Amkurchi or Kali lota, Derris scandens

Amkurchi or Kali lota (Derris scandens, family: Fabaceae) is a woody and extensive creeper or scandent shrub with greenish grey and smooth bark. The evergreen plant is mainly found in the hilly forests as well as Sundarbans of Bangladesh. It is also found in the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia and Australia.

Other names: Kumaria lota, Noa lota.

Leaves are dark green, compound, imparipinnate (having single leaflet at the end), leaflets 9-15, ovoid-lanceolate, coriaceous, shiny, 2.5-5 cm long, opposite, top one is bigger than others.  

Flowers are small, pinkish or white, pea-shaped, borne on axillary raceme. Inflorescence quite long, 15-35 cm. Flowering occurs from the end of spring to autumn.

Fruits are pods, 3.5-4 cm long, having pointed end. Seeds 1-4. Propagation is caused by seeds and cuttings. 

Paste of bark is used in snakebite. Some parts of the plant are used as fish poison. Rope fibre can be produced from its bark.

The beauty of the leaves, profuse flowering, the ability to survive for a long period of time--all together, as an ornamental plant, it must be planted in the gardens, botanical gardens and parks.


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