Scentless Cowplant
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Scentless Cowplant
P Native Photo: Amber Srivastava
Common name: Scentless Cowplant
Botanical name: Gymnema inodorum    Family: Apocynaceae (Oleander family)
Synonyms: Asclepias tingens, Bidaria tingens, Marsdenia tingens

Scentless Cowplant is a large climber up to 10 m, with stems hairless; young branchlets pale gray, warty, finely velvet-hairy. Inflorescences are eventually racemelike with stalkless umbel-like cymes arranged in spiral, up to 4 cm, carried on flower-cluster-stalk 1-2 cm. Flowers are yellowish, 6-7 mm, minutely finely velvet-hairy outside; tube cylindric, hairless except for longitudinal bands of stiff hairs alternating with petals. Petals are oblong, 3-4 x 1.6-1.8 mm, tip rounded, hairless except for fringed with hairs margin. Stigma is head dome-shaped, protruding from flower tube. Flower-stalks are 1-1.5 cm, sepals oblong, 2-3 x 1.4 mm, shorter than flower tube, finely velvet-hairy, fringed with hairs. Leaf-stalks are 2-6 cm; leaf blade membranous, ovate-oblong to ovate or broadly ovate, 4-13 × 2-9 cm, hairless or thin finely velvet-hairy along veins, base rounded to shallowly heart-shaped, tip tapering to with a tail; lateral veins 4-6 pairs. Seedpods are lanceshaped in outline, up to 16 x 3 cm, wall thick and slightly fibrous, hairless. Scentless Cowplant is found in the Himalaya, Kumaon to Nepal, NE India, to Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, China, at altitudes of 200-1500 m. Flowering: May-July.
Medicinal uses: All parts of Scentless Cowplant are used for the treatment of infantile paralysis and pulmonary tuberculosis.

Identification credit: Amber Srivastava Photographed in Dehradun, Uttarakhand.

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