Menispermum leaeba Del.
Scandent shrubs with long slender, puberulous branchlets. Stem up to 15 cm in diameter, branches c. 5-6 m long. Leaves 1.6-5 cm long, 0.5-2 cm broad; oblong-lanceolate, ovate or trapezoid, base truncate, cuneate, rounded or trilobed-hastate, apex obtuse, mucronate or emarginate, generally glabrous or slightly puberulous on both sides, basal nerves 3-5. Flowers minute. Male flowers in axillary panicles 0.5-2 cm long, with peduncles up to 1.5 cm long, pedicels 0.5 mm or absent; sepals ovate-elliptic, fleshy or membranous, thickened at the base, the outer 3,1-1.5 mm long, 0.4-0.7 mm broad, sparsely puberulous, the inner 3 larger, puberulous to glabrous; petals ovate-obovate, 0.8-2 mm long, 0.5-1 mm broad; stamens 0.8-1.5 mm long. Female flowers: 1-2 on short axillary peduncles, 0.7-1.3 cm long; carpels c. 1 mm long. Drupe reddish when fresh but turning black when dried, reniform, compressed, 4-7 mm long, 4-5 mm broad; endocarp ribbed on the lateral faces and without a prominent crest, not perforated in the centre. 2n=26.
Fl. Per.: Almost throughout the year.
Type: Cape Verde Is., S. Tiago, Forster (BM, holo.).
Distribution: Tropical and subtropical India, Pakistan and Africa.
Quite common in the plains and up to c. 200 m. The juice of the leaves mixed with water has the property of coagulating into a green jelly like substance which is taken internally with sugar as a tonic. The roots and the leaves are used in rheumatic pains.