Menispermum hirsutum Linn.
Climbing undershrubs, often densely pubescent-tomentose. Leaves 4-8 (-9) cm long, (2.5-6)-7 cm broad, ovate or ovate-oblong, sometimes 3-5-lobed, base subcordate, cordate, cuneate or truncate, apex obtuse or mucronate, densely tomentose when young, later subglabrous; basal nerves 3-5; petiole 0.5-2.5 cm long. Male flowers: sepals hairy, the outer 3, oblong-lanceolate, 1.5-2 mm long, 0.5-0.8 mm broad, the inner 3 broadly ovate, 1.5-2.5 mm long, 1.7-2 mm broad; petals ovate-oblong, 0.5-1.5 mm long, 0.3-6 mm broad; sparsely pubescent to glabrous; stamens 0.7-1 mm long. Female flowers 1-3, on axillary pedicels, rarely racemed; bracts minute, linear; carpels 0.7-1 mm long. Drupe dark purple, 4-8 mm long, 4-5 mm broad, endocarp annular or ribbed with a prominent dorsal crest, perforated. 2n=38.
Type: “Indes Orientales,” Plukenet’s drawing; specimen in Herb. Sloane (BM).
Distribution: India, Pakistan, and tropical Africa.
A climber with tomentose branchlets; not very common. The juice of the ripe fruit yields a permanent bluish-purple ink and the roots as well as the leaves are used in native medicine and as a tonic like the last species.