Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Viscum articulatum Burm.f., Fl. Indica 211. 1768; Hook.f., Fl. Brit. India 5: 226. 1886 (incl. var. dichotomum). V. nepalense Spreng., Syst. Veg. 4(2): 47. 1827. V. dichotomum D.Don, Prodr. Fl. Nepal. 147. 1825 (non Gilbert 1792, nec Spreng 1825). V. attenuatum DC., Prodr. 4: 284. 1830. V. opuntioides Heyne ex DC., Prodr. 4: 284. 1830; Roxb., Fl. Ind., ed. Carey 3: 764. 1832. V. liquidambaricolum Hayata, Icon. Pl. Formos. 5: 194, tt. 71, 72. 1915.

Guj.: Vando; Mar.: Banda.

Monoecious, evergreen, semi-parasitic shrubs, drooping, up to 100 cm long; stems slender; branches decussate, sometimes more than 2 at each node. Leaves rudimentary, scale-like, obtuse, 0.5 - 0.7 mm long; scales at the bases of the branches indistinct. Inflorescence cymose, sessile, in a triad, up to 2.5 x 2 mm, 3 (- 5)-flowered, usually with one central female flower subtended by a pair of small scaly bracts united into a cup, then a pair of lateral male flowers, one on either side below the upper bracteal cup and in the axils of another pair of lower decussately developed bracts, ca 0.7 mm long. Male flowers: sessile, globose, laterally compressed towards the base, ca 1 x 1 mm; perianth lobes 4, free, ovate, with another attached internally, ca 0.5 x 0.4 mm; stamens 4; anthers sessile, attached to the perianth lobes, ca 0.3 x 0.4 mm, dehiscing by pores. Female flowers: sessile, oblong, ca 1.5 x 1 mm; bracts 2, panduriform, coherent, ca 1 x 1 mm; perianth lobes as in the male flowers; ovary inferior; style short; stigma nipple-shaped. Fruits subglobose to ovoid or oblong, green when young, yellow when mature, 3 - 4 mm in diam.; pulp highly viscous, whitish with a bright green seed.

Fl. & Fr. Dec. - June.

Distrib. India: Throughout India except in Punjab, southern areas of Himachal Pradesh and central to north-west regions of Gujarat.

Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, China, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Malesia and Australia.

Uses. The plant is important medicinally. It is used as an aphrodisiac and as a febrifuge. A paste of the plant when applied to cuts and wounds heals them quickly. It contains oleonolic acid, ceryil oleonolate and meso inositol.

Pollen. Rounded convex, almost spherical, prolate spheroidal to subprolate, tricolporate, 34.2 - 30 µm (Feur & Kujit, Amer. J. Bot. 69: 1 - 12. 1982).

Chromosome no. From Taiwan: n = 11. 2n = 22 (Feung, Taiwania 11: 113 – 118. 1965). From Australia: n = 12 (Barlow,. Proc. Linn. Soc. N. S. Wales 88: 151 - 160. 1963).


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