Narrow-Leaf Climbing Nettle
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Narrow-Leaf Climbing Nettle
P Native Photo: Siddarth Machado
Common name: Narrow-Leaf Climbing Nettle
Botanical name: Tragia sanjappae    Family: Euphorbiaceae (Castor family)
Synonyms: Tragia involucrata var. angustifolia

Narrow-Leaf Climbing Nettle is a climbing herb, about 75 cm high; stem and branches bristly when young, hairless in age. Leaves are narrowly oblong-lanceshaped to linear-oblong, 4-20 x 0.4-2.5 cm, narrowly wedge-shaped to wedge-shaped-narrowed at base and obscurely contracted heart-shaped at extreme base, irregularly and distantly serrulate to entire along margins, narrowed to narrowed-caudate at tip, papery, scattered bristly or hairy above and on nerves beneath; upper lateral nerves 7-15 per side, predominantly brochidodromous; leaf-stalks 3-35 x 0.7-1.5 mm. Flowers are borne in racemes up to 2 cm long; flower-cluster-stalk up to 1 cm long. Male flowers: flower-stalks up to 2 mm long; sepals nearly round, about 1 x 0.7 mm; stamens 3; filaments about 0.5 mm long, fused at base; anthers about 0.4 mm long. Female flowers: nearly stalkless or with up to 1 mm long flower-stalks; sepals linear, about 3 x 1 mm, pinnatifid; ovary about 1.5 mm across, bristly; style 3 – 4 mm long, trifid and recurved at tip. Fruits nearly stalkless, depressed, deeply 3-lobed, 3-4 x 8-10 mm, scattered bristly; fruiting sepals 4-6 x 1-3 mm (including lobes); main body linear, bristly outside, hairless inside; lobes 5-8 per side, linear or subulate, 0.3-2 mm long, bristly or hairy. Narrow-Leaf Climbing Nettle is rare in semievergreen forests at 65-1300 m altitudesm in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

Identification credit: Siddarth Machado Photographed in Satyamangalam Tiger Reserve, Tamil Nadu.

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