Spade Flower
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Spade Flower
ative elliptic Photo: Prashant Awale
Common name: Spade Flower, Pink ladies slipper • Hindi: रतनपुरुष Ratan purush • Bengali: Munbora • Kannada: ಪುರುಷರತ್ನ Purusharathna • Malayalam: Orilathamatai • Telugu: రత్నపురుశ Ratnapurusha • Marathi: Rathanparas • Sanskrit: रत्नपुरुष Rathnapurusha • Tamil: ஓரிதழ் தாமரை Orital tamarai
Botanical name: Hybanthus enneaspermus    Family: Violaceae (Violet family)
Synonyms: Ionidium suffruticosum

Spade Flower is a perennial herb or small shrub to 60 cm high, smooth or hairy. Leaves are linear to lance-like, 1-5 cm long, margins recurved to revolute, occasionally flat; stipules acuminate, 1-4 mm long. Pink-purple spade-shaped flowers occur solitary. Sepals 3-4 mm long. Lower petal broad spade-shaped, pink-purple, with deep purple veins. Upper petals linear-oblong, 3-4 mm long; lateral pair 4.5-5 mm long. Anthers without appendages. Capsule 4-9 mm long; seeds 5-12, pitted between ribs.
Medicinal uses: This herb is considered to be extremely beneficial to men, used as a diuretic, demulcent and tonic. The root is diuretic and is used in urinary affections and bowel complaints of children. Decoction of leaves and tender stalks is demulcent. The fruit is used to treat scorpion sting. It is a hard task to collect adequate quantities of whole plants, let alone individual parts.

Identification credit: Akramul Hoque Photographed in Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu & Chhattisgarh.

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