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ative Photo: Jayesh Patil
Common name: Kardal • Malayalam: karatolal, kardol, kardor, modira-valli • Marathi: कर्दळ Kardal, Kardali
Botanical name: Ancistrocladus heyneanus    Family: Ancistrocladaceae (Kardal family)

Kardal is a climbing shrub, a liana, found in the Western Ghats. It can grow up to 2-3 m long. Branches are hooked. Alternately arranged leaves are oblong, leathery, 10-25 cm long, deep green, shining, carried on short stalks. Flowers are white, with 5 petals, 5 sepals and 10 stamens. They fall off quite soon. Fruits are round, 3-6 cm, with unequally winged sepals.
Medicinal uses: The use of its roots in treating AIDS is being actively explored. Flowering: January-February.

Identification credit: Jayesh Patil Photographed at Matheran, Maharashtra.

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