Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Hybanthus enneaspermus (L.) F. Muell., Fragm. Phyt. Austr. 10: 81. 1876. Viola ennaeasperma L., Sp. Pl. 2: 937. 1753. V. suffruticosa L., Sp. Pl. 2: 937. 1753. Ionidium suffruticosum (L.) Roemer & Schultes, Syst. Veg. 5: 394. 1819; Hook. f. & Thomson in Fl. Brit. India 1: 185. 1872.

Beng.: Nunbora; Hindi: Ratanpuras; Mal.: Orilathamara, Kalthamara; Sans.: Amburuha, Atichara, Avyata, Charati, Lakshmishreshta-padma, Padmacharini, Padmavati, Padmavaha, Pushkama, Pushkaranadi, Pushkarini, Ramya, Sarayda, Sthalapadmini,Sthalaruha, Sugandhamula, Supuskhara; Sant.: Bir-Surajmukhi, Tondi-sol; Tam.: Orilai-tamarai, Purusharatnam; Tel: Nilakobari.

Herbs, annual or perennial, 10 - 60 cm high; often woody at base; stems simple or moderately branched, subglabrous to densely pubescent, terete or ridged. Leaves sessile to subsessile, very variable, linear to linear-lanceolate, elliptic-lanceolate or oblong-lanceolate, cuneate at base, acute to subobtuse (and often mucronate) at apex, subentire to crenate-serrate or dentate-serrate along margins, 0.5 - 8.5 x 0.1 - 1.4 cm, glabrous to densely pubescent, hirsute or scabrid; lateral veins 4 - 7 pairs; lower leaves broader than upper ones; stipules linear-lanceolate to subulate, 1 - 4 mm long, usually ciliate along margins. Flowers axillary, solitary, red; pedicels slender, 0.6 - 2 cm long glabrous or pubescent with a pair of subulate bracteoles. Sepals subequal, lanceolate, acute, 2 - 4 x 0.75 -1 mm, glabrous or ciliate. Petals unequal; upper two elliptic, symmetric, acuminate, 3 - 5 mm long; lateral two triangular-oblong, 4 - 6 mm long, rather expanded and obtuse at apex; lower petal 0.8 - 1.9 cm long, suborbicular to subcordate. Stamens ca 2 mm long; anterior stamen with a small recurved fleshy appendage. Ovary globose, glabrous; style thickened towards tip. Capsules 3-lobed, glabrous; seeds ovoid-ellipsoidal.

Fl. & Fr. Throughout the year.

Distrib. India: Commonly seen in plains and coastal areas in grassy places in cultivated fields, roadsides, railway tracks, wastelands and open forest lands. Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal Assam, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

Tropical Asia, Africa, Australia and America.

Notes. Plant is considered to possess diuretic and demulcent properties. Decoction or Powder of the whole plant taken to improve memory and vitality and as a remedy in consumption, asthma, fever and leprosy. Shampoo made from this plant removes dandruff.

A polymorphic species, very variable in habit and leaf form. Grey-Wilson (I.c. 103 - 110) has recognise d several distinct varieties in tropical East Africa.

Chromosome number reported: n = 16 (Gupta & Srivastava in Taxon 20: 609 - 614. 1971); 2n = 32 (Mangenot & Mangenot in Rev. Cytol. Biol. Veg. 25: 411 - 447. 1962; Sanjappa, M. in Taxon 28: 265 - 279. 1979; Sarkar, A. K. et al. in Taxon 29: 347- 367. 1980).


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