Black Creeper   
Foto info
Black Creeper
E Native Vine
Photo: Prashant Awale
Common name: Black Creeper • Hindi: कालीदूधी Kalidudhi, श्यामलता Shyamalata • Marathi: Dudhbel, कृष्णसरवा Krishna-sarwa, Kante-bhouri • Tamil: paravalli, udargodi, udarkkoti • Malayalam: nannari, naruninti, palvalli • Telugu: illukkatti, karampala, muntagajjanamu • Kannada: gorwiballi, gouriballi, kappunamadaberu • Oriya: bhotinoi • Assamese: dudhkuri lota • Sanskrit: अनंत Ananta, bhadra, Chandanagopa • Nepali: दुधे लहरा Dudhe lahara
Botanical name: Ichnocarpus frutescens    Family: Apocynaceae (Oleander family)
Synonyms: Apocynum frutescens, Echites frutescens, Quirivelia frutescens

Black Creeper is an evergreen woody twiners, with branches smooth or rust, velvety when young, with milky sap. Probably, because of the rust colored stems, this creeper earned the names black creeper, श्यामलता Shyamalata etc. Leaves are elliptic oblong or lance-shaped, tip pointed or tapering, base rounded or narrow, 4-10 cm long, 1.5-5 cm wide. Leaves are smooth and dark green above, and paler beneath, with 2.5-5 mm long stalks. Flowers are borne in many flowered clusters, 3-8 cm across. The stalks carrying the flowers and the flower clusters are hairy. Flowers are white, about 1 cm across. Sepals are ovate, blunt, velvety, about 1 mm long. Flower tube is about 2.5 mm long, much thickened at the mouth. Petals are 1.5 mm long, with long hairs on the margin. Follicles are solitary or paired, 10-15 x 0.5 cm, straight or curved, rusty pubescent when young. Seeds very slender, 1-2 cm long. Flowering: August-December.
Identification credit: Prashant Awale
Photographed at Pench Reserve Forest, Maharashtra.

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