Tubers ligneous, irregular. Stems glabrous, twining clockwise. Leaves alternate, simple, 5-11.5 cm long, 4-10.5 cm broad, ovate or subdeltoid-ovate, often cordate, the basal lobes rounded or sometimes dilated outwards, 7-9-nerved, acuminate, glabrous above, pubescent on the nerves beneath; petiole 5-10 cm long, slender. Male spikes solitary, axillary, simple or sometimes branched, slender, lax, 7.5-25 cm long; flowers in small distant clusters; stamens 6, antheriferous. Female spikes solitary, slender, up to 15 cm long, few-flowered. Capsule 2 cm long, 3 cm broad, obovate or obcordate. Seeds winged unequally all round.
Fl. Per.: May- July.
Type: Nepal, Wallich 5110 K.
Distribution: Afghanistan, W. Pakistan and throughout the Himalayas.
Very common from 3000-1000 ft. in Kashmir and Swat.
The tubers contain saponin, acrid resin, diosgenin, starch and calcium oxalate. They are used for washing shawls and woolen cloth as well as a vermifuge and an anthelmintic for purging out intestinal worms. Diosgenin is said to be a basic material for hormone preparation.