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INDIAN MEDICINAL PLANTS.

at ends of branches of long-stalked, axillary umbels; bracts subulate. Male flowers:—Sepals nearly equal, obovate, obtuse; petals much shorter, staminal column short, summit expanded. Female flowers:—Sepals acute; petals shorter, styles subulate. Fruit scarlet, solitary, sessile, small, ⅓ in., compressed, glabrous. Endocarp strongly tubercled on back and sides. Seed curved almost into a ring.

The head of fruit looks as if it were the produce of a single flower, instead of an umbel of several sessile ones (Trimen).

Use:—The root is regarded as light, bitter, astringent and useful in fever, diarrhoea, urinary diseases, dyspepsia, etc. Sir W. O'Shaughnessy speaks highly of this plant.


47. S. rotundifolia, Lour, h.f.b.i, i. 103.

Vern.:—Purha (Dehra Dun).

Habitat:—Tropical and temperate Himalaya, from Sindh eastward to the Khasia Hills and Pegu. Valleys below Simla; in the ravines of Dun and the Lower Hills. Southern Hills of the Western Peninsula. Siam, Cochin-China.

A tuberous-rooted, large, climbing shrub. Roots subglobose. "Wood soft, spongy, with large, loose pith arranged in wedges, separated by broad medullary rays, and concentrically by a belt of soft similar tissue. The bark gives fibre, sometimes used for fishing lines." (Gamble), Branchlets glabrous. Leaves peltate, with 9-10 radiating nerves, ovato-rotundate, broad-ovate or sub-orbicular, often repand or sinuate-lobed, glabrous, 3-7 in. diam., obtuse, acute or acuminate, pale beneath. Petiole 3-9 in. Peduncle variable, usually slender; of the females, stout. Umbels axillary, compound, in lax cymes; rays of umbels long or stout; bracts subulate. Flowers, yellow or yellowish-green, 1/6-1/4 in. dram. Sepals narrow, cuneate, puberulous Petals shorter. Drupes red, pisiform, Endocarp horse-shoe-shaped-sides excavated. Cotyledons elongate, flat, scarcely broader than the radicle.

Part used:—The root.

Use:—Roxburgh states that the acrid root is used medicinally in Sylhet, presumably for the same purpose as S. hernandifolia, Walp.