Madhavi lata (Hiptage benghalensis)

Botanical Name :Hiptage benghalensis
Family: Malpighiaceae
Genus: Hiptage
Species: H. benghalensis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malpighiales

Common Names:Hiptage, Helicopter Flower • Hindi: Madhavi lata  • Manipuri: Madhabi • Kannada: Madhvi • Bengali: Madhabilata • Tamil:

Habitat : Madhavi lata is a native of India, Southeast Asia and the Philippines. It has been recorded as a weed in Australian rain forests and is invasive in Mauritius, Réunion, Florida and Hawaii where it thrives in dry lowland forests, forming impenetrable thickets and smothering native vegetation. The Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council (FLEPPC) listed H. benghalensis among Category II plants in 2001, which are species that have shown a potential to disrupt native plant communities

Its habitat is variable and prefers climates ranging from warm temperate to tropical. In Hawai’i, where H. benghalensis is considered a weed, as it is in Australia, Mauritius and Réunion, it grows from sea level to 1,000 m (3,281 ft). H. benghalensis is cultivated for its white-pink scented flowers.

Description:
Madhavi lata is a vine like plant that is often cultivated in the tropics for its attractive and fragrant flowers. A woody climbing shrub with clusters of pink to white and yellow fragrant flowers and 3-winged, helicopter-like fruits. Flowers have very interesting shape and look like a decorative accessory, with fluffy-toothed edges. The fragrance is very strong and pleasant, resembles fruity perfume. Leaves are narrow and drooping. This plant can be trimmed as a bush, and can be crown in container, too. Used medicinally in India. Make sure to provide lots of light for profuse blooming. The genus name, Hiptage, is derived from the Greek hiptamai, which means “to fly” and refers its unique three-winged fruit known as “samara”. The fruit is carried by wind because of its papery wings.

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Madhavi lata flowers intermittently during the year, and produces fragrant flowers borne in compact ten-to-thirty-flowered axillary racemes. The flowers are pink to white, with yellow marks. Fruits are samaras with three spreading, papery oblanceolate to elliptic wings, 2–5 cm long, and propagate via wind or by cuttings.

Medicinal uses:
Madhavi lata is occasionally cultivated for medicinal purposes in the alternative medicine practice ayurveda: the leaves and bark are hot, acrid, bitter, insecticidal, vulnerary and useful in the treatment of biliousness, cough, burning sensation, thirst and inflammation; it also has the ability to treat skin diseases and leprosy.

The bark, leaves and flowers are aromatic, bitter, acrid, astringent, refrigerant, vulnerary, expectorant, cardiotonic, anti-inflammatory and insecticidal. They are useful in burning sensation, wounds, ulcers, cough, asthma.

Othewr Uses:
Madhavi lata is widely cultivated in the tropics for its attractive and fragrant flowers; it can be trimmed to form a small tree or shrub or can be trained as a vine

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:

http://www.flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/Madhavi%20Lata.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiptage_benghalensis

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