Cipadessa baccifera: Ranibili

Family: Meliaceae
Common name: Cipadessa, Ranabili

The genus Cipadessa contains only a single species, Cipadessa Baccifera. Cipadessa are small shrubs that grow to a height of 3-5 meters, growing on hillsides, grasslands, thickets and rocky areas. Their main stem is coarse, younger stems brown with downy yellow hair and a rough texture.

Leaves are green with wavy edges, pinnate, having an odd number of 9-13 leaflets. They produce tiny whitish-yellow flowers that are about 3-4 mm in diameter, having 5 distinct petals.

Cipadessa flowers are tubular with long prominent sepals that are fused towards the base but separated where it connects with the flowers. The flowers also have a prominent central column that covers the stamens and anthers. The petals and sepals are covered with thin, yellow, velvety hairs.

The flowers then produce fruits that are green and round, about 5mm in diameter. They are initially green, then turning light red, dark red and reddish-black when mature. Cipadessa fruits are edible and are eaten by birds, and other small animals that help in seed dispersal.

In India, Cipadessa is seen in the Ghat region and also in interior Karnataka, growing well in the wild. But the plant is under threat due to deforestation and urbanization.

Cipadessa has many medicinal uses. The leaf extract is used to treat snake and insect bites. Juice of the root is used to treat indigestion, cough, cold and stomach ailments.

Propagation is through seeds.

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