Climbing Rough-Leaf
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Climbing Rough-Leaf
P Native Photo: Niku Das
Common name: Climbing Rough-Leaf • Assamese: Aso-pat, Au-pat, Oupat • Mishing: Target Ruibe • Nepali: Khasre laharo
Botanical name: Natsiatum herpeticum    Family: Icacinaceae (Unicorn Plant family)
Synonyms: Sicyos pentandrus, Natsiatum tonkinense

Climbing Rough-Leaf is a climbing shrubs, with young branches yellow-brown bristly; old branches prominently warty. Leaves are simple, alternate, spiral; leaf-stalks about 3.5-7.5 cm, slender, yellow-brown crispate velvet-hairy; blade about 8-15 x 5-10 cm, broadly ovate, heart-shaped to flat or abruptly wedge-shaped at base, pointed or tapering at tip, toothed, papery, rough due to stiff, white hairs; secondary nerves 3-5 pairs, midrib prominent below, concave above, tertiary veins subparallel, netveined veins prominent. Flowers are borne in leaf-axils, in hairy spike-like racemes, about 10-12 cm long, slender, drooping. Flowers are unisexual; bracts linear; flower-stalks about 2-3 mm long; sepals valvate, linear-lanceshaped, outer surface densely covered with coarse hairs. Petals are 5, about 2.5 mm long, lanceshaped, hairy inside. Male flowers: filaments short; anthers arrow shaped; Female flowers: staminodes subulate; ovary hairy; style 2-3-lobed, laterally compressed, ovate, rugose. Fruit is about 1.5 x 1 cm, yellow-green, becoming black with age. In Assam, The leaves and tender shoots are eaten by the Miris, cooked as a pot herb, especially with fish. Climbing Rough-Leaf is found in NE India, Eastern Himalaya, Eastern Ghats and parts of SE Asia, at altitudes upto 2400 m.

Identification credit: Niku Das Photographed in Monabari T.E., Biswanath, Assam.

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