Common Name: Indian Sarasparilla. Tamil Name: Nannari.
Indian sarasparilla is native to South Asia and commonly found in most parts of India. The plant is commonly seen in deciduous forests areas of Western Ghats. It is a twinning plant that climes over other nearby vegetations or hedges. It grows to around 2 meters in length. Occasionally seen prostrate on forest floor. The plant has a milky sap and a long woody fragrant tuberous root stalk. The roots are extracted to prepare Nannari sharbat- a popular drink. Indian sarsaparilla also features as one of the Rasayan plants in Ayurveda. The leaves are bunched at regular intervals on the stem- the distance between successive leafing nodes stand at around 5 cm. The near sessile simple leaves are arranged in an opposite manner and often found whorled. The leaves shape is highly variable-generally found to be elliptic-oblong in shape. The inflorescence is axially, the flowers are sessile with five petals. The flower color can be yellow or in shades of orange. The flower measures around 8-9 mm across. The petals are ovate in shape with an acute tip and each measure around 3 mm. The fruit is in the form of a follicle.