Bitter Brinjal
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Bitter Brinjal
P Native Photo: S. Kasim
Common name: Bitter Brinjal • Hindi: Dholi ringni • Kannada: Gulla badane • Malayalam: Valutina • Sanskrit: barhatam, brhati, sveta-brhati • Tamil: karimulli, cakarupakam • Telugu: Nidupu vanga, Niru vanga
Botanical name: Solanum incanum    Family: Solanaceae (Potato family)
Synonyms: Solanum sanctum, Solanum unguiculatum

Bitter Brinjal is a herb or soft wooded shrub up to 1.8 m in height with spines on the stem, stalks and sepals and with velvet hairs on the leaves. Flowers are pale to deep blue, mauve or purple. The leaves are alternate, ovate with slightly wavy margins, especially on young leaves, with a grey-green upper surface and a green-white lower surface. The flowers are often borne in the leaf axils, sometimes solitary or in clusters of a few flowers. The yellow or white calyx is fused, the purple flower regular, bell- or wheel shaped with 5 stamens. The globular fruits are yellow at the beginning, becoming black later on. Fruit are mottled or striped green and light green, yellow when ripe. Bitter Brinjal is widespread in the Tropical world. Flowering: November-March.
Medicinal uses: is effective for control of cattle ticks when used as water extracted concoction. The fruit of S. incanum are used in Kenya for treatment of skin mycotic infections.

Identification credit: S. Kasim Photographed in Radhapuram, Tamil Nadu.

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