Page:Indian Medicinal Plants (Text Part 1).djvu/91

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Roots biennial, paired, tuberous; daughter-tuber shortly conic to long-cylindric, often irregularly shaped, 4 to more than 10 cm. long, 0·75-3 cm. thick, simple or branched, sometimes flexuous or twisted, bearing root-fibres, some of which are thread-like from the base and break off easily, while others are much thickened at the base or thick-cylindric, light-brown, smooth, fracture more or less horny and brownish in the thickest part of full-grown samples, almost farinaceous and white towards the tips and in the root-branches, cambium discontinuous, forming isolated strands of very varying shape and size, cylindric or tangentially flattened or crescent-shaped in cross-section, taste purely and persistently bitter; mother-tubers similar, but smaller, shrunk more or less hollow, and brown internally. Innovation-bud, short, conic from broad base. Stem erect, sometimes shortly flexuous in the upper part, simple or nearly so, inclusive of the inflorescence, 2-4 ft. high, stout, hollow, shining, glabrous. Leaves scattered, rather distant, up to 10, rarely more, the lowest usually withered at the time of flowering, quite glabrous, or the uppermost finely pubescent on the nerves below; petioles slender, 4-10 cm. long; blade orbicular-cordate to reniform with a very wide sinus (1-2 cm. deep), 6-10 cm. high from the sinus to the tip, 7-15 cm. across 5-or the uppermost 3-palmati-partite to 4/5 or 3/4, rarely more (to 8/9 in the inner incisions), divisions obovate-cuneate to broadly lanceolate-cuneate or the outermost trapezoid, 3-lobed to about the middle or the outermost 2-lobed, intermediate lobe often elongated like others, acutely inciso-dentate or apiculately crenate. Inflorescence:—A very loose leafy panicle or raceme, 10-20 cm. long, glabrous, or pubescent in the upper part; rhachis rather slender; floral leaves, like the preceding canline leaves, passing into the ovate or deltoid, dentate, shortly petioled bracts; bracteoles similar to bracts, but smaller, and sparingly dentate or entire, above the middle of the pedicels or even close to the flower; pedicels slender, curved, ascending, ultimately more erect, the lower up to 10 cm. long. Sepals bluish, or variegated white and blue, glabrous at least outside; uppermost helmet-shaped, helmet obliquely semi-orbicular (from the side) or more depressed and gaping very shortly or obscurely