Midnapore Creeper
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Midnapore Creeper
P Native Photo: Satish Phadke
Common name: Midnapore Creeper • Bengali: কল্মী লতা Kalmilata, Kindupata, বৈনারিশাক Bainaryshak, নম্ পুঈ Ban Pui • Hindi: Phanji, फंग Phang, ग्वारककड़ी Gwal-kakri, Rotabel • Kannada: Neer boddi • Marathi: सांजवेल Sanjvel, कल्मीलता Kalmilata • Tamil: Budthi Kiray, Musuttai • Telugu: Boddikura, Niru Boddi, Boddikura
Botanical name: Rivea hypocrateriformis    Family: Convolvulaceae (Morning glory family)
Synonyms: Convolvulus hypoleucus, Rivea fragrans, Rivea ornata

Midnapore Creeper is a robust woody climbing shrub, found in dry subtropical forests of India and Pakistan. Flowers are creamy white, typical morning glory form, flat-faced, 6-9 cm long. Flowers usually solitary, occasionally subspicate. Sepals unequal, ovate, blunt apically, 10-12 mm long, densely short villose. Leaves are rounded-heart-shaped, blunt apically, densely appressed velvet-hairy below. Fruit indehiscent or tardily dehiscent, dry-baccate, 2 cm long. Seeds brown, hairless. Leaves boiled in water, then added to bajra (millet) or jowar flour which is made into bread. Leaves are also boiled together with condiments, i.e. prepared into bhaji. Rajasthan: young shoots and leaves eaten as vegetable.
Medicinal uses: One of the main uses of this plant in Ayurvedic medicine is as a contraceptive. When taken in the very early stages, it can prevent implantation of the foetus and is known to completely interrupt early pregnancy and influence the estrous cycle. The plant is also reported for its ethnomedicinal uses in treating cough, headache, skin disease, malaria etc, as well as treating external conditions such as burns, piles and to relieve pain.

Identification credit: Satish Phadke Photographed in Maharashtra.

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