays also means small circular firecracker or a device used in blasting.
The red berries of the native shrub Kepula are edible; rural children use the berries as a prank bullet in native toys known as 'Kepulabedi' or 'Petlu', which is a small flute-shaped bamboo reed with openings on both sides.
A kepula berry or a 'petlukayi' is pushed to top side of this 'bedi' (musket/gun) by a stick (close-fitting shaft) and another berry is again pushed to shoot out the first berry with a bang.(Tulu Nighantu,p.921).The prank bullet or 'petlukai' is a small berrylike fruit, borne by a tree with with odd smelling jasmine-like white flowers ('kelenji tappuda mara') or other similar berry/seed bearing shrubs like 'allimar' etc.
Common names in other languages:
Sanskrit: Bandhuka, Raktaka,
Malayalam: Thetti, Techi
Tamil: Sinduram, Thetti ,
Telugu: Koranan, Mankana .
What is the meaning of the word 'Kepu' or 'Kepula'?
Does the word 'kepu' designate an older root form of the word for 'Kempu'(=red)?