Triumfetta trilocularis Roxb.
Much branched, 0.5-2 m tall herb or undershrub. Leaves 3-7-costate, variable in shape, generally rhomboid-ovate, 3-9 cm long, 2.5-7.5 cm broad, stellate or simple hairy to glabrescent, palmately 3-lobed or not, acute at the apex, cuneate-cordate at base, irregularly serrate; petiole up to 3.5 cm long, short in terminal leaves, hairy; stipules subulate, c. 3-4 mm long. Cymes terminal or antiphyllous. Flowers golden yellow, c. 5-6 mm across, subsessile. Buds oblong, constricted in the middle. Sepals lorate, strongly cucullate and awned at the apex, hairy outside. Petals oblong-obovate, equal to or slightly shorter than the sepals, hairy at the base. Stamens 15, rarely fewer, filaments as long as sepals, papillose. Carpels 2-3, syncarpous; ovary subglobose, 2-3-loculed, with uncinate hairs; style subulate, stigma 2-3-lobed. Capsule globose or subglobose, indehiscent, tomentose, c. 5-6 mm in diameter including 1.5-2 mm long, glabrous, uncinate spines.
Type: “Habitat in Insulis Caribaeis vicinaque Americas contente”.
Distribution: Throughout the tropics.
This species is not common in our area as suggested by Parker (l.c.). It is confused with Triumfetta pentandra A. Rich, which it resembles in leaf shape. The two can be easily distinguished with the help of key characters.
The sub-mucilaginous leaves are used as a pot herb in some parts of India. The leaves, flowers and fruits are demulcent, astringent and given in gonorrhoea. The bark and fresh leaves are used in diarrhoea and dysentry. The seeds are said to possess anthelmintic and aperient properties.