Ethnobotanical surveys were conducted in six provinces of China to investigate and document Bodhi bead plants.

Forty-seven species in 19 families and 39 genera represented 52 types of Bodhi beads that were collected. The most popular Bodhi bead plants have a long history and religious significance. Most Bodhi bead plants can be used as medicine or food, and their seeds or fruits are the main elements in these uses.