Hairless Tape Vine
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Hairless Tape Vine
P Native Photo: Anil Thakur
Common name: Hairless Tape Vine • Assamese: Peer-gruj • Hindi: Purha • Manipuri: ꯑꯌꯥꯡ ꯂꯩ Ayang Lei • Mizo: Hnahbialhrui
Botanical name: Stephania glabra    Family: Menispermaceae (Moonseed family)

Hairless Tape Vine is a climbing herb. Roots are tubers with fibrous roots below, round or oval also with irregular shapes, grayish white, weighing about 5-20 kg. Leaves are ovate or round, blunt at tip, 4-15 x 4-12 cm, hairless, 5-nerved; leaf-stalks 5-14 cm long, thickened at base. Male flowers are borne in leaf-axils, in umbel-like cymes; flower-cluster-stalks 4-8 cm long, hairless; bracts and bracteoles linear or linear-lanceshaped, hairless. Sepals are 6; outer ones narrow-oblong; inner ones obovate. Petals are 3, 1.5-2 mm long. Female flowers: ovary oblong-ovoid; style short; stigma 4-5-cleft. Infructescence up to 15 cm long. Drupes are stalked, ovoid, about 5 x 6 mm; endocarp transversely ribbed and grooved; embryo about 4 mm long; cotyledons oblong, blunt at tip. Hairless Tape Vine is found in Uttarkhand, Assam and Meghalaya, at altitudes of 1000-2500 m. Flowering: May-April.
Medicinal uses: The root is very bitter. It is used in the treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis, asthma, abdominal pains and dysentery. Root extracts have a long-standing reputation in India as an antidysenteric, antipyretic and antiasthmatic.

Identification credit: Anil Thakur Photographed in Hamirpur, Solan, HImachal Pradesh.

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