Sopakha Panax
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Sopakha Panax
P Native Photo: Siddarth Machado
Common name: Sopakha Panax
Botanical name: Panax sokpayensis    Family: Vitaceae (Grape family)

Sopakha Panax is a robust perennial herb, 80-130 cm tall. It is named for the the village Sopakha in Sikim. Stem is cylindrical, erect, stout, 50-90 cm long, scales at base, deciduous. Leaves are exstipulate, palmately compound, 4-5 per stem, whorled towards the stem tip, 20-38 cm long, stalked; leaf-stalks hairless, stout, 10-20 cm long; leaflets 5, inverted-lanceshaped to narrowly elliptic, 7-16 cm long, 2.5-5 cm broad; leaflet-stalks, 1-2.5 cm long; tip with a tail, up to 4 cm long; base rounded, narrowed or oblique; margin minutely toothed, some biminutely toothed; densely bristly on upper surface. Flowers are borne in branch-end umbels, carried on stout flower-cluster-stalks, 15-30 cm long. Flowers are 50-65 per umbel, bracteate, andromonoecious, actinomorphic, epigynous, 3-4 mm long; bracts large, leafy or linear up to 0.5-2.0 cm long, flower-stalked; flower-stalks 1-2.5 cm long, hairless; sepals 5, lanceshaped, hairless, alternate to petals, green. Petals are 5, polypetalous, lanceshaped, about 3.0 mm long and ca. 2.5 mm wide, hairless, deciduous, white; stamens 5, 3-4 mm long, filament free; anther oblong, about 3 mm long and about 2 mm wide, dorsifixed, bilobed. Fruit is a berry, 2-3 lobed in transverse section, nearly spherical, about 7 x 6 mm, lower portion red, upper portion black. Sopakha Panax is found in Sikkim. Flowering in April-May

Identification credit: Momang Taram Photographed in North Sikkim.

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