Three-Leaf Cadaba
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Three-Leaf Cadaba
P Native Photo: Siddarth Machado
Common name: Three-Leaf Cadaba • Kannada: Balaya • Sanskrit: Balaya • Tamil: Vizhudhi, manudukkurundu, purna, viluti • Telugu: Chekonadi, chikondi, kodikaalu, kodikallu, kodikalu
Botanical name: Cadaba trifoliata    Family: Capparaceae (Caper family)
Synonyms: Cadaba triphylla, Desmocarpus missionis

Three-Leaf Cadaba is an unarmed branched shrub, erect or climbing, 2-3 m high; stem white-tubercled; young parts scabrous. Leaves are alternate, mostly 3-foliolate; leaf-stalks 1-4 cm long, shorter than leaflets; leaflets elliptic, oblong-lanceshaped, ovate-elliptic or obovate, wedge-shaped at base, tapering at tip, 4-10 x 1.5-5 cm, distinctly netveinedly nerved; leaflet-stalks 1.5-3 mm long. Racemes corymbose, 4-10 flowered. Sepals 4; outer 2 ovate, 2-2.5 x 0.8-1 cm; inner 2 ellliptic, about 15 x 5 mm. Petals 2, nearly round, 3.5-5 x 2.5-3 cm, white or cream coloured, claw as long as limb. Disc appendage spoon-shaped, toothed at tip, about 15 mm long, shorter than claw, yellow. Androphore absent. Stamens 6 or 7, inserted in tnr middle of gynophore, reflexed; filaments to 2.5 cm long. Gynophore 4-5 cm long. Ovary linear, 7-8 x about 1 mm. Fruits round, 8-10 cm x 6-8 mm, black; seeds many, kidney-shaped, about 3.5 x 3 mm, black. is endemics to Peninsular India. Flowering: October-November.
Medicinal uses: Leaves are used as medicine for eczema, intestinal worms, body pain and beetle sting. Bark is used as nervine tonic.

Identification credit: Siddarth Machado Photographed in Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve, Tamil Nadu.

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