Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Cayratia mollissima (Wallich) Gagnepain in Notul. Syst. (Paris) 1: 345. 1911. Vitis mollissima Wallich in Roxb., Fl. Ind. 2: 482. 1824; M. Lawson in Fl. Brit. India 1: 656. 1875. Columella mollissima (Wallich) Merr., Enum. Philipp. Fl. Pl. 3: 8. 1923.


Climbing shrubs; branches terete, striate, soft-villous, greyish green when dry; tendrils wiry, branched. Leaves 3-foliolate, villous; petioles 5-7 cm long, villous; terminal leaflets elliptic-ovate, 10-13 x 5-8 cm, acuminate-cuspidate at apex, cuneate to rounded at base, serrate-dentate at margins; petiolules 2-3.5 cm long; lateral leaflets 8-12 x 3.5-6.5 cm, oblique, margins and apex as in terminal leaflets. Inflorescences divaricately branched, cymose, 7-10 cm long; peduncles 3-6 cm long. Flowers ca 2.5 mm long, pubescent; pedicels ca 3 mm long. Calyx cupular. Petals oblong, ca 2 x 1 mm. Disc 4-notched. Ovary ca 1.5 mm across; style subulate; stigma minute. Berries globose, ca 1.5 cm across, villous, 3-4-seeded. Seeds ca 9 x 5 mm, adaxial surface with ca 7 x 3.5 mm rectangular cavity, incurved at margin, abaxial surface convex with a linear chalaza.

Fl. & Fr. :March Sept.

Distrib. India : Evergreen forests in Western Ghats, up to 1000 m. Arunachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Malesia.

Notes. This species is quite distinct from the other Indian species of Cayratia and can be easily recognised by its villous, 3-foliolate leaves and the seeds with a large rectangular pit on adaxial surface.

Uses. The berries are used as a poultice on swellings and aching parts. They are also used in curry.




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