Grape-Leaf Eleuthero
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Grape-Leaf Eleuthero
ative Photo: Sanjyoti Subba
Common name: Grape-Leaf Eleuthero
Botanical name: Eleutherococcus cissifolius    Family: Araliaceae (Ivy family)
Synonyms: Aralia cissifolia, Eleutherococcus cissifolius var. cissifolius, Acanthopanax cissifolius

Grape-Leaf Eleuthero is a shrub up to about 3 m tall. Branches are unarmed or with scattered short prickles. Leaf-stalks are 4-12 cm long, sometimes prickly, velvet-hairy when young. Leaves are digitately compound, leaflet-stalks 2-5 mm. Leaflets are 3-5, oblong, oblanceolate, or ovate-lanceolate, 3-8 x 1.5-2.5 cm, papery, margin single- or double-toothed, tip long-pointed. Flowers are borne in simple or compound umbels, borne on leafy shoots, at branch ends. Umbels are 1 to several, densely velvety when young, stalks 3-12 cm. Flower-stalks are 0.8-1.5 cm, calyx entire, hairless. Flowers are yellowish green, ovary 3-5-carpellate, styles free to base or nearly so. Fruit is spherical, 6-8 mm in diameter, styles persistent, about 2 mm. Grape-Leaf Eleuthero is found in eastern Himalayas, in Nepal, Bhutan and Sikkim, at altitudes of 2500-3600 m. Flowering: July.

Identification credit: Sanjyoti Subba Photographed in Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary, Sikkim.

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