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Nepal Gynura   
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Nepal Gynura
P Native
Photo: Saroj Kasaju
Common name: Nepal Gynura
Botanical name: Gynura nepalensis    Family: Asteraceae (Sunflower family)
Synonyms: Gynura nudibasis, Cacalia nepalensis, Gynura foetens

Nepal Gynura is a perennial herb with stems erect or ascending, robust, 30-45 cm tall, woody at base, about 1 cm in diameter, corymbosely branched in upper part, densely reddish-yellow woolly. Stem leaves are numerous, absent on lower part of stem. Leaves are stalked, not eared at base; blade narrowly elliptic, ovate, or rhombic or oblong-lanceshaped, 3-20 x 1-6 cm, lateral veins 3-6-paired, below velvet-hairy, above gray-white sparsely or densely reddish-yellow velvet-hairy, base wedge-shapedly gradually narrowed to leaf-stalk, margin entire or sawtoothed in upper half, rarely lobed, tip pointed or tapering. Upper leaves are smaller, becoming bractlike, narrowly lanceshaped-linear, stalkless. Flower-heads are numerous, about 1 cm in diameter, usually in at branch-ends elongate lax corymbs. Flower-head-stalks are 1-10 cm, with few linear bracts, densely shortly velvet-hairy. Involucres bell-shaped, 10-13 × about 10 mm, with 7 or 8 linear calycular bracts, densely shortly velvet-hairy; phyllaries uniseriate, 13 or 14, linear-lanceshaped, about 10 × 1.5-2.5 mm, densely fulvous woolly or nearly hairless, sometimes stalkless glandular hairy, margin scarious, apically tapering. Florets are yellow; flower 8-10 mm; tube 4-5 mm, slender; limb dilated, lobes triangular-ovate. Anthers blunt at base. Achenes are cylindric, 3-4 mm, hairless or sparsely hairy, 10-ribbed. Pappus hairs numerous, white, silky, easily deciduous. Nepal Gynura is found on rocks, field margins, by streams in the Himalayas, at altitudes of 1100-2100 m, in Bhutan, India, Kashmir, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand. Flowering: May-October.
Medicinal uses: The juice of the plant is applied to cuts and wounds.

Identification credit: Saroj Kasaju Photographed in Sourinee, Mirik, Darjeeling distt.

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