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Scentless Marsdenia Vine   
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Scentless Marsdenia Vine
P Native Photo: C. Rajasekar
Common name: Scentless Marsdenia Vine
Botanical name: Marsdenia tingens    Family: Asclepiadaceae (Milkweed family)
Synonyms: Gymnema inodorum, Gymnema tingens, Parsonsia inodora

Scentless Marsdenia Vine is a large climber up to 10 m. Stems are hairless; young branchlets pale gray, warty, finely velvet-hairy. Leaf-stalk 2-6 cm; leaf blade membranous, ovate-oblong to ovate or broadly ovate, 4-13 × 2-9 cm, hairless or thin finely velvet-hairy along veins, base rounded to shallowly heart-shaped, tip tapering to with a tail; lateral veins 4-6 pairs. Flowers are borne in stalkless umbel-like cymes, arranged in spiral, up to 4 cm; flower-cluster-stalk 1-2 cm. Flower-stalks are 1-1.5 cm. Sepals are oblong, 2-3 × 1.4 mm, shorter than flower tube, finely velvet-hairy, fringed with hairs. Flower are yellow, 6-7 mm, minutely finely velvet-hairy outside; tube cylindric, petals oblong, 3-4 x 1.6-1.8 mm, tip rounded. Stigma head is dome-shaped, protruding from flower tube. Seed-pods are lanceshaped in outline, up to 16 × 3 cm, wall thick and slightly fibrous, hairless. Seeds are about 1.5 × 1 cm; coma about 4 cm. Scentless Marsdenia Vine is found in Subtropical Himalayas, from Kumaun to Sikkim, NE India, W. & S. China, at altitudes of 400-1500 m. It is also found in South India and SE Asia. Flowering: May-July.
Medicinal uses: All parts of the plant are used for the treatment of infantile paralysis and pulmonary tuberculosis.

Identification credit: C. Rajasekar Photographed in Velliangiri - Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, Tamil Nadu.

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