(Source: Polunin. O. and Stainton. A. Flowers of the
I have found this plant growing in abundance in dappled and deep shade in Shimla. It usually has two leaves with five to seven leaflets (when adult) in a 'radiate disposition' (To me, it looks a little like a Japanese Umbrella).
The flower part is pale jade-green, paler at the base and faintly striped white. The tip of the leaf is elongated, upturned and coiled. This plant flowers in June and July every year and is taken as an indication of the onset of monsoon by locals.
A local flower maven proclaims this to be a rare plant; but I notice that it grows in mad profusion by the roadside in my area. He goes on to add that “these cause an extremely unpleasant sensation similar to needles being stuck into the mouth and tongue if they are eaten; but they are easily neutralized by thoroughly drying or cooking the plant or by steeping it in water”. My question to you is why would someone do this? Stick this ugly plant into their mouth?!
The Boy Friday says this plant is called “sarp” (snake) in his part of the country and is used for curing skin ruptures. The Yarrows maali calls it a “Cobra Lily”.