Podophyllum hexandrum Royle
Perennial herbs, 15-30 (-45) cm. tall, erect, smooth, glabrous, somewhat fleshy or succulent, simple; rhizome short, horizontally creeping, scaly above, with dense thick fibrous roots; scales up to 5 cm long, 1-2 (.3) , cm broad, ovate-lanceolate, striated, pale, entire; stem scapigerous, simple, erect, terete, naked below with (1-) 2 (-3) alternate leaves above the middle and usually 1 supra axillary flower (or fruit). Leaves palmate, deeply 3 (-5) lobed; lamina (7-) 12-20 (-25) cm in diam., with petiole about as long as the lobe and somewhat swollen at base; lateral lobes obliquely ovate, sometimes 2-lobulate; middle lobe broadly elliptic and symmetrical; all lobes sharply toothed, acute to slightly acuminate, 5-12 (-15) cm long, 3-5 (-8) cm broad, sessile, coarsely veined below. Flowers white to pink, 2-4 (-5) cm in diam:, ± terminal in bud but becoming supra axillary later; peduncle short, elongating up to 2 (-3) cm in fruit, erect or ascending, somewhat thickened. Sepals 3, broadly oblong, caducous, petaloid. Petals (4-) 6, obovate-oblong, 2-3 cm long, 1-1.5 cm broad. Stamens usually 6, about half as long as the petals; filaments ;slightly flattened; anthers c. 3 mm long, oblong, obtuse. Berry oblong-ovoid or oblong-ellipsoid, 2-4 (-5) cm long, 1.5-2.5 cm broad, scarlet or red, pulpy, narrowed below the stigma, many seeded; ,seeds 2-3 mm in diam., obovoid or suborbicular.
Fl. Per. April-May.
Type: Nepal Himalayas, Gopamthum, Wallich Cat. no. 814 (K-W.
Distribution: Throughout Himalayas, Pakistan, India, Afghanistan and China.
A very variable species in stature or over all size and number of stamens, and any separation of taxa on these characters will be valueless. It is a shade loving plant growing in rich humus. Fruits are edible and rootstock produce podophyllol, a sticky resin, quarcetin and podophyllo-toxin of medicinal importance.