Vern.: Relan, Kanderi.
Reichardia decapetala Roth
A scandent or scrambling shrub, branches hairy with hooked or straight prickles. Leaves 11-37.5 cm long, stipule semisagittate, caducous, 1.2-1.3 cm long, rachis armed with recurved prickles at the base of the pinnae, pinnae 5-10 pairs, opposite, 5-10 cm long, leaflets 8-12 pairs, opposite, 1.5-2 cm long, 5-10 mm wide, oblong, obtuse at both the ends, glabrous above, slightly hairy below, petiolule minute, stipels absent. Inflorescence terminal or axillary raceme, 30-40 cm long. Flowers yellow, 1.2-1.8 cm long, pedicel 1.2-3 cm long, hairy, jointed near the flower, bract 5 mm long, ovate-lanceolate, tomentose, caducous. Calyx 1-1.3 cm long. Petals suborbicular, bigger c. 13-14 mm long, smaller c. 11 mm long. Fila¬ments woolly in the lower half. Pods 6.2-12.5 cm long 1.7-2.8 cm wide, beaked, narrowly winged along the ventral suture, more or less woody and turgid, dehiscent late; seeds 4-8.
Fl. Per.: March-April.
Type: India, Heyne (B-not seen). My observations are based on Heyne’s material at Kew Herbarium (Wall. Cat. 5834).
Distribution: W. Pakistan, Punjab; India, widely distributed; Ceylon; Malay isles; China; Japan; widely cultivated and naturalized in Africa also.
It is cultivated as an ornamental or hedge plant. The bark is said to be useful for tanning in S. India. The root is purgative. It is also stated that the lac insect feeds on this species.