Bristly Leea
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Bristly Leea
P Native Photo: Saroj Kasaju
Common name: Bristly Leea
Botanical name: Leea setuligera    Family: Vitaceae (Grape family)
Synonyms: Leea mastersii, Leea tenuifolia

Bristly Leea is similar to Guinea Leea in appearance, but differs in having 3-6-rows of unusually stiff bristles on the upper surface of the leaflets between each pair of the nerves. It is a shrub, up to 2 m tall. Leaves are 2-pinnate, uppermost 2-3-pinnate; leaf-stalks 8-20 cm long; stipules a narrow wing, 2-5 x 3-1 cm; axis 8-20 cm long. Leaflets numerous, ovate to ovate-oblong or elliptic to elliptic-lanceshaped, 6-12 x 1-2.5 cm, tapering at tip, pointed to rounded, rarely somewhat heart-shaped or unequal at base, sawtoothed at margins, bristly hairy above, membranous to papery, sometimes wine coloured below. Flowers are borne in dense or lax, 5-15 cm long, hairless to velvet-hairy clusters, with bracts and bracteoles narrowly triangular, inprominent, falling off, carried on flower-cluster-stalks up to 8 cm long. Flowers are wine red to carmine in bud, greenish yellow when open. Sepal-cup 1.5 x 2.5 mm. Flower tube with staminodial lobe 2-2.75 mm long; petals 2-2.5 x 1.25-1.4 mm; staminodial lobes cleft or notched; anthers 1-1.25 mm. Fruits are 7-10 mm across. Bristly Leea is found in Maharashtra, Karnataka, NE India to Thailand and China, at altitudes of 1300-1800 m. Flowering: June-July.

Identification credit: Varun Sharma Photographed at Teesta, Kalimpong.

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