Fragrant Ceropegia
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Fragrant Ceropegia
ative Photo: Kamesh Bhamare
Common name: Fragrant Ceropegia • Gujarati: જીમિકાન્દા Jeemikanda • Marathi: Sulatya Kand
Botanical name: Ceropegia odorata    Family: Apocynaceae (Oleander family)
Synonyms: Ceropegia blatteri

Fragrant Ceropegia is a critically endangered species, found only in a few places in Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan. It can only be found in areas which are almost or completely inaccessible for humans, there it climbs through the surrounding vegetation. The flowers are of a light colour in the lower part, sometimes a bit beige or pinkish, the united petals are yellow as corn. Fragrant Ceropegia is probably the only Ceropegia, whose flowers have a strong fragrance, hence the species name odorata. The flowers bloom only for some days and exhale a very strong jasmine scent. Leaves are 2-12 x 0.5-5 cm, opposite; leaf-stalks 0.5-2 cm long; blades linear-lanceshaped or narrowly ovate, tapering at tip, rounded or pointed at base, fringed with hairs along margins. The Pawara tribe, which lives in the Nandurbar District, calles the species by the name Sulatya Kand (Pawari or Pawri) and knows many possible uses for the several parts of this plant. The leaves are chewed to cure stomach pains, the juice from the tubers is used as eye medicine. Furthermore the tubers are eaten as vegetable.

Identification credit: Avinash Bhagat Photographed near Rajmachi Fort & Raigad distt, Maharashtra.

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