Indian Bowstring Hemp
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Indian Bowstring Hemp
P Native Photo: P.S. Sivaprasad
Common name: Indian Bowstring Hemp, Bowstring Hemp • Hindi: Marul, Murahri, Murva • Kannada: Heggurutike • Malayalam: Hatukapel • Marathi: Murhari • Sanskrit: Muruva • Tamil: Marul-kalang • Telugu: Ishaura-koda-udr
Botanical name: Sansevieria roxburghiana    Family: Asparagaceae (Asparagus family)
Synonyms: Cordyline roxburghiana, Acyntha roxburghiana

Indian Bowstring Hemp is a stemless evergreen perennial plant, producing fleshy, erect, rigid leaves 45-75 cm or longer, and 2.5 cm wide, arising from a rhizome, with a thorn-like tip up to 2.5 cm long. The leaves reach up to 1.2 m long. The flowering stem grows a foot or more tall. Flower racemes are spike-like, 30-45 cm long. Flowers are borne in clusters of 4. Flower-stalks are 6-9 cm long, jointed. A fibre is obtained from the leaves. Indian Bowstring Hemp is found in southern and eastern India.

Identification credit: P.S. Sivaprasad Photographed in Coimbatore outskirts, Tamil Nadu.

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