Assam Smilax
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Assam Smilax
P Native Photo: Vinay Kumar Sahani
Common name: Assam Smilax • Assamese: অসমিযা অংগূৰ Assamiya Angur • Sadri: Jangli guti
Botanical name: Smilax sailenii    Family: Smilacaceae (Smilax family)

Assam Smilax is a large woody climber bearing minute prickle on stem, branches mostly round. It is named in the honour of late Dr. Sailendra Prasad Borah, professor of botany. Leaves are leathery, alternate, ovate-oblong 7-15 x 4-8 cm; tip with a short sharp point and shortly tapering; base usually rounded, leaf-stalks 1-2 cm, long stout narrowly sheathing below the middle, 3 costate; tendrils long and strong. Flowers are borne in stalked, many-flowered umbels. Flower-stalks of both male and female flowers arising from an aggregation of numerous minute bracts. Male flowers are 20-40 flowers per umbel, light greenish, 1-1.5 cm in length. Flower-cluster-stalks 2-3.5 cm. long; flower-stalks 1-1.5 cm long. Outer tepals broad 4-6 x 1-2 mm., inner tepals thin 4-6 x 0.1-0.5 mm. Stamens are 6, 7-9 mm long, anther 1-2 mm and white. Female flowers are 18-22 flowers per umbel greenish. Flower-cluster-stalks 2-3.5 cm. long, Flower-stalks 1-1.4 cm. Outer tepals are broad 5-6 x 1-2 mm., inner tepals thin 5-6 x 0.1-1.5 mm; stigma 3-lobed, ovary 3-chambered. Berries are fleshy, greenish in color becoming red when ripe, 2.5-3 cm; seeds-3, flat 4-5 mm. Assam Smilax is found in NE India, predominantly from sub-tropical forest in Assam at elevation of 300-400 m.

Identification credit: Vinay Kumar Sahani Photographed in Miao, Changlang, Arunachal Pradesh.

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