Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Cayratia japonica (Thunb.) Gagnepain in Notul. Syst. (Paris) 1: 349. 1911. Vitis japonica Thunb., Fl. Jap. 104. 1784. Cissus japonica (Thunb.) Willd., Sp. Pl. 659. 1798. Vitis mollis Wallich ex M. Lawson in Fl. Brit. India 1: 660. 1875. Columella japonica (Thunb.) Merr. in Philipp. J. Sci. Bot. 13: 145. 1918. Cayralia japonica (Thunb.) Gagnepain var. mollis (Wallich ex M. Lawson) Momiy. in H. Hara, Fl. E. Himal. 1: 199. 1966.

Slender, herbaceous climbers; branches subterete, striate, pubescent; tendrils slender, simple or branched. Leaves 5-foliolate, pedate, glabrous to pubescent; petioles 3-8 cm long, glabrous to pubescent; terminal leaflets ovate to orbicular-ovate or elliptic, 4-8.5 x 3-4 cm, acuminate or acute at apex, cuneate to acute or rounded at base, serrate at margins; petiolules 1-2 cm long; lateral leaflets 2.5-6.5 x 1.5-3 cm, slightly oblique at base, margins and apex as in terminal leaflets; petiolules 0.3-1 cm long. Inflorescences 7- 16 cm long, pubescent; peduncles 5-10 cm tong, pubescent to glabrous. Flowers ovoid, ca 1.7 mm long; pedicels 1-2 mm long, pubescent. Calyx saucer-shaped, pubescent. Petals ca 1.5 x 0.9 mm, hooded, pubescent. Stamens co 1.2 mm long; anthers ellipsoid. Disc covering ovary. Ovary ca 1.5 mm across; style subulate; stigma capitate. Berries Ca 7 mm across, 3-4-seeded. Seeds obovoid. acute at base, ca 5 x 4 mm; adaxial surface with a longitudinal ridge in the middle and an elongated pit on either side of it; abaxial surface with a linear chalaza, prominently rugose on sides; endosperm T-shaped in cross section.

Fl. & Fr. : March - June.

Distrib. India: Tropical and subtropical forests. up to 1500 m. West Bengal, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Meghalaya, Goa, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andaman & Nicobar Islands.

Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malesia and Australia (Queensland).

Notes. In this species the leaves vary from glabrous to dense pubescent. The glabrous form is usually confused with Cayratia tenuifolia (Wight & Arn.) Gagnepain. However, the two are distinct in the shape of flower buds and the surface characteristics of petals and seeds.

Chromosome number 2n=60 (Mitsukuri, Y. & M. Hayashi in Kromosome 17-19: 633-638. 1953); 2n=ca 66 (Lavie, P., Contribution at etude caryosystematique des Vitacees. These Doct. Ing. Fac. Sci. Univ. Montpellier, Fasc. 1: 183. 1970).

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