Tall Chloranthus
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Tall Chloranthus
P Native Photo: Angela Pangkam
Common name: Tall Chloranthus
Botanical name: Chloranthus elatior    Family: Chloranthaceae (Chloranthus family)
Synonyms: Chloranthus erectus, Chloranthus officinalis, Chloranthus salicifolius

Tall Chloranthus is a subshrub up to 2 m tall. Stems are round in cross-section, hairless. Leaves are opposite; leaf-stalk 5-13 mm; leaf blade broadly elliptic or obovate to long obovate or inverted-lanceshaped, 10-20 x 4-8 cm, rigidly papery, glandular, hairless, base wedge-shaped, margin sawtoothed, tip gradually narrowed to with a tail; lateral veins 5-9 pairs. Flowers are borne in spikes at branch-ends, dichotomously or racemosely branched, rearranged in panicles, long stalked; bracts triangular or ovate. Flowers are white, small, stamens 3; connectives confluent and ovoid, not elongate, apical part 3-lobed. Ovary is ovoid. Fruits are green when young, white at maturity, obovoid, about 5 mm. Tall Chloranthus is found in the Himalayas to S China, Indochina, Philippines, Indonesia to New Guinea, at altitudes of 100-2000 m. Flowering: April-June.
Medicinal uses: Leaves and roots are used as aphrodesiac, especially for women. In India the juice of the boiled branches is used as a contraceptive, and the root and the bark acts as a antispasmodic during childbirth. The leaf extract is considered a cure for venereal diseases. The plant is also used to treat fever, and pain killer.

Identification credit: Nidhan Singh Photographed in Pasighat, Arunachal Pradesh & Biswanath Chariali, Assam.

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