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P Native Photo: Ankush Dave
Common name: Pilwan • Gujarati: Parwatti • Hindi: Pilwan पीलवान • Punjabi: Vehri, Parwatti • Rajasthani: Pilwan पीलवान • Telugu: Dusaratige
Botanical name: Cebatha pendula    Family: Menispermaceae (Moonseed family)
Synonyms: Cocculus ellipticus, Cocculus pendulus, Cocculus laevis

Pilwan is a climbing shrub with long slender, finely velvet-hairy branchlets. Stems are up to 15 cm in diameter, branches about 5-6 m long. Leaves are 1.6-5 cm long, 0.5-2 cm broad; oblong-lanceshaped, ovate or trapezoid, base flat, wedge-shaped, rounded or trilobed-arrow-shaped, tip blunt, with a short sharp point or notched, generally hairless or slightly finely velvet-hairy on both sides, basal nerves 3-5. Flowers are minute. Male flowers are borne in leaf-axil panicles 0.5-2 cm long, with flower-cluster-stalks up to 1.5 cm long, flower-stalks 0.5 mm or absent; sepals ovate-elliptic, fleshy or membranous, thickened at the base, the outer 3, 1-1.5 mm long, 0.4-0.7 mm broad, sparsely finely velvet-hairy, the inner 3 larger, finely velvet-hairy to hairless. Petals are ovate-obovate, 0.8-2 mm long, 0.5-1 mm broad; stamens 0.8-1.5 mm long. Female flowers are 1-2 on short in leaf-axils flower-cluster-stalks, 0.7-1.3 cm long; carpels about 1 mm long. Fruit us reddish when fresh but turning black when dried, kidney-shaped, compressed, 4-7 mm long, 4-5 mm broad; endocarp ribbed on the lateral faces and without a prominent crest, not perforated in the centre. Pilwan is found from Africa to NW India, including the West Himalaya. Flowering: nearly all year.

Identification credit: Ankush Dave Photographed in Jodhpur, Rajasthan.

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