Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Ampelocissus araneosa (Dalz.) Planchon ex Gamble, Fl. Pres. Madras 1: 230. 1918. Cissus araneosa Dalz. in Dalz. & A. Gibson, Bombay Fl. 41. 1861. Vitis araneosa (Dalz.) M. Lawson in Fl. Brit. India 1: 657. 1875 (non Le Conte, 1854).

Hindi: Kamraj; Mar.: Bendri, Bendervel, Ghorvel; Tam.: Kattuthiratchai.

Slender, far climbing shrubs; branches slender, floccose-woolly. Leaves 3-foliolate, sometimes merely lobed, glabrescent above, brownish-tomentose beneath; petioles 2-5 cm long; terminal leaflets elliptic-ovate, 9-13 x 3-7.5 cm, acute-mucronate at apex, attenuate, rounded or shallowly cordate at base, crenate-serrate at margins; petiolules 1-3 cm long; lateral leaflets semicordate, 7-11 x 5.5-8 cm; oblique, margins and apex as in terminal leaflets; petiolules 0.5-1 cm long. Inflorescences compact, umbellate cymes, tomentose; peduncles 3-8 cm long; tendrils branched; primary branch of inflorescence 1-2 cm long; cymes ca 2 cm long, broader than long. Flowers ca 2 mm long, red; pedicels ca 1 mm long. Calyx saucer-shaped, 5-lobed, membranous, puberulous. Petals oblong, ca 2 mm long, incurved at apex, glabrous. Stamens ca 1.2 mm long; anthers globose. Disc short, encircling only the base of ovary. Ovary conical, ca 1 mm across, 10-ribbed, puberulous; stigma concave. Berries ca 8 x 4 mm, 1-4-seeded. Seeds ellipsoid to obovoid, ca 7 x 4 mm; adaxial surface with a longitudinal ridge; abaxial surface with an elliptic or circular pit in the centre from which prominent fissures radiate towards margin.

Fl. & Fr. : June - Sept.

Distrib. India: Evergreen forests of western Ghats, up to 1500 m. Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

Notes. This species is closely allied to Ampelocissus divaricata (M. Lawson) Planchon from which it differs in having 3-lobed to 3-foliolate leaves (never 5-foliolate), pubescent ovary and stigma with short style. The colour of the tomentum is also different in the two species; in A. araneosa it is usually pale brown, whereas in A. divaricata it is white.

Chromosome numbdr 2n = 80 (Shetty, B.V. & V.S. Raman in Curro Sci. 29: 279. 1960).

Uses. The roots have astringent and cooling properties and are sold by the Konkan herbalists under the name Chamar-musli. The young twigs are fed to horses as a tonic.


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