White Love in a Mist
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White Love in a Mist
aturalized Photo: Nidhan Singh
Common name: White Love in a Mist, Stinking passionflower • Hindi: झुमका लता Jhumka lata • Bengali: ঝুমকা লতা Jhumka lota • Manipuri: ꯂꯝ ꯔꯥꯙꯤꯀꯥꯅꯥꯆꯣꯝ Lam Radhika nachom • Marathi: वेल घाणी Vel-ghani • Kannada: Kukkiballi • Malayalam: Chirranchantiya, Poochapalam • Tamil: Siruppunaikkali, Chiru punai-k-kali, Mupparisavalli • Telugu: Tellajumiki • Mizo: Ram-sapthei, Sapthei-suak
Botanical name: Passiflora foetida var. ellisonii    Family: Passifloraceae (Passion flower family)

White Love-in-a-mist is a creeping vine which has leaves that have a mildly rank aroma. It is native to northern South America and the West Indies. The stems are thin, wiry and woody, covered with sticky yellow hairs. Leaves are 5-19 cm long, 4-12 cm wide, three lobed sometimes shallowly lobed, velvet-hairy on lower and upper surfaces, margin entire with gland tipped cilia, heart-shaped at base. Flower-cluster-stalks are 3-8 cm long. Bracts are 2-3.5 cm long, 2.5-3 cm wide, 2-pinnately divided with gland tipped segments, not interwoven. Flowers are white, 4-5.5 cm in diameter. Sepals are ovate-lanceshaped or lanceshaped, 2-2.5 cm long, 6-9 mm wide. Petals are lanceshaped, 1.5-2.2 cm long, 5-8 mm wide, thin-membranous. Corona filaments are arranged in 5 series, the outer two series 1-2 cm long, thread-like, white with a faint tint of violet at the tips and base, inner series 1-2 mm long. Fruit is ovoid to spherical, velvet-hairy, leaf green when mature, becoming deciduous, 2-2.5 cm long, 1.5-2 cm in diameter.
Medicinal uses: This species can be helpful in treating digestive problems, including dyspepsia and diarrhea; or used as an astringent and expectorant for nervous conditions and spasms.

Identification credit: Dinesh Valke Photographed in Panipat, Haryana.

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