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Pakistan | Family List | Asclepiadaceae | Sarcostemma

1a. Sarcostemma viminale subsp. viminale

Vern.: Soma.


Stem cylindrical, 3-7 mm in diameter, green, glabrous, internodes 10-20 cm long. Flowers sweet-scented in sessile many-flowered terminal umbels. Pedicels 6-12 mm long, pubescent. Bracts minute, linear-lanceolate. Sepals 5, 1-1.5 mm long, subacute, margin membranous, glandular inside near the base. Corolla campanulate, pale greenish white, divided almost to the base, lobes c.5 mm long, ovate-oblong, subacute. Outer corona crenately 10-lobed, lobes of the inner corona thick, fleshy obtuse, longer than the staminal column and concealing the anther. Staminal column very short. Pollen-masses compressed, clavate. Follicles 10-13 cm x 8 mm, lanceolate, tapering at both ends, slightly diverging when 2 together. Seeds 3-6 mm long, flattened ovate. Coma 1.8 cm long.

Fl. Per.: June-November.

Type: Described from maritime Africa.

Distribution: Tropical Africa, India (South India, Bengal), and Burma.

The milky juice of the plant is reportedly drunk by travellers. The stems of this plant are used to extripate white ants from sugar cane fields.


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