Shield-Leaf Kamala
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Shield-Leaf Kamala
E Native Photo: Nidhan Singh
Common name: Shield-Leaf Kamala • Assamese: Buri-tokon • Bengali: Nim-puteli • Khasi: Dieng-long-kharai • Malayalam: Kamli, Mallatta, Phusri-malata • Manipuri: Khabi-loboi • Naga: Tamlai • Mizo: Zawngte-nawhlung
Botanical name: Mallotus roxburghianus    Family: Euphorbiaceae (Castor family)
Synonyms: Rottlera peltata

Shield-Leaf Kamala is a shrub or tree about 4-13 m tall. Branchlets are yellow star-shaped-velvet-hairy and hairy. Stipules are linear, 5-7 mm; leaf-stalk 5-10 cm; leaf blade round-ovate, 8-20 × 7-18 cm, papery, above hairy, below star-shaped-hairy and hairy along veins, glandular-scaly, base rotund, broadly peltate, with 2-4 basal glands, margin repand-finely toothed, tip with a tail-tapering; basal veins 7-9. Male inflorescences at branch-ends, unbranched, 4-12 cm, woolly; bracts linear, about 5 mm. Male flowers 3-5-fascicled; sepals 4, oblong, about 2 mm, velvet-hairy; stamens 25-35. Female inflorescences 10-15 cm, woolly. Female flowers: calyx urn-shaped, 6-lobed, lanceshaped, about 3 mm, pbescent; ovary densely hairy; style 3-4 mm, base fused, plumose. Capsule are 3-locular, about 1.2 cm in diameter, hairy and shortly softly spiny; flower-stalk 5-7 mm. Seeds are nearly spherical, about 4.5 mm, brownish. Shield-Leaf Kamala is found on mountain slopes and forests, at altitudes of 800-1500 m, in NE India. The dried material smells of fenugreek. Flowering: July-August.
Medicinal uses: Shield-Leaf Kamala has long been used by Mizo tribal people for the treatment of diabetes.

Identification credit: Tapas Chakrabarty Photographed in Vishwanath Chariali, Assam.

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