East-Himalayan Tape Vine
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East-Himalayan Tape Vine
P Native Photo: M. Sawmliana
Common name: East-Himalayan Tape Vine, Elephant dropping plant • Nepali: बाटुलपाते Baatulpaate
Botanical name: Stephania glandulifera    Family: Menispermaceae (Moonseed family)

East-Himalayan Tape Vine is a large climbing shrubs or woody vines. Flowers are borne in leaf-axils or at branch-ends, in stalked umbel-like cymes. Flowers are unisexual, greenish yellow. Male inflorescence is in leaf-axils umbel-like cymes. Male flowers, sepals 6-8, in series, ovate-obovate, tip blunt, glandular, papillose on dorsal side, petals 3-4, thick, round, base wedge-shaped, tip blunt, synandrium peltate, about 1 mm long. Female flowers greenish yellow, narrow wedge-shaped, hairless, style short, stigma 5-fid or lobed. Leaves are simple, nearly round, somewhat heart-shaped or triangular, 5-11 x 4-10 cm across, base somewhat heart-shaped or nearly flat, margin entire, tip pointed or blunt with with a short sharp point tip, papery, membranous, dark green, hairless above, paler glaucous beneath, strong basal veins 5-7 towards the tip, 3-5 towards the base from the leaf-stalk, impressed above and slightly prominent beneath. Leaf-stalk is slender, thickened at the base, attached about 1-1.5 cm inside the blade from the base, about 7-15 cm long. Fruits are drupes, nearly spherical or obovoid, slightly compressed, about 7-10 x 5-7 mm across, stalkless, red when mature. East-Himalayan Tape Vine is found in East Himalaya, in Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Sikkim at altitudes of 1300-2100 m, and also in Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand.

Identification credit: M. Sawmliana, J.M. Garg Photographed in Aizawl, Mizoram.

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