S. NAZIMUDDIN AND S. SHAHARYAR H. NAQVI
Rhynchocarpa schimperi Naud.
Climber, young stem herbaceous, minutely velutinous, sometimes with scattered long crisped hairs or rarely glabrous, with reddish-brown or greyish papery bark. Root fibrous. Tendrils long, coiled like a thin spring. Leaves sub-fleshy, broadly ovate-cordate, suborbicular, 30-60 (-90) mm long, 35-90 (-150) mm broad, sinuate-toothed, densely and finely pubescent or villous, subentire to usually palmately 3(-5)-lobed; lobes obovate, narrowed below, petiole shorter than blade, 20-40 (-50) mm long. Male flowers in terminal, 10-50-flowered short racemes on 10-120 mm long peduncles, often on contracted, leafless stems; pedicels 2-12 mm long; calyx-tube c. 1.5 mm long; lobes triangular-lanceolate, 1-1.2 mm long. Petals c. 2 mm long, yellow with green veins. Female flowers sessile, in ± sessile 1-20-flowered clusters, often on leafless contracted branches, sometimes co-axillary with male. Pedicel 1-3 mm long; calyx-tube and lobes c. 1 mm long each; petals c. 1.5 mm long, ovary 3-4 mm long, usually densely shortly hairy. Fruit often in clusters, ovoid or broadly ellipsoid to conical, glabrous to shortly pubescent, red, 10-15 (-17) mm long, 7-10 mm across, with 0-3 mm long beak. Seed subglobose, c. 3 mm long, smooth, ± margined.
Fl. Per.: March-July.
Type: Ethiopia, Sera-Walqua, Schimper 413 (P, holo.).
Distribution: N.E. Tropical Africa, Arabia, Iran, Pakistan and India.
A highly polymorphic species, whose various forms have been described as separate species. The last cited specimen, Ali & Faruqi 1585, has c.25 female flowers on short, c. 2.5 cm long peduncle and may be a new taxon, but the gathering is inadequate for a comparative study; this is provisionally placed here as there is a resemblance of stem and tendrils with this species.