Bulbous Ceropegia
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Bulbous Ceropegia
ative Photo: Shailendra Patil
Common name: Bulbous Ceropegia • Hindi: Hedulo, Khadula, Khapparkadu • Kannada: ಬಿಟ್ಟಿರುಕ Bittiruka, Halike, ಹಲ್ಲಿಕೆ Hallike, Halluka • Marathi: Ankalodya, Gayala, Gayli, Gilodayam • Sanskrit: Ankalodya, Gilodayam, Gilodya • Telugu: Batchali Dumpa, Langatai, Manchi Mande
Botanical name: Ceropegia bulbosa    Family: Apocynaceae (Oleander family)
Synonyms: Ceropegia edulis Hort. ex Decne., Ceropegia esculenta

Bulbous Ceropegia is a vine which very widely distributed, growing sporadically almost throughout India in red laterite soil. The leaves are almost stalkless to stalked, round to ovate leaves. The flowers are pale gray, becoming greyish-purple towards the mouth. Flowes are borne in stalked clusters, 3-5 flowered, arising between the leaf-stalks. Stalks are 1.2-2.6 cm long. Flower-stalks are 3-7 mm long. Flowers are up to 2.5 cm long, hairless on the exterior. whitish green, with purple marking, lobes deep purple, 4.5 cm long, narrow, hairy. Outer corona lobes are rounded to shortly pointed, inner lobes linear, about 2 mm long. Seed-pods are 10 x 0.4-0.5 cm, tapering towards tip, hairless. Seeds 8-9 mm long, flattened, ovate-oblong. The tubers are approx 35-430 gm, 5-12 cm in diameter, sometime flattened, gray to white colour. The vines can reach 2 metres. In India the tubers and leaves of this species are eaten. The tubers are often boiled befor consumption (e.g. in Andhra Pradesh), because they contain a bitter substance, the alkaloid Ceropegin. Flowering: July-August.
Medicinal uses: In Rajasthan this species is used for many purposes, e.g. the seeds, brayed to a paste, are used to cure deafness, while this paste is dropped into the ears. An decoction made from the tubers is used, orally, to ease dropping out urinary bladder stones. Furthermore the tubers are eaten, either raw or cooked.

Identification credit: Shailendra Patil Photographed near Nasik, Maharashtra.

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