Madras Red Creeper   
Foto info
Madras Red Creeper
P Native Photo: S. Kasim
Common name: Madras Red Creeper • Hindi: राईधानी Raidhani, लाल बेली Lal-beli • Kannada: Boppili chekke, Gapsandi balli, Gopsandi, Haruge • Marathi: खांड वेळ Khaand vaela, Sakala vaela, Sakalyel • Tamil: ஸுருல் Surul, Vembadam • Telugu: Erra chiralata tige, Pipali boddi
Botanical name: Ventilago denticulata    Family: Rhamnaceae (Ber family)
Synonyms: Ventilago calyculata, Ventilago maderaspatana, Ventilago sulphurea

Madras Red Creeper is a large woody climber, with stem 10-25 cm across; branches velvet-hairy; bark fissured, grey or dark brown, usually red in fissures. Leaves are alternately arranged, 3-15 x 2-6 cm, ovate-lanceshaped, oblique at base, rounded toothed-sawtoothed at margin, blunt or subpointed at tip, subleathery, velvet-hairy; lateral nerves 5-8 pairs; leaf-stalks 3-10 mm long, furrowed, velvet-hairy. Flowers are greenish-yellow, carried on stalks 1-4 mm long. Sepals are triangular, 2-2.5 mm long, hairy, petals spoon-shaped, notched at tip, 1-1.5 mm long. Stamens are 1-1.5 mm long; connectives prolonged. Disc is 5-lobed, ovary hairy, 2-loculed; stigmas 2, divergent. Madras Red Creeper is found in tropical Asia. Flowering: September-June.
Medicinal uses: The powdered root bark, mixed with gingelly oil, is sometimes used as an external application to treat itch and other cutaneous eruptions.

Identification credit: S. Kasim Photographed in Yelagiri Hills, Tamil Nadu.

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