Botanical name: Croton bonplandianus Family: Euphorbiaceae (castor family)
Normally Crotons are popular foliage plants. This is a wild species of croton. Due to the resemblance of the leaves and flower cymes to that of Tulsi, this plant is often called Ban Tulsi (jungle tulsi) It is a small annual herb, growing up to 1-2 ft tall. Alternately arranged leaves, 3-5 cm long, are lance-shaped, with a toothed margin. Small white flowers are borne in 3-8 cm long racemes at the end of branches. Flowers have 5 sepals and 5 petals and numerous long stamens protruding out. Fruit is a 5 mm oblong capsule, with a warty surface. Ban tulshi is grown abundantly in the rural areas of Malda, West Bengal, and is used as both a fuel and a detergent. First the stems and branches of ban tulshi are used as fuel. Then the ash is collected and kept in a bottle for five or six days. The ash is put in warm water and used as a detergent for cleaning cotton garments. Flowering: September-November.
Identification credit: Mahadeswara Swamy
The flower labeled Ban Tulsi is ...