Leafless Silkflower Shrub
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Leafless Silkflower Shrub
P Native Photo: Rajkumar Yadav
Common name: Leafless Silkflower Shrub • Sanskrit: सोम Soma
Botanical name: Periploca aphylla    Family: Apocynaceae (Oleander family)

Leafless Silkflower Shrub is an erect branched shrub about 1.8-3.0 m tall, generally leafless, juice milky. Leaves, when present, are 6-7 mm long, ovate-oblong, pointed, thick, nerve obscure. Flowers are borne in 1.2-2.5 cm long cymes on thick flower-cluster-stalks, fragrant. Flowers are greenish outside, dark purple within. Tube very short, petals 2.2-6 mm long, oblong, blunt, densely hairy near the tip. Corona lobes are about 6 mm long, thread-like, hairless, recurved at the tip. Sepals are 2.5 mm long. Bracts are ovate, margin chaffy, breaking off about the middle leaving the lower portion. Seedpods are 5-10 cm x 5-6 mm, rigid woody, widely divergent, pointed. Seeds are 6-6.5 mm long, oblong, compressed, coma about 2.5 cm long. The flower buds are sometimes eaten. The milky juice in Sind is reputed to have some medicinal properties and the stem fibres are used for making ropes. Leafless Silkflower Shrub is found in Sudan, Sinai to Arabian Peninsula and NW India, including Western Himalaya. Flowering: March-May.

Identification credit: Rajkumar Yadav Photographed in Gujarat.

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