Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Cissus quadrangularis L., Syst. Nat. ed. 12. 2: 124. 1767 & Mant. Pl. 39.1767. Vitis guadrangularis (L.) Wallich ex Wight, Cat. 26.1833; Wight & Arn., Prodr. 125. 1834; M. Lawson in Fl. Brit. India 1: 645. 1875. Cissus edulis Dalz. in Kew J. Bot. 9: 248. 1857.

Beng.: Harbhanga, Harjora; Guj. Cnodhari, Vedhari; Hindi: Hadjora, Harsankari, Kandawel, Nallar; Kan.: Mangara balli; Mal.: Changalaparanda; Mar.: Chaudhari, Kandavela; Sans.: Asthisanhara, Vajravalli; Tam.: Pirandai; Tel. Nalleru, Nullerutigeh.

Ramblers; branches quadrangular with angles usually winged, succulent; tendrils stout, simple. Leaves ovate to reniform, 2-6 x 2-5 cm, sometimes 3-7-lobed, acute to obtuse at apex, truncate to cordate at base, subentire to denticulate at margins, glabrous; petioles 0.5-1 cm long; stipules broadly ovate, obtuse, ca 4 x 2 mm. Inflorescences umbellate cymes, 3-4 cm long; peduncles ca 2 cm long. Flowers 2.5-3 mm long; pedicels 2-4 mm long, glabrous. Calyx cupular, obscurely lobed, glabrous. Petals ovate-oblong, ca 2 x 1.5 mm, acute, hooded, glabrous. Stamens ca 1.5 mm long. Disc 4-tobed, covering ovary. Ovary ca 1.5 mm across; style short, stout; stigma minute. Berries obovoid or globose, apiculate, ca 5 mm across, 1-2 -seeded. Seeds obovoid, ca 5 x 4 mm, smooth except for the longitudinally encircling ridged raphe.

Fl. & Fr. : June - Jan.

Distrib. India: Bihar, West Bengal, Assam, Orissa, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Daman, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Lakshadweep.

Africa, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Indo-China, Indonesia (Java) and Philippines.

Notes. In this species the stems are usually symmetrically 4-angled and winged but in some forms the wings are lacking (Shah, J.J. in J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 55: 591. f. 2. 1958; Shetty, B.V. in Bibliogr. Genet. 18: 189. f. 9. 1959). In another form, found only in cultivation in gardens, the stems are flattened with wings on only two opposite angles, the other two angles being supressed (Shetty, B.V. l.c. 189. f. 10).

Chromosome number 2n=44-53 [Ghimpu, V. in C.R. Assoc. Anat. (Paris): 11-114. 1929]; 2n=24 [Raghavan, R.S. in Proc. Indian Acad. Sci. 45B : 294- 298. 1957; Shetty, B.V. in Curro Sci. 27: 358-359. 1958 & in Bibliogr. Genet. 18: 167-272. 1959; Vatsala, P. in La Cellule (Louvain) 61: 193-205. 1960; Hazra, R. & A. Sharma in Folia Biol. (Cracow) 18: 123-136. 1970]; 2n=48 (Tchollme, M. These Doct. Sci. Nat. Fac. Sci. Abidjan 221. p.p. 1968).

Uses. Tender shoots and leaves are used in the preparation of pappadams and cooked as vegetable. Ash of the plant is used as a substitute for baking powder. The plant is rich in vitamin C. A paste made of stems is applied on forehead to get relief from headache and is also given in asthma. Tender branches made into a paste and mixed with milk is a purgative. Tender stems and leaves are used in the treatment of bronchitis. Juice of the plant is said to be beneficial in scurvy, used as an alterative, applied in cases of otorrhoea and epistaxis, and mixed with breast milk is given to infants in fever. Fresh pounded, shoots, are applied on burns and wounds, and on saddle-sores of horses and camels. The powdered root is used in the treatment of fractured bones. The plant yields a strong fibre and is also grown in gardens as an ornamental.

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