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Page:Indian Medicinal Plants (Text Part 1).djvu/95

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15
N. O. RANUNCULACEÆ.

15. A. Napellus, Linn. h.f.br.i., I. 28.

Vern.:—Dudhiabish; Katbish; Mithâ-Zahar; Tilia cachang; Mohri (Kashmir and Panjab Himalayan names). The root in Kashmir is called Ban-bal-nâg, Vasa nabhi (Tel.); Dudhio Vachanâg (Guz.).

Habitat:—Temperate, Alpine Himalaya, from 10,000 feet to the highest limit of vegetation in the N.-W. Provinces.

An annual erect herb, starting from an elongated tuberous conical rootstock. Root 2-4 in. long, and sometimes as much as an inch in thickness. This root tapers off in a long tail, while numerous branching rootlets spring from its side. If dug up in the summer, it will be found that a second and a younger root (occasionally a third) is attached to it, near its summit, by a very short branch and is growing out of it on one side. This second root has a bud at the top which is destined to produce the stem of the next season. It attains its maximum development at the latter part of the year, the parent root, meanwhile, becoming shrivelled and decayed. The dried root is more or less conical or tapering, enlarged, knotty at the summit, which is crowned with the base of the stem. It is from 2-3 or 4 inches long, and at the top from 1/2 — 1 in. thick. A transverse section of a sound root shows a pure white central portion (pith) which is many-sided and has at each of its projecting angles a thin fibro-vascular bundle. (Flückiger and Hanbury). Stem:—Stiff upright herbaceous, simple, 3-4 ft. high, clothed at its upper half with spreading dark-green leaves, which are paler on their underside; glabrous or slightly pubescent, often decumbent. Leaves 3-5 or more inches long, nearly half consisting of the channelled petiole, palmati-partite; very variable in size. The blade which has a roundish outline, is divided down to the petiole into three principal segments, of which the lateral are sub-divided into two or even three, the lowest being smaller and less regular than the others. The segments, which are trifid, are finally cut into 2 or 5 strap-shaped pointed lobes. The leaves are usually glabrous and are deeply impressed on their upper side by veins which run with but few branchings to the tip of every lobe.