Drooping Spike Pepper
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Drooping Spike Pepper
P Native Photo: Dinesh Valke
Common name: Drooping Spike Pepper • Adi: Dolopan • Bodo: Mosla Madamgra • Kannada: ಕಾಡು ಕರಿ ಮೆಣಸು Kaadu Kari Menasu • Malayalam: കാട്ടുമുളക് Kaattumulaku • Nepali: चाबा Chaba, पिपल् Pipal • Tamil: அரேணுகம் Arenukam, காட்டுமிளகு Kattu-Milaku • Tulu: ಕಾಟ್ಟುಮುಂಚಿ Kattumunchi Source: Names of Plants in India
Botanical name: Piper attenuatum    Family: Piperaceae (Pepper family)
Synonyms: Piper karok, Piper malamiris, Piper sirium

Drooping Spike Pepper is a climbing shrub with older stems distinctly striped when dry. Leaves are membranous, green or yelllow-green when dry, broadly ovate, 7-9.5 x 4-7cm, shortly tapering, base flat or weakly heart-shaped, 7-9-veined in basal 7-10 mm, with no main veins arising above, hairless or sparsely velvet-hairy beneath; leaf-stalks slender, 2-6 cm, sometimes velvet-hairy; stipules narrow, adnate to leaf-stalk, 5-8 mm; in leaf-axils buds 5-8 mm. Flowering spikes are slender, 6-12 cm long, hairless, on short flower-cluster-stalks 0.4-1.5 cm. Male spikes have oblong, basifixed bracts with wings decurrent on axis; stamens usually 3, anther cells horizontal, end-to-end, confluent, almost stalkless. Female spikes have scales as in males, ovary spherical, surrounded by rim composed of bracteoles and decurrent wings of bracts, stigmas 4. Fruiting spikes are interrupted, up to 12 cm; fruits spherical, 4 mm, stalkless, loosely aggregated. Drooping Spike Pepper is found in Western Ghats, Bhutan to East Himalaya, China (W. Yunnan), Jawa, Philippines.
Medicinal uses: The whole plant is used to cure headache and muscular pain.

Identification credit: Ponnutheerthagiri Santhan Photographed in Udupi, Karnataka.

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