Page:Indian Medicinal Plants (Text Part 1).djvu/93

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Roots:—biennial, paired, tuberous; daughter-tuber ovoid-oblong to ellipsoid, 2·5-4 cm. long, about 1-1·5 cm. thick, with a few filiform root-fibres, dark-brown externally, fracture scarcely farinaceous, yellowish, taste rather indifferent, followed by a strong tingling sensation, cambium continuous, forming in cross-section a slightly sinuous ring; mother-tuber much shrunk and wrinkled, with numerous root-fibres, outer sieve-strands, surrounded by a mantle of sclerenchymatic cells. Innovation bud conic, 4-5 mm. long; scales ovate, prominently finely nerved, persistent. Stem erect, with or without a slender hypogæous base (up to 3 cm. long) which emits numerous fine roots near the upper end, simple erect, 40-90 cm. high, rather slender, covered with short spreading yellow hairs in the upper part, glabrous below, hollow. Leaves scattered, distant, excepting the lowest 2 or 3 which are usually delayed at the time of the flowering, up to 7, glabrous, or the uppermost very sparingly hairy; petioles slender, the lower up to 25 cm. long and much dilated at the base, uppermost very short; blade orbicular-cordate to reniform in outline with a rather wide sinus (up to 8 cm. deep) up to 11 cm. high from the sinus to the tip, up to 20 cm. across, 5-pedati-partite to the very base or almost so in the inner, and to 5/9 - 9/10 in the outer incisions, divisions deltoid from a cuneate base on the outermost trapezoid, intermediate division 3-lobed to the middle, middle lobe elongate, pinnate-laciniate to inciso-dentate, ultimate segments or teeth acute or very acute, inner lateral divisions similar, but less symmetric, outermost 2-lobed or 2-partite, all laciniæ, more or less linear-lanceolate and divaricate, the outermost overlapping and thus closing the sinus; uppermost blades, sessile or subsessile, much smaller or dissected. Inflorescence a loose raceme 10-25 cm. long, often with slender, erect, few-flowered additional branches from the leafy base; rhachis slender, densely yellow-pubescent to sub-tomentose; floral leaves like the preceding leaves, but much reduced, passing upwards into trifid or entire and linear-lanceolate bracts; bracteoles at or below the middle, resembling reduced bracts, very often suppressed; pedicels slender, erect, the lowest at length up to 7 cm. long. Sepals blue, hairy; uppermost helmet-shaped, helmet semi-orbicular in profile, shortly beaked