Ban Kapas
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Ban Kapas
ative Photo: Dinesh Valke
Common name: Ban Kapas, Common Mallow • Hindi: जंगली भिंडी jangli bhindi, बनकपासी bankapasi • Marathi: जंगली भेंडी jangli bhendi, रान भेंडी raan bhendi • Tamil: காட்டுப்பருத்தி kattupparutti • Malayalam: katthurparathi, katupuvarasu • Telugu: అడవి బెండ adavi benda, అడవి ప్రత్తి adavi pratti • Kannada: Kilankoi, ತುಱುವೆ, ತುರುವೆ Turuve, ಅಡವಿಬೆಂಡೆ Adavi bende, ತುಱುಬೆ, ತುರುಬೆ Turube • Bengali: Bankapas • Oriya: bilo kapasiva • Konkani: रान भेंडी Ranbhendi • Assamese: বন কপাস bon kapas • Gujarati: જંગલી ભિંડો jungli bhindo, જંગલી પારસ પિપળૉ jungli paras piplo • Sanskrit: वनकर्पास vanakarpasah
Botanical name: Thespesia lampas    Family: Malvaceae (Mallow family)
Synonyms: Azanza lampas, Hibiscus lampas

Ban Kapas is an erect, slightly branched shrub 2-3 m in height. The leaves are ovate, 10-20 cm long, somewhat 3-lobed or nearly entire, green and nearly smooth on the upper surface, somewhat hairy beneath, broad and heart-shaped at the base and pointed at the tip. The flowers are large, and borne in threes in the apex of the branches or at the axils of the leaves. The calyx is green, with 5 pointed lobes united below the middle. The corolla is bell-shaped, 6-8 cm long, yellow, and dark-purple at the center. The capsules are ovoid, and about 3 cm long, with 4-5 valves. A weak rope is made from the bast of this plant.
Medicinal uses: The roots and fruits are employed as a remedy for gonorrhea and syphilis.

Identification credit: Dinesh Valke Photographed at Valley Park, Belapur, Navi Mumbai.

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