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Fissistigma polyanthum

Description from Flora of China

Melodorum polyanthum J. D. Hooker & Thomson, Fl. Ind. 1: 121. 1855.

Climbers to 8 m tall. Roots black, very aromatic. Branches dark gray to brown pubescent, glabrescent. Petiole 0.8-1.5 cm, blackish and transversely wrinkled when dried, pubescent; leaf blade oblong, obovate-oblong, or sometimes elliptic, 6-17.5 × 2-7.5 cm, thinly leathery, abaxially puberulent, adaxially glabrous, secondary veins 13-18 on each side of midvein and adaxially flat, base rounded to broadly cuneate, apex acute, rounded, or sometimes retuse. Inflorescences axillary, leaf-opposed, or extra-axillary, glomerulate, usually 3-7-flowered, yellowish pubescent; peduncle to 4 mm. Flowers small; pedicel to 1.5 cm, bracteolate between base and below middle. Flowers buds broadly 3-angular, apex acute. Sepals broadly triangular, outside pubescent. Outer petals ovate-elliptic, ca. 12 mm, outside densely fulvous pubescent, inside glabrous; inner petals oblong, ca. 9 mm, apex acuminate. Stamens oblong; connectives 3-angular, apex obtuse. Carpels oblong, villous; ovules 4-6 per carpel, in 2 series; stigma apex entire. Monocarp stipes to 2.5 cm, slender; monocarps globose, ca. 1.5 cm in diam., yellowish pubescent. Seeds reddish brown, ellipsoid, flat. Fl. Jan-Oct, fr. Mar-Dec.

The roots of Fissistigma polyanthum are used as medicine for rheumatism, traumatic injury, and scabies; its leaves are used for treating asthma and scabies; and the bast fibers are used to make rope. The taxon was first mentioned, but not validly published, as "Uvaria polyantha" by Wallich (Numer. List, no. 6467. 1832).

Forested slopes, often in ravines; 100-1200 m. Guangdong, Guangxi, S Guizhou, Hainan, SE Xizang, S Yunnan [Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Vietnam].


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