Fragrant Caper Vine
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Fragrant Caper Vine
P Native Photo: R.K. Nimai
Common name: Fragrant Caper Vine • Assamese: মধুমালতী Madhumalati, মাধবীমালতী Madhabimalati • Khasi: Madholata, Manoj • Manipuri: ꯎꯔꯤꯔꯩ Urirei • Mizo: Thei-sawn-tlung • Naga: Kighiethi • Nepali: Kasouli-lahara
Botanical name: Stixis suaveolens    Family: Capparaceae (Caper family)
Synonyms: Roydsia suaveolens

Fragrant Caper Vine is a climbing shrub, ascending up to 5 m, finely velvet-hairy, later becoming hairless. Leaves are oblong, obovate or oblong-lanceshaped, wedge-shaped, somewhat pointed to rounded at base, abruptly tapering at tip with 5-15 mm long acumen, 14-35 x 4-18 cm, hairless, leathery, glossy and dark green above, pale green below; lateral nerves 5-12 pairs. Leaf-stalks are 1.5-4 cm long. Flowers are borne in leaf-axils or at branch-ends, in sturdy panicles, 15-30 cm long, velvety, velvet-hairy; bracts linear or subulate, 2-4 mm long, finely velvet-hairy. Flowers are fragrant, pale yellow or greenish-yellow, 1.6-1.8 cm across. Flower-stalks are as long as bracts, torus about 2.5 mm across. Sepals are elliptic-oblong, 5-6 x 2-2.5 mm, olive green, velvet-hairy, becoming reflexed on maturity. Stamens are 38-52, filaments 5-6 mm long, hairless; anthers orange-yellow. Fruit is on a stipe 3-5 mm thick, ellipsoid or obovoid, 2.5-6 x 2-4 cm, orange-brown, scurfy, warty, 3-valved. The fruit is eaten in China and NE India. Fragrant Caper Vine is found in mixed tropical and subtropical forests, often along streams, up to 1200 m, in Sikkim, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura and Meghalaya. It is also found in Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, China and S.E. Asia. Flowering: February-May.

Identification credit: R.K. Nimai Photographed in Imphal, Manipur & Mamit area, Mizoram.

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