Botanical name: Stephania gracilenta Family: Menispermaceae (Moonseed family)
Slender Tape Vine is a hairless herbaceous climber, with branches slender, brown when dry, longitudinally channelled. Leaf-stalks are 3-10 cm long. Leaves are prominently peltate (stalk attached to the middle of blade), triangular-round, 3-7 cm, width nearly equal to length or slightly wider, thinly papery or nearly membraneous, pale on both surfaces, especially below, base flat, tip often with a fine point. Leaves are palmately 8- or 9-veined. Tint purple flowers are borne in clusters hanging on slender stalks 1-4 cm, in leaf axils or on short axillary branches with reduced leaves. Cymelets are 5-6, flowers purple, flower-stalks threadlike, 0.5-1 mm. Male flowers have 6 sepals, obovate-oblong to broadly elliptic, 1.5-2 mm; petals 3-4, slightly fleshy, broadly wedge-shaped to inverted-heart-shaped or round, 0.8-1 mm. Female flowers are similar to male flowers. Fruits are obovate, slightly flattened. Slender Tape Vine is found in the Himalayas, from Uttarakhand to Nepal, at altitudes of 2100-2400 m. Flowering: June-August.
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