A slender perennial, prostrate or slightly twining, rootstock woody. Leaves very variable, from elliptic-oblong to linear-lanceolate, 5-10 cm long. Lower leaves narrow, often variegated with white above; upper leaves broader, obtuse, dark green, not variegated.
Flowers crowded in subsessile cymes in the opposite axils; corolla 5-6 mm long, greenish outside, purple inside. Follicles 10-15 cm long, cylindric, tapering to a point at the apex. The roots are used as a substitute for sarsaparilla. It is valuable alterative, tonic, purgative, demulcent, diaphoretic, diuretic, antipyretic, aphrodisiac, antidiarrhoeal and blood purifier.It is employed in nutritional disorders, loss of appetite, syphilis, leucoderma, itching, chronic rheumatism, gravel and other urinary diseases, leucorrhoea, fever, asthma, bronchitis and skin diseases; useful in hemicrania, pain in the joints and piles; juice is given to children in tonsillitis.
*above specification are indicative only. actual dimensions may vary by +-10%