Showy Desmodium
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Showy Desmodium
ative Photo: J. M. Garg
Common name: Showy Desmodium • Assamese: Ursi • Hindi: Jatsalpan • Kannada: Jenukaddi, Kadumuduru, Kadunhuralite • Malayalam: Kattumutira, Katumudura • Oriya: Salaparni • Sanskrit: Lodhrah, Lodram • Tamil: Vellalothi • Telugu: Karrantinta, Kondontinta, Sarivi
Botanical name: Phyllodium pulchellum    Family: Fabaceae (Pea family)
Synonyms: Hedysarum pulchellum, Desmodium pulchellum, Meibomia pulchella

Showy Desmodium is an erect undershrub, 0.5-1.5 m tall. Leaves are 3-foliate. Leaflets are finely hairy beneath, the middle one being oblong, 8-13 cm long and more than twice as large as the lateral ones. Flowers are white and about 6 mm long, hidden by large circular green bracts which are 1-1.5 cm in diameter. Stamens are 10, upper one free, other 9 united. Inflorescence is 8-25 cm long, and occurs in leaf axils and at the end of branches. Pods are oblong, hairy and usually of 2, rarely 1- or 3 jointed.
Medicinal uses: Showy Desmodium is used in folk medicine in cold and fever, malaria, excessive menstrual flow. Leaves are applied to ulcers. Decoction of bark is used for diarrhea, eye afflictions. Decoction of flowers is used for bile and liver afflictions. Flowering: September-October.

Identification credit: J. M. Garg
Photographed in Narshapur forest near Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh.
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