Rough Bryony
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Rough Bryony
P Native Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Rough Bryony
Botanical name: Bryonia aspera    Family: Cucurbitaceae (Pumpkin family)
Synonyms: Bryonia afghanica, Bryonia haussknechtiana, Bryonia alba sensu Boiss.

Rough Bryony is a vine-like herb with stem velvet-hairy to hairless, 2-4 m long; dioecious. Tendrils are simple, slender. Leaves are heart-shaped-ovate, about 6-7-12 cm long and almost as broad, wavy 5-lobed, lobes triangular, pointed, both surfaces shortly hairy, margin minutely finely toothed; leaf-stalk velvet-hairy, 3.3-10 cm long. Male flower-cluster-stalk is generally slender, tip 10-15-flowered, 6-20 cm long, flower-stalks thread-like, erect or spreading, 0.5-1.5 cm long. Calyx tube bell-shaped, finely velvet-hairy, 5-6 mm long, 34 mm broad; lobes 2-3 mm long. Flowers are yellow, nerves netveined, greenish, outside finely velvet-hairy, petals ovate, blunt, 5-6 mm long and 4-5 mm broad. Staminal filaments hairy, 1-2.5 mm long, anthers 2-3 mm long. Female flowers are borne in corymbd, flower-cluster-stalk generally 4-7-flowered, 14 cm long; flower-stalks elongated; style not protruding, stigmas hairy. Fruit is spherical, greenish, ultimately red or yellow, smooth, but wrinkled when dry, 8-10 mm in diameter. Seeds are yellowish, finely rugulose, thinly marginate, 4-6 mm long, about 4-5 mm broad and about 1.5 mm thick. Rough Bryony os found in Pakistan, NW India (Himachal Pradesh and Kashmir), N. Afghanistan, N. & NE Iran, Caucasus, and Turkey.
Medicinal uses: Rough Bryony is used for the treatment of cancer and various health problems by the local healers in the northern part of Iran.

Identification credit: Frederic Dupont Photographed in Lahaul, Himachal Pradesh.

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