FoI
Giant Potato   
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Giant Potato
P Naturalized Photo: Dinesh Valke
Common name: Giant Potato, Mauritanian convolvulus • Bengali: ভুঁইকুমড়া bhumikumra • Hindi: भुईं कोहड़ा bhuyi kohada, बिलाई कन्द bilayi kand • Kannada: ಭೂ ಸಕ್ಕರೆ ಗಡ್ಡೆ bhoo sakkare gadde, ನೆಲಗುಮ್ಬಳ nelagumbala • Konkani: भूमिकुंव्हळी bhumikumvali • Malayalam: പാൽമുതുക്ക് palmutukk • Marathi: भुईकोहळा bhuikohala • Oriya: ଭୁଇଁ କଖାରୁ bhuin kakharu • Sanskrit: विदारी vidari • Tamil: நிலப்பூசனி nila-p-pucani, பால்முடங்கி pal-mutanki • Telugu: భూచక్రగడ్డ bhuchakra gadda, నేల గుమ్మడి nela gummadi
Botanical name: Ipomoea mauritiana    Family: Convolvulaceae (Morning glory family)
Synonyms: Batatas paniculata, Convolvulus paniculatus

Giant potato is a type of morning glory plant. Like the sweet potato, it belongs to the Ipomoea genera. It grows as a vine. The origin of Ipomoea mauritiana is unknown, it is there all over the tropics. It is naturalised in many parts of the world. This vine has stems that can grow to 10 m. Leaf blade is circular in outline, 7-18 X 7-22 cm, usually palmately 5-7-divided to or beyond middle, rarely entire or shallowly lobed. Inflorescences few to many flowered. Flowers are pink or reddish purple, with a darker center, funnelform, 5-6 cm across.
Medicinal uses: The leaves and roots are used externally to treat tuberculosis and for the treatment of external and breast infections. In Ayurveda, a decoction of the tuberous roots are used for the preparation of medicinal wine. The Ayurvedic name is Kiribadu Ala, and it is also an ingardient in Chyavanprash.

Identification credit: Pravin Kawale Photographed in Maharashtra.

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