Red Creeper   
Foto info
Red Creeper
ative Photo: Prashant Awale
Common name: Red Creeper • Hindi: पित्ती Pitti, केंवटी कालीबेल Kenwti kalibel • Khasi: Mei bynoh • Marathi: Sakalvel, Khandvel, लोखंडी Lokhandi • Tamil: Surulbattaikkoti, Vempadam Tam • Malayalam: Vempata • Telugu: Suralatige, Surathi chekka • Kannada: Haruge, Kanvel • Oriya: ରକ୍ତପିତ୍ତା Roktopitta • Konkani: Kanvel • Assamese: Bor-kalia • Sanskrit: रक्तवल्ली Raktavalli, दिनेसवल्ली Dinesavalli
Botanical name: Ventilago maderaspatana    Family: Rhamnaceae (Ber family)

Despite its name, there is nothing red about the Red Creeper. The name probably comes from the use of this plant in blood and heart related diseases. Red Creeper is a climbing shrub, found in Indo-Malaysian region. Leaves are variable - they can be circular to egg-shaped with an acute tip. Margins can be entire or serrated, and the surface can be smooth or finely velvety. Small greenish-yellow flower are fscicled on leafless branches, with an offensive smell. Fruit is 5-6 cm, densely velvety, a pea-sized part and an oblong wing, 0.9-1.1 cm wide, surrounded by sepal tube at base. Some fishermen used the long climbing stems as ropes. It flowers in winters.

Identification credit: Prashant Awale & Dinesh Valke
Photographed at Sudhagad, Maharashtra.
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