Botanical Name : Ipomoea mauritiana Jacq.
Family : Convolvulaceae
English : Jaint potato
Malayalam : Palmuthukku
Habit : Twining herbs
Habitat : Moist deciduous forests
Distribution : This species is native to Tropical America, now globally distributed in the Pantropics. Within India, it has been recorded in the moist tropical region. In Kerala, Kasargod, Cannanore, Wayanad, Calicut, Malappuram, Thrissur, Palghat, and Trivandrum districts; almost throughout the state.
Description : Perennial twining herbs with tuberous roots, up to 5 m high. Leaves: Simple, alternate, palmately lobed, broader than long acute or acuminate at apex. Flowers: Reddish purple or pink in many flowered, axillary, corymbosely paniculate cymes. Fruit: Capsules 4-loculed, 4valved, with persistent calyx. Seeds: Brownish-cottony and hairy.
Uses : The tuberous roots of the plant are brittle, mucilaginous and bitter to taste and they contain a resin which is medicinal as tonic, alterative, demulcent, lactagogue, cholagogue, etc. It is reported that dried and powdered roots of the plant are curative of spleen and liver complaints, debility, fat accumulation, and so on. The stem and leaves of the plant make fodder and the leaves also contain carotene at the rate of 6.3 mg/l00 gm.
Regeneration : Mainly by tuber.