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Gymnema sylvestre

Description from Flora of China

Periploca sylvestris Retzius, Observ. Bot. 2: 15. 1781; Apocynum alterniflorum Loureiro; Gymnema affine Decaisne; G. alterniflorum (Loureiro) Merrill; G. formosanum Warburg; G. sylvestre var. chinensis Bentham.

Stems to 8 m, sparsely lenticellate; young branchlets pubescent, glabrescent. Petiole 3-12 mm; leaf blade obovate to ovate, 3-8.5 × 1.5-5.5 cm, thick papery, adaxially pubescent to glabrous except for groove of midvein, abaxially tomentose to glabrous except for veins; lateral veins 4 or 5 pairs, convergent. Cymes much shorter than leaves, pubescent; peduncle 2-5 mm, rachis with close-spaced spiral of pedicel scars. Sepals ovate, ciliate. Corolla greenish white; lobes ovate, glabrous; appendages exserted. Stigma head exserted. Follicles mostly solitary, broadly lanceolate in outline, 5-9 × ca. 2 cm, glabrous, beak acuminate. Seeds ovate, ca. 8 × 4 mm; coma silky white, ca. 3.5 cm. Fl. Apr-Nov, fr. Sep-Dec. 2n = 22.

All parts are used for the treatment of rheumatism, blood-vessel inflammation, hemorrhoids, and snake bites.

Open woods, bushland; 100-1000 m. Fujian, Guangxi, Hainan, Taiwan, Yunnan, Zhejiang [India, Indonesia, Japan (Ryukyu Islands), Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Vietnam; Africa]


 

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