Tapering-Leaf Pipevine
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Tapering-Leaf Pipevine
E Native Photo: P.S. Sivaprasad
Common name: Tapering-Leaf Pipevine, Tapering-Leaf Birthwort, • Kannada: Dodda eeshvari balli, Gattada eeshvari • Tamil: Aadutheendapalai • Telugu: నల్లైఇశ్వర Nallaeeshvara
Botanical name: Aristolochia acuminata    Family: Aristolochiaceae (Birthwort family)
Synonyms: Aristolochia roxburghiana, Aristolochia tagala

Tapering-Leaf Pipevine is an evergreen climbing plant growing up to 20 m tall. Stems are round, slightly furrowed, hairless. Leaf-stalk is 2.5-4 cm, hairless; leaf blade ovate-heart-shaped or oblong-ovate, 8-12 × 4-14 cm, papery, both surfaces hairless, veins palmate, 3-5 pairs from base, base deeply heart-shaped, lateral lobes subrounded, sinus 1-3 cm deep, tip pointed or tapering. Flowers are borne in racemes in axils of leafy shoots, 2- or 3-flowered, 2-6 cm. Flower-stalks are about 1 cm, sparsely hairy, becoming hairless; bractlets ovate-lanceshaped, to about 8 mm. Calyx is pale yellowish or greenish, throat dark purple, 4-6 cm; tube rectilinear or slightly curved; utricle spherical, 5-8 mm in diameter, with stipe 1-3 mm. Flowe tube 5-10 × 2-3 mm; limb ligulate, oblong, 2-3 × 0.5-0.6 cm, tip blunt. Capsule is obovoid-spherical to ovoid-cylindric, 3.5-5 × 2-3.5 cm, splitting acropetally. Tapering-Leaf Pipevine is found in the E. Himalayas, from Nepal to Sikkim, at altitudes of 1000-2400 m. It is also found in the Deccan Peninsula in the western ghats, from Maharashtra southwards. Flowering: May-August.

Identification credit: P.S. Sivaprasad Photographed enroute to Silent Valley National Park, Kerala.

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