Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Viscum orientale Willd., Sp. Pl. ed. 4, 4(2): 737. 1806; Hook.f., Fl. Brit. India 5: 224. 1886, p. p. V. verticillatum Roxb. [Hort. Bengal. 105. 1814, nom. nud.] Fl. Ind., ed. Carey 3: 764. 1832.

Hindi: Banda; Tel.: Chandra-badamika, Sundara-badanika; Sant.: Banda; Tam.: Pilluli.

Semiparasitic monoecious dark green herbs, up to 50 cm long, bushy in general appearance; stems strongly branched. Leaves opposite, ovate or oblong, cuneate and tapering into a short petiole at base, obtuse, rounded or acuminate at apex, entire, 2 - 6 x 0.6 - 3 cm, thinly coriaceous, usually with 3 distinct longitudinal nerves; prophylls present at the bases of all the branchings. Inflorescences cymose, lateral on the nodes, with up to 8 cymes at each node; peduncles 1 - 5 mm long, bearing a navicular cup at the apex, formed of two bracts; central flower being female and larger, the laterals small and male. Male flowers: strongly compressed, obovate with rounded or flat base, 2 - 5 x ca 1 mm; perianth lobes 4, ca 0.9 x 0.7 mm, with an anther attached on the inner side; stamens 4; anthers attached to the perianth lobes internally. Female flowers: oblong, ca 3 x 1 mm; perianth lobes as in male flowers; ovary inferior; style short; stigma capitate. Fruits subglobose to oblong or ovoid, contracted at apex, ca 6 x 5 mm, dull with minute granules, smooth.

Fl. & Fr. Usually during Feb. - June. However, in many areas it was found to bear the flowers or fruits throughout the year.

Distrib. India: North-east India to peninsular India and Andaman & Nicobar Islands, up to 2000 m altitude. Bihar, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andaman & Nicobar Islands.

Sri Lanka., China and Australia.

Uses. A poultice of the leaves is useful for neuralgia. The plants are burnt and the ashes rubbed on the body for the treatment of itches. They are used in earache. An unnamed alkaloid has been reported from the plant (Wealth of India - Raw Materials Vol. X).

Chromosome no. From Sri Lanka: n = 10 - 13 (Wiens & Barlow in Taxon 20: 332. 1971).

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