Cissampelos pareira* sensu Hook. f. & Thoms.
A slender tomentose climber. Leaves peltate, 2.5-12 cm long, 2.5-11.5 cm broad, triangularly broad-ovate, or orbicular, obtuse, mucronate, base cordate or truncate, ± tomentose on both sides, ultimately becoming glabrous above and glaucous below; petiole pubescent. Flowers minute, pedicels filiform. Male flowers in pedunculate branched cymes, clustered in the axil of a small leaf; sepals 4, obovate-oblong, hairy outside; petals 4, united to form a 4-toothed cup, hairy outside; stamens 4, filaments united, column short, anthers connate, encircling the top of the column. Female flowers clustered in the axils of orbicular, hoary imbricate bracts, on 5-10 cm long racemes; sepal 1, ovate-oblong, pubescent outside; petal 1, obtriangular subreniform; carpel 1, densely hairy; style shortly 3-fid. Drupe 4-6 mm long, 3-4 mm broad, subglobose, compressed, hairy-pubescent, red when fresh, black when dry, endocarp transversely ribbed, tuberculate. Seeds horseshoe-shaped.
Type: Habitat in Napaulia, Buchnan-Hamilton.
Distribution: India and Pakistan.
The type variety pareira, appears to be confined to America and has more cordate and less hairy leaves with somewhat shorter petioles than our variety.
The plant is very common in hedges at the foothills and up to c. 2300 m. It is a source of alkaloids like Seeprine, Bebeerine and Cissampeline. The leaves and roots are used as a cure for dyspepsia, diarrhoea, dropsy and in snake-bite. The stem yields a strong fibre.