Prostrate Bindweed
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Prostrate Bindweed
ative lanceshaped Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Prostrate Bindweed • Hindi: शंख पुष्पी Shankh Pushpi • Malayalam: സംകപുസ്പമ് Sankhpuspam • Sanskrit: शंख पुष्पी Shankh Pushpi • Urdu: Sireen ﺳﹻﺮﻳﻦ, Dodak
Botanical name: Convolvulus prostratus    Family: Convolvulaceae (Morning glory family)
Synonyms: Convolvulus pluricaulis, Convolvulus microphyllus, Convolvulus deserti

Prostrate Bindweed is a prostrate, spreading, perennial, wild herb commonly found on sandy or rocky ground under xerophytic conditions in northern India. The species is marked by great morphological variability especially in size of the flower. Stems are ascending or prostrate, 10-40 cm long, densely velvety with appressed to spreading hairs. Leaves are nearly stalkless, linear to oblong, lanceshaped or inverted-lanceshaped, 0.8-3 cm long, 1.5-6 mm broad, pointed to blunt at the tip, velvety to hairy. Flowers are borne in 1-3-flowered cymes which are carried on stalks up to 2-3 cm long but often much shorter or absent. Bracts are linear to lanceshaped, about 3-7 mm long. Flower-stalks are up to 3 mm long. Sepals are lanceshaped, long-pointed, 4-8 mm long, the 2 outer longer, hairy. Flowers are white or pale pink, 1-1.3 cm long, midpetaline areas velvety. Style is about 2-4 mm long, stigma-lobes 3-5 mm long.
Medicinal uses: The leaves are the major constituent of a herbal drug 'ShankhaPushpi'. The drug is used as antiepileptic. It is used alone or is administered alongwith modern antiepileptic drugs.

Identification credit: R.K. Nimai Singh, Jitendra Jawale Photographed in Lodhi Garden, Delhi.

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