Manjishta (Indian Madder)
Botanical name Rubia cordifolia
Common name Indian Madder, Common Madder
Hindi Majith, Manjith
Malayalam Chovvallikkoti, Manchetti
Tamil Manditta, Manjitti, Sevvelli
Telugu Tamaralli, Chiranji, Manjishta
Indian Madder is a perennial climbing herb, that can grow to 1.5 m in height. The evergreen leaves are 5-10 cm long and 2-3 cm broad, produced in whorls of 4-7 starlike around the central stem. Leaves are ovate-heartshaped, entire, pointed, heart-shaped at base, rarely rounded, 3-9 palmately veined, upper surface mostly hairless and rough. It climbs with tiny hooks at the leaves and stems. The flowers are small, 3-5 mm across, with five greenish yellow or pale yellow petals, in dense racemes. Fruit is a small red to black berry, 4-6 mm diameter. The roots can be over a metre long, up to 12 mm thick.