Creeping Fig
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Creeping Fig
P Native Unknown Photo: Revati Gindi
Common name: Creeping Fig • Assamese: Bolowa, Konoi-dimoru • Bengali: ভূঈ দুমুর Bhui dumur • Kannada: ಅಡವಿಬೆಂಡೆ Adavi bende, ಬಿಳಿಅತ್ತಿ, ಬಿಳಿಯತ್ತಿ Bili atti, Balli atthi • Malayalam: Vallitherakam • Marathi: Datir, Kharavamti-vel • Sanskrit: Trayamana, Trayamani, त्रयन्तिका Trayantika • Tamil: கொடி அத்தி Kodi atthi, அவனம் Avanam, புரோனி Buroni, Kattatarikam • Telugu: Buroni, Kuvvu Juvvi
Botanical name: Ficus heterophylla    Family: Moraceae (Mulberry family)
Synonyms: Ficus cannabina, Ficus aquatica, Ficus repens

Creeping Fig is a large prostrate shrub with milky sap. Leaves are alternate, elliptic-oblong, young ones pinnately 5-7 lobed, 5-7 by 2-3 cm, base rounded, margin sawtoothed, tip tapering, 3-nerved from base, lateral nerves 5-7 pairs, rough, thin-leathery. The fact that the plant generally sports two different kinds of leaves led to its species name heterophylla. Figs are borne singly in leaf-axils, dioecious, broadly ellipsoid, about 1 cm across; basal bracts ovate, closed by 4-6 apical bracts; tepals 3, linear-lanceate. Male flowers are in 2-3 series, stalked; stamen 1. Female ones are stalkless; ovary ovoid. Achenes are shortly ellipsoid, surface with a transparent membrane. Creeping Fig is found in moist areas, near rivers and streams, from India to China (S. Yunnan, Guangdong) and W. Malesia. Flowering: July-November.
Medicinal uses: The leaf paste is applied for several days as a poultice on areas affected by rheumatism or on ear infections.

Identification credit: Revati Gindi Photographed along Mula river, Pune.

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