Botanical name: Cocculus hirsutus Family: Menispermaceae (Moonseed family)
Synonyms: Cocculus villosus
Broom Creeper is a climbing undershrub, often densely velvety. Leaves are 4-8 cm long, 2.5-6 cm broad, ovate or ovate-oblong, sometimes 3-5-lobed, base heart-shaped, wedge-shaped or flat, tip blunt or with a small point. Leaves are densely velvety when young, later nearly hairless. Basal nerves are 3-5. Leaf stalk is 0.5-2.5 cm long. Male flowers have sepals hairy, the outer 3, oblong-lanceshaped, 1.5-2 mm long, 0.5-0.8 mm broad, the inner 3 broadly ovate, 1.5-2.5 mm long, 1.7-2 mm broad. Petals are ovate- oblong, 0.5-1.5 mm long, 0.3-6 mm broad. Stamens are 0.7-1 mm long. Female flowers 1-3, on axillary stalks, rarely racemed. Fruit is a dark purple berry, 4-8 mm long, 4-5 mm broad, endocarp annular or ribbed with a prominent dorsal crest, perforated. The juice of the ripe fruit yields a permanent bluish-purple ink and the roots as well as the leaves are used in native medicine and as a tonic like the last species. Broom Creeper is found in S. Africa, Arabian Peninsula, Indian Subcontinent to S. China. It is also found in the Himalayas. Flowering: December-March.
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